boys’ prep
soccer team
opens with win
The only thing Woodstock Academy boys’ prep soccer coach Joe Cherackal was hopeful for was a good showing in the season opener.
A win or a loss, outside of how it would affect his player’s mentality, really didn’t matter.
The Centaurs played their first-ever friendly in Rhode Island recently against the MLS New England Revolution U-17 Next team and brought home a 3-2 victory.
“We went there with the hope of playing well enough so that they would play us again,” Cherackal said.
They accomplished that goal.
The Centaurs found themselves a new opponent as they will play again this fall and two more times in the spring.
The team also proved, to the Revolution and themselves, that it was competitive.
“We have players that are of that caliber,” Cherackal said.
The Revolution may even be interested in a couple of the Centaurs players after they finish their year.
“I think we have some more players who fit in that room at the next level,” Cherackal said. “This is all about the platform. Did you perform on that day?”
The Centaurs scored in the first 10 minutes of the match when Niall O’Brien headed in a corner from Marc Ballart Gisbert.
The 1-0 lead remained until early in the second half when Gisbert dribbled the ball down the left flank and cut it back to Jorge Angeles. Angeles’ shot was deflected but the ball soon found its way back to his foot and he wasn’t about to allow the same fate to befall his next shot as he scored 10 minutes into the second half.
Zach Lorenz scored the final goal with about 15 minutes to play.
Cherackal substituted liberally after that to showcase more of his players and the switching led to a pair of Revolution goals.
Playing the match, however, was better than watching it on film.
“We had an intense practice two days after the game and on the following day, sat down to watch the game. None of the kids wanted to watch. I told them video doesn’t lie,” Cherackal said.
While the result, both on the scoreboard and in accomplishing the primary task, was positive, getting to it was not as pleasant.
“I asked them if they understood why I thought we could play better and that we left a lot on the table. We were desperately defending and the game was not played on our terms in the first half. In the second half, we did that better and it was important for them to see that we could play at that level,” Cherackal said.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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