Defense pg 1 10-7-21

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caption, page 2:

On the Move
Woodstock Academy junior Grace Gelhaus had a goal and an assist in the Centaurs win over Burrillville Oct. 2. Photo by Marc Allard.

Defense key
in 2 Centaurs
soccer wins
The offense was good. The defense was fantastic in Woodstock Academy’s 5-0 win over Killingly at the Bentley Athletic Complex and a 3-0 win over Valley Regional in Deep River over the weekend.
It has been the story of the season for the Centaurs.
“I know this sounds crazy, but even against Stonington and Ledyard where we conceded five and six goals, the defense played very well. You just can’t give those guys half a chance because they will punish you for it. The defense has played solid and the midfield has played great all season,” said coach Paul Rearden.
Against Killingly, the Centaurs allowed only four shots on goal and all of those came in the final five minutes of regulation.
“We’ve been switching it up,” said junior stopper Wyatt Robbie. “We went to a three-back system these past couple of games and that seemingly has locked things down. We have Lucas (Krupp) at center-mid, Noah (Page) at right back and Colin (Manuilow) at left back and that has been a pretty solid back three. I really like it.”
The group was able to control the middle of the field and seldom let Killingly (4-4) inside of 30 yards.
While the defense has been stellar, the offense has been lacking. The Centaurs had scored only six goals in their first six matches prior to the five-goal eruption against Killingly.
Woodstock found the board early against their local rivals.
Freshman Austin Byer got behind the defense and Page delivered one of those through balls. Byer put it over the left shoulder of Killingly keeper Trent Pechie (12 saves) for his second goal of the season.
The Centaurs went up 2-0 when Max Ferreira executed a cross from right to left across the goal mouth, on to the foot of Owen Tracy who delivered it to the back of the net.
Just before the half, keeper Zach Roethlein did something unusual for a goalie. He recorded an assist.
His punt cleared midfield and found Ryan Odorski who was able to race past the Killingly defense and beat Pechie one-on-one for the 3-0 Woodstock halftime advantage.
Senior Ty Morgan, who was second on the team with nine goals last season, got his first of the year halfway through the second half.
Robbie launched a rocket from around 30 yards out that struck the crossbar. It bounced down to an oncoming Morgan who buried it into the back of the net.
Odorski finished the scoring for the Centaurs when he put in his second goal of the match with 7 ½ minutes left in regulation.
The win broke a four-match losing skid for the Centaurs.
The wins kept coming Oct. 2 with a 2-0 victory over Valley Regional, raising the Centaurs’ record to 3-5.
Ferreira scored off a Byer assist just three minutes into the match for Woodstock. Viau and Byer scored in the second half to wrap up the win.
The Centaurs opened the week with the loss to Stonington. Stonington (6-1) broke out to a 3-0 first half lead and cruised to its sixth consecutive win over the Centaurs. Viau scored for Woodstock Academy in the second half off an assist from Ferreira.
The Woodstock girls’ soccer team season is more than half over. The Centaurs are fighting for an ECC and state tournament berth. But they need wins to get there. They got one Oct. 2 with a 2-0 victory over previously undefeated Burrillville in Rhode Island.
The win raised Woodstock’s record to 3-5-1.
“We needed this for our state tournament status. It was good to get back on track,” said coach Dennis Snelling. “We need to get to six wins because of the tie. We talked about that the other day. It’s a goal. We’re just a young team and it’s a good goal to have.”
The Centaurs have seven matches to play going into the week, they need to win three of them.
Oct. 2 the two teams battled to a scoreless first half tie. Junior Grace Gelhaus broke the ice with her seventh goal of the season off an assist from Ava Coutu 15 minutes into the second half. The insurance goal came from freshman Juliet Allard, her fifth of the season, off an assist from Gelhaus with 10 minutes left. Fiona Rigney played in net in the first half and made two saves while Rebecca Nazer came on in the second and was challenged seven times by Burrillville (7-1-1).
Earlier in the week, two second half goals by Stonington proved to be the downfall as the Centaurs fell to the Bears on the road, 2-0. Nazer and Rigney each had four saves for Woodstock Academy in goal.
It was a short week for the field hockey team. the Centaurs and Vikings played extra minutes but neither team could find the cage as the game finished in a scoreless overtime tie. Goalie Ava Basak and defensive player Ainsley Morse both made saves late in the game to help the Centaurs (1-3-2, 1-2-2 ECC) forge the tie with the Vikings (1-3-2, 1-1-1). Coach Lauren Gagnon also credited the play of senior midfielders Elaina Borski, Sofia Murray and Tegan Perry and forward Julia Powell.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy