Free Kick
Cole Hackett (10) stretches out his leg on a free kick for Woodstock Academy Sept. 29. Photo by Marc Allard.

The Woodstock Academy boys’ soccer team continues to hover around the break-even mark for the season.
The Centaurs went 1-1 against Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I opponents last week to raise their overall mark to 4-4-1.They also picked up a win over Waterford which raised their record to 3-1 in Division II of the Eastern Connecticut Conference.
One-goal decisions were the theme of the week as all three matches came down to a single tally.
The Centaurs celebrated Homecoming Sept. 29 with a hard fought, 2-1, overtime victory over Norwich Free Academy at the Bentley Athletic Complex.
Ethan Holcomb scored off a pass from Matt LaBounty with four minutes left in overtime to lift the Centaurs to the win.
“It was a cool finish,” Woodstock Academy coach Paul Rearden said of the game-winning goal. “The boys finished strong after a rocky period where NFA really tested our desire and confidence.”
Woodstock Academy took the lead early on an Eric Phongsa tally just 4 minutes, 3 seconds into the match.
Phongsa sent one in from 25 yards out that found the back of the net.
But it would be all the scoring in regulation for the Centaurs.
The Wildcats (2-6) tied it up with 3:12 left in the first half on a Micah Spruance goal.
The Wildcats had the better of the play in the second half, doubling the number of shots that the Centaurs took, but were robbed of a couple of opportunities by Centaurs keeper Isidro de Icaza.
“It was great to see the boys ride the storm, take the momentum and find a way to win,” Rearden said.
Against East Lyme, Alejandro Quintas Gonzalez broke a scoreless tie with a goal 10 minutes into the second half.
But sometimes a team is most prone to be scored upon shortly after it scores.
That was the case Sept. 26.
The Vikings tied the game 1 minute after Gonzalez’s goal and added another with eight minutes left to post the 2-1 victory on their home field.
The Centaurs had their chances in the first half.
Jack Butler hit the post just 10 minutes into the match.
Huck Gelhaus, Sean Rearden, Gonzalez, and Aaron Johnson also had decent scoring chances but nothing found its way through until the Gonzalez tally in the second half.
Gonzalez’s goal came off a free kick where he curled the ball into the upper-right corner.
The equalizer came when Kurt Mahlke took a cross from Alec Kosinski and put it past Centaurs’ keeper Jack Lotter just about a minute after the Gonzalez goal.
The Vikings had to wait for the game-winner until under 10 minutes remained when Cooper Pazzaglia cut the ball back from the left side of the penalty area and found an open Kosinski.
The week started the way it ended, with a closely-contested match in Waterford.
Reid Butler had the only tally of the match for Woodstock Academy as the Centaurs posted the 1-0 victory over the Lancers.
Butler fired a left-footed shot from just inside the penalty area with eight seconds left that eluded Lancers’ keeper Esteban Reyes and gave the Centaurs the victory.
The goal came off a pretty back flick from Gonzalez.
Reyes made seven saves for Waterford including one which impressed Rearden.
“He had a tremendous one-handed save on a tremendous strike from Ethan Holcomb and then, a couple of minutes later, on another nice shot by Chase Anderson. (Reyes) was beginning to look unbeatable,” the Woodstock Academy coach said.
The weather did play a role in the game.
“The windy conditions made the game look a little untidy at times, but the boys held firm and for the second consecutive game, didn’t make any mistakes,” Rearden said.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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