• Centaur Nation

  • Girls soccer celebrates Senior Day with win

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 10/21/2017

    Girls soccer celebrates Senior Day with win

    The girls soccer team honored its seniors and then went out and celebrated Saturday with a 3-0 win over Old Saybrook.

    Prior to the match, the Centaurs recognized seniors Olivia Perry, Isabel Barrett, Kennedy Davignon, Katie McLoughlin, Ciri Miller, Naomi Rivard, and Makara Sorel in pregame ceremonies for their contributions to the program.

    “I think last year we played Old Lyme and lost on Senior Day so this was nice. It makes the whole day a little more special when you win and the seniors got to play a lot, too,” coach Dennis Snelling said.

    The Centaurs had plenty of opportunities early but had to wait until just 10 minutes, 13 seconds were left in the half to get on the scoreboard.

    Aislin Tracey was in the right place at the right time.

    “It was a great cross from Regan (Stuyniski) and I just followed the ball and touched it in,” Tracey said.

    But Tracey wasn’t done.

    She came back with 26:38 left in the match, took a one-touch from Ivy Gelhaus and drilled it through the hands of Old Saybrook keeper Kelsey True for her third goal of the season.

    “She has a nose for the ball. She is always in the right spot and finds a way to get open,” Snelling said.

    The Centaurs added a third goal with just 27 seconds left when True tried to punch a direct kick by Makara Sorel out, but it spun in the opposite direction for Sorel’s fifth goal of the year.

    The win raised the Centaurs record to 11-4 with one match left in the regular season. The Centaurs visit Stonington in a makeup game at 4;30 p.m. Monday.

    “It’s fine,” Snelling said of the record. “We had a harder schedule this year than last and we’re similar in rankings in the state to last year. That’s a positive, because we got better experience.”

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  • PJN Classic comes to The Woodstock Academy

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 10/21/2017

    PJN Classic comes to town

    The PJN Classic, a preseason jamboree of basketball games featuring high school, prep school and community college talent, made its debut at The Woodstock Academy Saturday.

    “It’s a chance to get all of my guys together and having a series of scrimmages and having a good time with it,” Centaurs prep coach Tony Bergeron said.

    The PJN Classic, begun by Bergeron at Commonwealth Academy, is in its fifth season and is held in honor of the memory of Bergeron’s father, Peter J. Nascembeni.

    “We have four days here (this year), Last year, it was about nine days. I think we will end up building it higher and higher as we go,” Bergeron said.

    The tournament began on Saturday, will continue on Sunday, and will continue next weekend.

    The Woodstock Academy Gold Prep team – although it was attired in blue for the event – began the festivities with an 81-51 win over Mass Bay Community College from Wellesley Hills, Mass.

    “It was a great change. We got to play against some new faces with our brothers and we were like a family. I thought it was great,” said Chris Childs who hails from New York City.

    While Childs thought it was great, Bergeron had another adjective in his mind.

    “We were just absolutely atrocious. We have a long way to go. That’s why you have scrimmages so you know what you have to work on,” Bergeron said.

    The Centaurs opened the game by scoring 32 of the first 37 points.

    But Bergeron wanted to see what his charges could do if they didn’t press and when he took the press off, Mass Bay scored 27 of the next 31 points.

    “We stopped executing in the halfcourt,” Bergeron said. “If we left the press on, we would have been fine. But at the end of the day, we have to learn how to play basketball, because in our league, people will be able to get us into a halfcourt game.”

    While Bergeron wasn’t happy with the results of the scrimmage, overall, things have gone well.

    “It’s been a terrific preseason. I absolutely love my group of kids. They want to get better. They want to work so we’re excited,” Bergeron said.

    The Centaurs Blue Prep team made a similarly successful debut. The Gold squad downed Sacred Heart High School of Waterbury, one of the traditionally better programs in the state, 71-34.

    “We came out a little flatter than I wanted, but we ended up getting steals, got into transition and made shots. Our energy after the first few minutes picked up,” Blue team coach Nick DeFeo said.

    DeFeo was happy with a number of his player’s efforts including 6-foot-10 Skylar Kooyenga from Chicago.

    “There is always room for improvement,” Kooyenda said. “We missed some shots, some missed box outs, but I think (the win) shows how much potential the team has as a whole.”

    The tournament is also being used by the coaching staff to make the final determinations as to which team each player will be assigned.

    “We’re still figuring out some stuff through next weekend and after next weekend, we will be solidified: One Gold team, one blue team, nobody moves,” DeFeo said.

    The Gold team plays Springfield Technical Community College on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

    The tournament continues on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28 and 29 at the Alumni Fieldhouse.

    PJN Classic

    Sunday schedule

    10 a.m.: Paolo Friere vs. Windsor

    11:30 a.m. : Woodstock Academy varsity vs. Baystate Charter

    1 p.m.: Paolo Friere vs. Sabis International Charter School

    2:30 p.m.: Woodstock Academy Gold vs. Springfield Technical Community College

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  • Field hockey shut down by Immaculate

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 10/21/2017

    Field hockey shut down by Immaculate

    The Centaurs dominated possession, but couldn’t find the back of the cage and lost to Immaculate, 2-0, in a non-league contest Saturday.

    “We played really, worked hard, played together as a team which we do best, but just couldn’t finish,” coach Lauren Gagnon said.

    The Mustangs (12-1-2) scored a goal in each half.

    Caroline Wax tallied in the first for the Centaurs while Celia Prevez added a second half goal. Madison Halas added an assist for Immaculate.

    The Centaurs (4-8) didn’t allow many shots on keeper Olivia Stanikmas (3 saves), but that’s because freshman Eliza Dutson made seven defensive saves.

    “She’s an absolute animal,” Gagnon said. “She puts it all on the line. One of these days, she is going to get nailed when she is down playing on the ground, but she’s not going to let you get to the goal.”

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  • Hernandez leads Centaurs to big volleyball victory

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 10/21/2017

    Hernandez leads Centaurs to big volleyball victory

    The Woodstock Academy outside hitter Paula Hernandez was fed the ball by Sammie Orlowski during the second game of the Centaurs match with Bristol Eastern Friday.

    The Lancers' defense quickly rotated to her side.

    But The Woodstock Academy sophomore took a quick glance to her right and saw the Lancers leaving the floor open on the other side.

    Hernandez quickly changed plan, sending the ball to the vacated outside spot on the Bristol Eastern side, leaving two Lancers to fall down in a futile effort to try and get to the ball.

    “They had a lot of success blocking her, but she is so smart and she reads the floor so well. She can place the ball, she has that ability, because she understands the game, sees it and reads it so well,” coach Adam Bottone said.

    Hernandez’s arrival from Puerto Rico several weeks ago was a profound addition to the Centaurs.

    On Friday, she had 17 kills and 22 digs to lead The Academy’s volleyball team to its 11th straight win, seventh consecutive by shutout and its first-ever over Bristol Eastern, 3-0.

    “It’s very special,” Hernandez said of the victory. “We are in a rally and trying to maintain it. (Her teammates) told me that we had never beaten (Bristol Eastern) before. It makes me really happy to be part of it for a first time. That’s history.”

    Hernandez came from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island and she, like many others in the same situation, were made immediately eligible by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference because of their plight.

    “I couldn’t have asked for more. They have been such good girls with me and have accepted me on to the team like we’ve been playing together for years. I appreciate that a lot,” Hernandez said.

    Hernandez has been playing volleyball since she was 7-years-old.

    It explains her unique feel for the game.

    “I’ve passed through the hands of a lot of coaches, but I think it’s because of my parents.They have spent the time and money on me and I really appreciate that a lot,” Hernandez said.

    The Centaurs (14-3) trailed briefly at the beginning of the first game but, with Hernandez behind the service line, built a 14-9 lead. The Centaurs traded points with the Lancers (9-7) for the remainder of the game and walked away with the 25-18 win.

    It was the same margin of victory in the second game and the Centaurs put it away with a 25-22 win in game three.

    “The most we had ever taken from them (last year) was one set so to beat them 3-0 is pretty amazing,” Bottone said.

    Everything pretty much went the Centaurs way.

    “That’s a rarity for us,” Bottone said with a laugh. “Defensively, we were phenomenal. The play at the net sometimes wasn’t but the back was phenomenal. They laid out, got to everything and the rolls went our way.”

    Sammie Orlowski added 22 assists to the effort while libero Maddy Gronski had 14 digs and nine service points.

    The Centaurs have another big match on Monday.

    They host Montville and, with a win, clinch a share of their first Eastern Connecticut Conference divisional championship since 2000.

    Killingly has already clinched a share of the Division II crown.

    It’s also Senior Night for the Centaurs.

    The game will be broadcast on both spreaker.com and livestream.com. The spreaker broadcast is available on the Woodstock Academy website under the athletic banner under live broadcasts.

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  • Football falls to Griswold

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 10/20/2017

    Football falls to Griswold

     A 22-point second quarter blitz by the Wolverines proved to be too much for the Centaurs who lost to Griswold in Jewett City on Friday, 41-13.

    The Centaurs (2-4) played the Wolverines tough in the first quarter, allowing just one Griswold score. But the Wolverines (4-2), winners of their last three games, poured it on in the second quarter to take the 28-point halftime lead.

    The Academy scored both of its touchdowns in the third quarter.

    Kameron Janice (17 carries, 126 yards) rushed for his 16th touchdown of the season and Derek Thompson (2-for-13 passing, 32 yards) hit Jacob Straub for a 28-yard touchdown pass.

    Straub also led the defense for the Centaurs with seven tackles.

    The Academy is back in action at 6 p.m. on Friday night when it takes on rival Quinebaug Valley (2-4) at the St.Marie-Greenhalgh Field in Putnam.

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  • Boys CC does as expected in ECC championship

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 10/20/2017


    Boys Cross-Country does as expected at ECC championship

    Freshman Ethan Aspiras knew where he had to improve as soon as he came off the course at the Eastern Connecticut Conference cross-country championship Thursday.

    “He told me that ‘I need hill workouts for the summer, Coach.’ I told him just to relax. He said, ‘No, you have to tell me right now,’” Centaurs coach Peter Lusa said.

    Aspiras was clearly disappointed about his performance on the Norwich Golf Course.

    With about a mile left, the freshman was in about 15th place.

    He finished in 38th.

    “I told him, ‘Dude, you got passed by a lot of upperclassmen,’” Lusa said.

    Aspiras finished in 19 minutes, 35 seconds.

    “I went up the first hill and thought I could do it and then I saw the next hill and every other hill. You went up one hill and you saw another.”

    Aspiras, obviously, doesn’t like hills.

    But he got a second wind and in the last 100 meters, passed about 10 runners to get into the top 40.

    Kenneth Birlin was next in 20:21 in 59th place to help the Centaurs finish in 12th place as a team.

    “Neither of them did enough summer running, so if they both do that, they will just naturally merge. Although Ethan has really good turnover and he could keep the gap open. I need our fifth guy to be closer to the front,” Lusa said.

    Overall, the team has been bothered by injuries and Lusa said the finishes were about the expected from his runners.

    Woodstock runners in ECC championship: 38. Ethan Aspiras; 59. Kenneth Birlin; 71. Evan Gianfriddo; 75. Nate Reothlein;  80. Spencer Collins; 90. Jackson Dias; 103. Dan Crème.

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  • Field hockey falls to Stonington

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 10/20/2017

    Field hockey falls in Stonington

    The Centaurs had another good first half against the Bears, only to see Stonington rally in the second half for a 5-1 win Thursday.

    Haley Armstrong scored her second goal of the season which helped The Academy (4-7, 4-6 Eastern Connecticut Conference) forge aq 1-1 tie at the half.

    The Bears (11-3, 10-0) took 11 shots on the Woodstock cage in the second half and scored on four occasions.

    Olivia Stanikmas had 12 saves for the Centaurs.

    Hannah Reynolds made four defensive saves.

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  • Girls soccer falls to Wildcats

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 10/20/2017

    Girls soccer falls to Wildcats

    The last 4 minutes, 57 seconds of the first half Thursday will be something that Centaurs coach Dennis Snelling would rather forget.

    The Woodstock Academy gave up three goals in that span and lost to Old Lyme, 3-0.

    Irene Askitis had two saves for the Centaurs (10-4).

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  • Football gets ready for Griswold tonight

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 10/20/2017

    Football gets ready for Griswold tonight

    There have been plenty of talking points for head football coach Sean Saucier this week.

    Mindset, winning attitude, and competing to name a couple.

    Oh and the double-wing offense of the Griswold Wolverines of course.

    The Centaurs play their second Eastern Connecticut Conference opponent of the season at 6:30 p.m. tonight in Griswold.

    The Wolverines come in with a 3-2 record and have won their last two games against the CREC Cooperative (38-34) and Montville (14-10), two teams who have beaten the Centaurs this season.

    Griswold features the talents of Bryce Mileski and Devaughn Luty in the offensive backfield.

    “They’re quick. We’ve watched them on film, but we’re going to focus on what is in our control; our assignments, our techniques and our attitude,” Saucier said.

    The Wolverines downed the Centaurs last season, 35-22.

    “They are seasoned football players. It’s kind of the ECC mentality. The kids have been playing together for a long time and are pretty well oiled. We have to compete, we have to be physical and we have to try and put some points up,” Saucier said.

    The Centaurs (2-3) are coming off a pair of disappointing losses.

    Amherst, Mass. and CREC both scored victories over The Academy by the same margin – eight points.

    Saucier will have the talents of Caleb Feen back this week after he suffered a torn muscle in the Amherst game.

    However, it’s a one-for-one trade as Seth Benoit will not be suited up this week after suffering a back injury against CREC.

    “We talk a lot about being the underdog and embracing that role,” Saucier said. “We haven’t backed down. Whether it was against Montville or even CREC, which probably had 30 pounds on us across the board, this young group doesn’t back down. They’re pretty courageous. That’s a nice thing.”

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  • Boys soccer finishes regular season

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 10/20/2017

    Centaurs finish regular season with victory

    Jack Gelhaus scored his fifth goal of the season and Eli Child added his second to help the Centaurs shutout Old Lyme, 2-0, and finish the regular season with a 10-5-1 record.

    Gelhaus scored on a free kick halfway through the first half.

    Child added the insurance goal 10 minutes into the second half from 25 yards out.

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