undefeated pg 4 9-9-21

Category: Current Issue

Undefeated season
in rearview mirror
It’s the obvious question. How does the Woodstock Academy boys’ soccer team improve on last year’s undefeated record?
Centaurs coach Paul Rearden just dropped his eyes to the floor when asked that and quietly muttered, “Match it.” If the Centaurs do, it would be a marked improvement.
“With all due respect, even with the squad we had last year, it would have been a different season had we played the teams we’re playing this year,” Rearden said.
Gone are the Windham Tech, Putnam, Parish Hill and Tourtellotte matches.
Back are the games against the likes of Stonington, Waterford, E. Lyme and Norwich Free Academy.
“It’s going to be an eye-opener for (his players). This is a different level,” Rearden said.
Junior defender Wyatt Robbie said of the more difficult schedule. “I think everyone is always looking for a bigger challenge."
Despite not having played each other for a couple of years, Rearden also knows that the undefeated record the Centaurs sported a year ago will be bulletin board material for their opponents.
They will carry that around minus some of their key components from that undefeated team.
Among those key players who are no longer in a Centaur uniform are leading scorer Eric Phongsa (12 goals, 7 assists last season), All-State player Huck Gelhaus (8,5) and ECC All-Star Rich Hickson (7,7). Ty Morgan, the team’s second-leading scorer with nine goals a year ago, is back. Noah Page will move up from the back to the mid.
Jack Marshall, Jeff Phongsa and newcomer Manuel Vidal will join Page in the middle. Robbie will be a key in the back.
“He’s a great leader with loads of experience and plays with a very high-level club,” Rearden said.
Baden Eaton and Colin Manuilow will also be stationed in front of keeper Brian Jameson.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy
Boys’ soccer schedule; Thursday, Sept. 9: at Fitch, 4 p.m.; Sat. Sept. 11: at Windham, 11 a.m.; Tuesday, Sept. 14: vs. NFA, 4; Friday, Sept. 17: at Ledyard, 4:15; Friday. Sept. 24: vs. Waterford, 4; Tuesday, Sept. 28: vs. Stonington, 4; Thursday, Sept. 30: vs. Killingly, 3:45; Saturday, Oct. 2: at Valley Regional, 6; Wednesday, Oct. 6: at E. Lyme, 4:15; Friday, Oct. 8: at Bacon Academy, 4:15; Wednesday, Oct. 13: vs. Windham, 4; Saturday, Oct. 16: vs. Ledyard, 11; Wednesday, Oct. 20: at Waterford, 6; Saturday. Oct. 23: vs. Burrillville, 11; Wednesday, Oct. 27: vs. Bacon Academy, 4; Saturday, Oct. 30:  at Plainfield, 11.