Garceau pg 3 6-3-21


Coach Rich Garceau shows the final score on his iPad. The 5-2 Woodstock Academy win was the 250th of Garceau’s coaching career. Photo by Roxanne Garceau.
Academy freshman Mia Pannone tries to slide under the tag of Killingly catcher Izzy Robbins in the Centaurs 7-1 ECC softball semifinal win. Photo by Marc Allard.

Woodstock Academy boys’ golf coach Rich Garceau was driving to the Quinnatisset Country Club with his daughter, Roxanne, last week when he told her that he had 249 wins and who knows, maybe the completion of the suspended match with Stonington would be his 250th career coaching win.
His Centaurs made sure that was the case as they posted a 5-2 victory over the Bears.
“Golf to me is a family thing,” Garceau said. “I’ve played with my children and my wife, They’ve gotten to know the (Woodstock Academy) players, too, and those players have almost become a part of my family. It’s about 18 years that I’ve been doing this and you start to realize how special those kids are. Beyond their golf, so many have gone off and are successful and I’ve grown as a person being around them all these years. It’s been such a special time. My life has been enriched by every day I’ve been out here.” He doesn’t see himself stepping away from the position as long as he is in the classroom.
The week as a whole was 50-50.
The Centaurs (7-6) bested Stonington but lost to undefeated E. Lyme by the same 5-2 score.
Kyle Brennan shot a 4-over par 40, Davis Simpson added a 43 and Chris Thibault carded a 45 as the Academy came the closest to knocking off the Vikings (14-0) this season, losing by just eight strokes overall.
The next closest call for E. Lyme was a 21-stroke victory over Killingly.
“Are we the favorite going into the ECC tournament (on Thursday at Connecticut National Golf Course)? No. But if everyone plays well and some teams don’t play as well as they can, you don’t know what will happen. We missed winning by two strokes with a 12th-seeded team (about 15 years ago) in the state tournament,” Garceau said.
“This is a special group. I’m really enjoying them. It’s not the most talented group but are incredibly hard working and are getting better every day,” Garceau said.
Boys’ Lacrosse
Rally after falling in ECC championship
Fortunately for the boys’ lacrosse team, there were more games to play.
Less than 24 hours after they lost a heartbreaker to Waterford in the ECC boys’ lacrosse championship, the Centaurs, for a third time this season, battled the Norwich Tech-Windham Tech cooperative program, this time in a Class M state tournament qualifying round match. The Centaurs won handily, 15-1.
The win sends the 12th-seeded Centaurs in a Class M first-round match on the road on June 2 against No. 5 Watertown.
Jonah Libby paced the Centaurs with four goals and an assist while Guerin Favreau added two goals and four assists.
Favreau cleared the 100-point mark for the season with that output as he now has 69 goals and 33 assists.
Zach Gessner, Elijah Saine and Jacob Jurnovoy all added two goals in the win for Woodstock Academy (10-7).
The Lancers don’t give offenses a lot of opportunities to score as they are very adept at keeping the ball on their offensive side of the field.
At the ECC Div. 2 championship match in Montville, that ability was highlighted as the second-seeded Lancers upset the No. 1 Centaurs, 4-3.
“To be honest, it’s tough to play a team three times,” said Woodstock Academy coach Jason Tata. “You have plenty of time to adjust everything to your opponent. We saw them three times, they saw us three times; we both knew each other’s offense. They didn’t really score in a set situation, they scored in transition.”
That was opposite of what happened a week ago where it was the Centaurs who scored in transition and posted a 9-4 win over Waterford.
The Lancers also concentrated their defense on Favreau. Favreau didn’t get many touches on the ball as defensive midfielder Quincy Foren played him stick-to-stick for much of the contest.
Gessner scored two goals for the Centaurs in the first half off assists from Favreau and Jared Neilsen.
But the Lancers also scored twice in the first half and added two more in the third quarter to take a 4-2 lead.
The Centaurs got close when Jurnovoy scored off a Favreau assist with 1 minute, 49 seconds left in the third quarter. It was the final goal of the match for both sides.
Griswold shuts down Woodstock
Woodstock coach Jay Gerum, after an ECC tournament semifinal win over Killingly, knew his Centaurs had to one thing against Griswold in the championship game.
Hit. To, hopefully, make that possibility more likely, Gerum had batting practice prior to departing for Jewett City last week.
The Centaurs did get some hits off Wolverines’ pitcher Kaelin Waldron. They just couldn’t string them together.
So the Centaurs fell in their first appearance in an ECC tournament championship game, 2-0.
Waldron finished with 13 strikeouts.
It was an improvement for the Centaurs over the previous two encounters with the right-hander.
“I think she had 15 or 16 (strikeouts) in the previous two games,” Gerum said with a shake of his head. “She’s a great pitcher. We knew it. We’ve known it the whole year. We found a way to get some runs (six) last time. We knocked on the door (in the championship game) but couldn’t put them together. It’s tough to string them together on her.”
Senior Mackenzie Leveille, who came in hitting .523, did see Waldron pretty well. She had a two-out single to left in the first inning, but never left first base.
Leveille got further in the fourth when she stroked a one-out single to right field.
Griswold helped a little with two errors on a Lexi Thompson pop up which allowed Thompson to reach safely and Leveille; stuck in nowhere land because of the pop up, found herself safe at second when the ball was thrown into the outfield.
Both runners moved up on a ground out which prompted Griswold coach Rick Arremony to fill the vacant base with an intentional walk to Centaurs catcher Madison Martinez.
Freshman Mia Pannone got her bat on a Waldron pitch and sent it to the right side but the Wolverines got the out on a bang-bang play at first base to maintain the shutout.
Leveille started in the circle for the Centaurs (17-4) and struck out six while allowing just one infield single.
But Griswold reached the senior in the bottom of the fourth.
Mandy Brehler singled and Makayla Neilson sacrificed her to second. Brehler went to third on a ground out and scored when a throw to third went into left field.
The Centaurs brought in Thompson to pitch in the fifth and Griswold reached the sophomore in the bottom of the sixth for an insurance run.
Lucia Ceccarelli doubled to left field and went to third on a passed ball. Arremony wanted her to score on a dropped third strike but she held at third and set the stage for Neilson.
The sophomore laid down a very nice suicide squeeze that allowed Ceccarelli to come down the line, avoid any potential tag by Woodstock third baseman Meg Preston and score. Neilson also reached safely on the play.
Thompson singled in the sixth inning and stole her way to third for the Centaurs, but could not find the way clear to home plate.
Senior Marissa Mayhew had a one-out triple to left field in the seventh inning but was also stranded at third.
Since he was starting six freshmen and sophomores, Gerum is pretty optimistic about the Centaurs’ future.
He will be losing only four seniors, Mayhew, Leveille, Amanda Bond and Preston to graduation so he’s excited about the future.
Prior to the championship game, Leveille, Thompson and Martinez were honored as ECC Division 2 All-Stars, Saeah McArthur received honorable mention. Preston was the Centaurs’ scholar-athlete and Mayhew received the team’s sportsmanship award.
The Centaurs advanced to the title game with a 7-1 win over third-seeded Killingly.
Third-seeded Killingly took the early lead when it got four hits in the first inning.
Casey Beauregard led off with a bunt single, was sacrificed to second and scored on an RBI single by Alexis Faucher. Hannah Cozzo then doubled and Izzy Robbins had another bunt single.
But the Centaurs held Killingly to the one run as Lexi Thompson struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
The two strikeouts were followed by six more in a row for Thompson. She finished with 12 K’s.
Thompson allowed only one hit the remainder of the way after giving up the four in the first inning.
The Centaurs offense gave Thompson all the support she needed in the second inning.
Jenna Bankowski reached on a two-out fielder’s choice, Sarah McArthur reached on an error that scored Bankowski.
McArthur came home on an RBI single by Meg Preston and Preston scored on a double by Mackenzie Leveille.
The Centaurs added another run in the fourth and Martinez put the finishing touches on the win with her first career home run, a two-run shot, over the left field fence.
Girls’ Track
Centaurs finish 4th at ECC Championship
The girls’ track team had some adjustments to make.
The Centaurs are a young squad and the nerves may have got the best of them at times as they finished fourth in the ECC Div. 2 and 3 girls track championship.
The Centaurs, the Division 2 regular season champions, finished with 90 ½ points and trailed winner, Lyman Memorial (106), Bacon Academy (101) and Killingly (92).
“It was a difficult day,” said Woodstock Academy coach Josh Welch. “We had a couple of things that didn’t go the way we would like to see. You could see a lot of nerves in a lot of the young girls and that took its toll in a few events where we expected to do a little better than we did.”
Junior Linsey Arends had one of the better efforts of the da. She and Jordan Malloy of Bacon Academy hooked up in the 800-meter and Arends finished four seconds better than her cross-country rival in 2 minutes, 26 seconds.
“I’m ecstatic. I’ve been training for the 800 due to an iron deficiency so I tried to focus on these two events (the 4x800-meter relay being the other) and I’ve been wanting this all season. I wanted to come out here and leave my all on the track and I did.” Arends said.
Arends said she is a big fan of the mile but it wasn’t an option due to her condition.
“She was fantastic in both events. Our 4x800-meter team beat its best by 20 seconds which will help with the team’s seed in the state (Class MM) meet. Then to come back around for an 800-meter open and beat Jordan Malloy, a long-time racing rival of hers, was very exciting,” Welch said.
The only other first-place finish for the Centaurs was Magdalena Myslenski who bettered her previous best by over 10 feet, throwing 104 feet, 11 inches.
Leah Castle placed second in the 1600-meter. Carah Bruce and Julia Coyle finished fourth and fifth in the 3200-meter and both had their best performances of the season by almost 20 seconds each. Those times allowed both to qualify for the state meet.
It will be another adjustment for the Centaurs come the Class MM meet as Welch figures 50-60 percent of his team has never partaken in such a large meet.
The Centaurs will have 18 female athletes going to the Class MM championship June 2.
Centaurs fall in quarterfinal
The Woodstock Academy baseball team had hoped for better. The Centaurs earned the top seed in the ECC tournament.
But that only paints a larger target on the back of the jerseys.
The No. 8 East Lyme Vikings handed the Centaurs a 5-3 loss in an ECC quarterfinal game. E. Lyme scored five runs in the first four innings.
“It was not what we had planned out,” said coach Brian Murphy. “It was one of those games where a couple of misplaced balls and the game is different. I was proud of our guys because it is tough to be down 5-0 and we battled back.”
The Centaurs (16-5) scored two in the fifth inning as ninth batter Max Racicot drew a lead-off walk, went to third on an error and scored on a wild pitch.
Hamilton Barnes, who had reached on the error, came around on a Jackson Goetz single.  Racicot was a key in the sixth inning as well as he delivered a one-out triple.
Racicot came home on an error, but the Centaurs left runners on first and second in the inning, two of the 12 runners they left on base.
Freshman Riley O’Brien came on in relief of Kaden Murphy and allowed the Vikings only two hits in the final three innings.
The fourth-seeded Centaurs began Class L state tournament play against No. 29 Bristol Eastern June 1 (the result was too late for this edition).
Boys’ Tennis
Season comes to a close
The Woodstock Academy boys’ tennis team ran into a buzzsaw in a Class L first-round state tournament match.
The 12th-seeded Centaurs lost to Wilton, 7-0.
The Centaurs didn’t win a game, never mind a set in the seven matches played.
“Wilton was definitely the best team we’ve seen,” said Woodstock coach Siana Green. “Their players have probably been playing since they were like 5-years-old. They were just so crazy consistent in every stroke and didn’t make mistakes. In a case like that, there is really no advice that you can give except to be proud of every point that you make.”
The Centaurs finished the season, 7-7.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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