Lacrosse team
new heights
The Woodstock Academy girls’ lacrosse program finished up its best regular season in program history last week by reaching some newfound heights.
The Centaurs took home a share of the Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II championship and also clinched their first-ever ECC tournament berth with a 16-7 win in Montville May 16.
The girls also downed Wheeler 15-2 before falling to Fitch May 18, 16-6, to finish 13-3.
The Centaurs shared the regular season title with Bacon Academy and Stonington.
“It’s so special. We’re so excited. It’s the first time ever making the ECC tournament and we’re going to go out there and try to win it all,” said junior defensive standout Emma Ciquera.
Junior midfielder Ivy Gelhaus agreed the year has been pretty successful.
“It’s been crazy,” Gelhaus said. “Last year, we had an average record maybe. This year, we’re doing so well. We have (freshman) Bridget (Horst) who has really made a difference. We’re all working together. I think this year we’re more of a team.”
The Centaurs opened ECC tournament play with the semifinals May 15, with the championship game scheduled May 17.
It’s been a “pinch me, I’m dreaming” type of year coach Kathleen Johnson.
“I’m just speechless,” Johnson said. “I can’t sleep at night because my brain is going and going with things that I want to do with these girls. I don’t want the season to stop. I just want it to keep going. There are no words to describe it.”
Johnson added even she could not anticipate the season and how it developed.
“I thought we would have a good season, but I never thought we would be where we are at and that we’re still improving. The girls are on a high, they’re not at a low, they’re not tired, they want to keep going,” Johnson said prior to the matchup with Montville. “Each year is a different group and, sometimes, by the end of the season, you’re hurt, you’re down, but no, they’re working hard.”
The Centaurs came out in that match, knowing what was at stake, and immediately imposed their will.
The Academy scored nine of the first 10 goals with Arielle Johnson getting three of them and both Madison Brennan and Aislin Tracey adding a pair. Both Brennan and Johnson also added an assist.
There was also the play of Horst on the draw.
The freshman dominated in the middle in the beginning of the match, getting the ball often to Gelhaus to set up more scoring opportunities for the Centaurs.
“She is very good,” Ciquera said of the freshman. “I think with her height she can just serve it to herself.”
Or to someone nearby, often Gelhaus.
“It’s really nice knowing that she will win it every time and it will either come to me or go back to her and if I don’t get it, she will,” Gelhaus said.
About the only point of concern for the Centaurs in the match with the Indians came when Mackenzie Ulrich put three unanswered shots into the net to reduce the deficit from eight goals to five, 9-4, for the Indians with 21:15 left in the match.
“I think we got a little too relaxed, got a little too cocky maybe, and stepped back for a few minutes and that’s when they got their goals,” Gelhaus said.
The Centaurs rallied to score the next six including two by Brennan, and one each by Ciquera, Gelhaus, Tracey and Johnson to seal the victory and the trip to the ECC tournament.
“It was one of our goals at the beginning of the season. I think we knew we were really good this year and making it happen was just incredible,” Gelhaus said.
The Centaurs continued their fine play against the Lions Thursday with Emma Redfield getting the hat trick and Tracey adding two goals. To emphasize the offensive balance, 10 other players added goals.
“There are so many good players and every player you pass to, you know they’re going to do something good with the ball. Everyone is reliable. It’s a lot less pressure on you, as an individual, when you know someone else can do something great with the ball,” said Gelhaus.
The Centaurs did run out of gas at the end of the week when they traveled to Fitch for a third straight road game and suffered a one-sided loss. Brennan scored three goals in that contest to end as the regular season goal-scoring leader for the Centaurs with 46 while Horst added 37, Johnson 33 and Gelhaus 21.
Johnson led the team in assists with 16 while Horst contributed 14.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director

RocketTheme Joomla Templates