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  • Weekly Roundup: Child experiences career highlight in boys golf

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 5/20/2018

    Weekly Roundup: Child experiences career highlight in boys golf

    Getting that first eagle on the golf course may not quite be the thrill of getting a hole-in-one.

    But it’s pretty close.

    Senior Eli Child had that experience on Thursday in a 7-0 win for the boys golf team at the Chanticlair Golf Course in Colchester.

    Child holed out from 116 yards out to get the deuce and his first-ever eagle.

     “I was thrilled for him,” Centaurs boys golf coach Rich Garceau said. “He has worked so hard to improve his game to the point that he could pull off such a great shot.  When you think that he could find and hit a target that is only 4 1/4 inches in diameter from that far out, it shows what a game he has.  My disappointment is that I was with another group on the course when it happened so I missed it.  When I was walking in to the ninth hole, I knew something good must have happened because Eli and his playing partner, Jack Gelhaus, were walking backwards toward me after their round and met me in the middle of the ninth fairway.  It was a great part of a great win down at Bacon.”

    Gelhaus led the Centaurs (10-7, 4-3 ECC Division II) with a 39 including five pars and a birdie while both Child and Mason Stewart carded a 40 in the win.

    It was a good victory considering it came on the heels of losses to both East Lyme and Old Lyme last Wednesday at the Old Lyme Country Club.

    The Centaurs fell to the Vikings 6 ½- ½ and to Old Lyme, 5 ½ - ½.

    “The Old Lyme Country Club was founded over a hundred years ago and back then the equipment and construction practices led to the creation of some cramped golf courses. It’s one of those. It is a course that if you grip it and rip it you can quickly find yourself in trouble.  It is not like any other course we play in the ECC and because of it leads to some very high scores for such a short golf course.  Old Lyme requires very precise placement of tee shots to give good approach angles into greens.  We had some wayward tee shots that led to our higher than hoped for scores.  The greens at Old Lyme tend to be very slow which is a big adjustment from our relatively fast greens that we are used to at Quinnatisset.  When we go to Old Lyme, we know we will have to make many adjustments to be competitive and, unfortunately, we were unable to fully do that,” Garceau said.

    There were no eagles or birdies for the Centaurs as Gelhaus settled for a 40 while Child, Stewart and Owen Borski all came in at 46.

    Garceau said the loss was an anomaly as the Centaurs have been playing pretty well going into the final week and a half of the season prior to the Eastern Connecticut Conference championship on May 31 at Quinnatisset.

    “Things are looking good.  Other than the East Lyme match we have been playing relatively well.  We have on the road far more than at home but we will finish our season with three straight home matches and if the weather cooperates should be able to fit more practices into that time period before the ECC tournament and State tournament than we have had all year up to now.  With play at home and more practice time than we have had, we should be in relatively good position to be competitive in the ECC tournament and make a run at qualifying for and playing well at Fairview Farms for the state tournament,” Garceau said.

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  • Weekly Roundup: Girls golf honors seniors

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 5/20/2018

    Weekly Roundup: Girls golf honors seniors

    It’s a tradition that many high school teams partake in prior to the final home game of the season- Senior Day.

    It’s a chance to honor those, many who have been a part of the program for four years, prior to their departure.

    Fortunately for the  girls golf team, it wasn’t a lengthy program, because the longer it is, the more athletes are leaving the program.

    The Centaurs will be saying bye to only two seniors when the season concludes, Caroline Eaton and Caitlin Cannon. The two golfers were honored prior to the match with East Lyme and Bacon Academy on Thursday where the Centaurs captured wins against both.

    They have both been a huge part of the team, Caitlin for four years and Caroline for three,” Centaurs coach Earl Semmelrock said. “Caitlin was a new golfer in her freshman year. Like most new golfers she struggled at first but really set her mind to figuring out what it takes to improve and has been in almost all of our varsity matches for the last four years. Caroline joined the team after leaving thje track program following her freshman year and was a natural at the sport. I believe that she has competed in every varsity match for her entire time with the team. They have both been a joy to coach.”

    Both celebrated their day in style at the Quinnatisset Country Club in Thompson.

    Eaton shot a 46 for the low score of the afternoon and Cannon was second best with a 51. Those two scores, plus a pair of 55’s for Linda St. Laurent and Katherine Harrington, gave the Centaurs a 207 total, better than both the Bobcats (233) and Vikings (246).

    The Centaurs completed a little home-and-home series with the Bobcats on Friday with a 220-234 win over Bacon Academy at the Chanticlair Golf Course in Colchester.

    The win gave the Centaurs a 5-2 record in the Eastern Connecticut Conference and a 7-6 mark overall.

    “We accomplished our goal of getting over the .500 mark,” Semmelrock said. “What was most pleasing was that I was able to get some of the new kids into the lineup and watch them perform under match conditions yet still play well enough to win. It is very difficult to go from practicing without the pressure of being in the match to have to step up and try to have your score contribute to the team’s success.”

    Semmelrock added that the team played against Bacon Academy with three freshmen and two sophomores and only one of the seniors.

    St. Laurent finished with her best round of the season, a 48, while Eaton and Kailey LaChappelle both carded a 56.

    The Centaurs finish up the regular season on Thursday with a match at the Norwich Golf Course against Norwich Free Academy.

    The Centaurs then get one more crack at ECC regular season champion, Waterford, in the ECC championship match at Quinnatisset on May 29.

    “They are a veteran team with a lot of talent in the top three positions,” Semmelrock said of Waterford. “We would love to win our fourth consecutive ECC trophy, but it will take our best effort. If the girls show the consistency that we have been working on in practice, it certainly is possible.”

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  • Weekly roundup: Baseball heads into postseason

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 5/20/2018

      Weekly roundup: Baseball heads into postseason

    The baseball team finished up its regular season on Thursday, happy in the knowledge that the season isn’t over.

    The Centaurs, with a final mark of 9-11, qualified for both the Eastern Connecticut Conference and Class L state tournaments, two of their goals for the season and something they were very satisfied to accomplish although not entirely content yet.

    “You always want more,” coach Brian Murphy said of the final record. “The kids did a good job winning nine games. There are probably two or three games that we thought we should have won but we didn’t. We just have to get a little better on defense. We need a little more pitching. A couple of guys gave us some great innings this year in Luke (Mathewson), Eric (Preston) and Tommy (Li) when he was healthy. We’re a little thin in that department now but, they battled, won nine games, made the state tournament and that’s an accomplishment in itself.”

    Mathewson was a key to the season.

    The junior right-hander finished with a 3-3 record, pitching 53 innings for the Centaurs, giving up 55 hits, with an excellent strikeout-to-walk ratio – 66 strikeouts with only 10 bases on balls offered up.

    “Luke is a grinder,” Murphy said. “The strikeout to walk ratio is amazing. I know he’s going to battle but he has exceeded my expectations on the mound. He’s done a great job. When he is strong and healthy and on the right rest, he’s just tough.”

    Just ask Montville.

    The Centaurs finished the regular season in what has been typical fashion for them. They scored a nice win over the Indians, 3-2, last Wednesday, only to fall to Fitch on Senior Day, 10-0, Thursday in a game that lasted only five innings.

    Mathewson was spot on against Montville.

    He went the distance on the hill against a good-hitting Indians’ team, giving up just five hits with five strikeouts, no walks and just two earned runs.

    The Centaurs were able to scratch out three runs of their own, all in the fourth inning.

    Mathewson, who is also hitting .450, helped himself.

    Li led off the inning with a single and Preston followed by drawing his 17th walk of the season. That brought up Mathewson who ripped his ninth double of the year and drove in both runners, giving him 19 RBIs.

    The game-winning single was delivered by senior third baseman Cam Lotter.

    The win denied the Indians a chance to clinch a share of the ECC Division II regular-season title.

    “I told the kids that Montville had a lot on the line (Thursday). It’s our day. It’s our field. Let’s play a solid game and take it to them and they did. They played their hearts out, played a great game. Montville is an excellent hitting team and finally, after struggling defensively all year, we made plays. Not only the ones we were supposed to, but probably some that we shouldn’t have made, those were great plays. That was sweet,” Murphy said.

    But that sweetness turned a little sour when the Falcons came to the Bentley Complex on Friday and scored five runs in each of the second and third innings.

    The Centaurs never responded.

    The Academy mustered only four hits against the Falcons.

    Peter Spada and Lotter singled in the third inning and both Preston and Mathewson singled in the fourth, but the Centaurs never plated a run.

    “It was one of those games that you say, ‘We’re going to hit this (pitcher).’ We hit some hard balls, they did too, and they had the ones that found the holes, we didn’t. It wasn’t the best hitting performance we’ve had,” Murphy said.

    But the nice part is that there will be a tomorrow for the Centaurs who can’t pack away the uniforms yet.

    Murphy, however, is still not totally satisfied and doesn’t think his players should be either.

    “It’s not just getting in, not just getting to the show, it’s winning. You take it game-by-game and, hopefully, we can get some wins and finish on a high note,” Murphy said.

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  • Weekly roundup: Girls lacrosse team wraps up wildly successful regular season

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 5/20/2018

    Weekly roundup: Girls lacrosse team wraps up wildly successful regular season

     

    The 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 Wednesday.

    The girls also downed Wheeler 15-2 before falling to Fitch on Frday, 16-6, to finish 13-3.

    “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 player Emma Ciquera.

    Junior midfielder Ivy Gelhaus agreed the year has been special.

    “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 open ECC tournament play with the semifinals on Tuesday, with the championship game scheduled for Thursday.

    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 is 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. “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,” Johnson said prior to the Montville match.

    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 getting 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.”

    “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 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.

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  • Weekly Roundup: Track teams prep for championship meets

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 5/13/2018

    Paula Herrnandez

     

    Paula Hernandez throws the javelin 99 feet against Waterford last Wednesday.

     

    Weekly Roundup: Track teams prep for championship meets

    The outdoor track season is headed into its final stages.

    The Centaurs boys and girls track teams finish up the season with a meet in Killingly on Tuesday against the Redmen, Stonington and Putnam.

    It is the last regular season meet of the year and it will be followed closely behind by the Eastern Connecticut Conference championships on Saturday at East Lyme High School.

    “It should be fine,”  boys coach Pete Lusa said of the short interval between meets. “Frankly, we were concerned with there being too much time between (the) Waterford ( meet last Wednesday) and the ECC (championship) Saturday . I was hoping for our make-up meet at Killingly to be on Monday instead of Tuesday, however it was not to be,”

    Lusa feels the Centaurs will have a couple of athletes who will be able to make an impact come Saturday.

    Mark Dumas (shotput), Connor Huda (discus), and Natanael Colon (sprints) could all place in the conference championship meet.

    The girls team could have a few more in the mix.

    “Championship meets have different rules and scoring than dual or tri- meets, I do think we can make some noise (Saturday),” coach John Ywarsky said. “Kennedy Davignon should score in the 100 and 200 (meters).  Ashleigh Angle will score in shotput and 300 hurdles.  Eliza Dutson may score in 300 hurdles and javelin.  If Maddie Grube nails down (the) triple (jump), she could get us points in it, the long jump, and 100 hurdles.  That's not even counting distance, where Stella DiPippo, if she is healthy, can contend in the 1,600 and 3,200 (meters). Hannah Matsas and Megan Gohn should score, and Alexia Bourbeau could sneak into the scoring for the 3,200 as well. I'd like to see us get into the top five or six teams.  I think we're a year away from really being a top three team, but we should definitely have success.”

    The Centaurs celebrated Senior Day during their last home meet last week.

    The girls just lost to Waterford on the South Campus track, 80-70.

    “I’m fairly happy with their performance,” Ywarsky said. “The result really came down to relays, flipping the results would have guaranteed at least a tie with Waterford.  Distance did well, despite our number one runner (DiPippo) being sidelined.”

    The Centaurs (1-3, 1-2 ECC Div. II) won the 4x100 meter relay, but lost in both the 4x400 and 4x800.

    Gohn captured the 1,600 meter while Matsas took first in the 3,200.

    Grube was a winner in both the long and triple jumps while Lindsay O’Dea placed first in the high jump.

    The Centaurs also did well in the throws.

    Paula Hernandez led a sweep of the javelin with a throw of 99-feet.

    “Hernandez is starting to get the hang of her events; her performance in javelin and shot have improved since the first meet.” Ywarsky said. “We currently have three girls who can throw javelin over 90 feet; Hernandez, Eliza Dutson, and Rachel Salmon.”

    The boys were paced by Colon who won all three sprint events, but the Centaurs fell short to the Lancers 85-65.

    Colon won the 100m (11.18 seconds); 200m (23.3) and 400m (52.8).

    “Natanael is coming into his own on the track. He is focused and challenging himself to achieve his best times. Senior year has a way of assisting that focus and drive, and for an athlete with his ability, it is the perfect environment,” Lusa said.

    Dumas won the shot with a throw of 46 feet, 3 inches while Huda captured the discus, hurling it 117-5.

    “Both Connor and Mark are seniors that have been steadily working to improve all their years of track. They watch the other athletes progress via the internet and they stay focused. They also have each other on the team for a little inter-squad rivalry,” Lusa said.

    Lucas Couture cleared the pole vault in 9-6 to capture first-place honors for the Centaurs (0-4, 0-3).

     

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  • Weekly Roundup: Tennis teams gear up for tournament time

    Posted by Marc Allardm, Sports Information Director on 5/13/2018

    Weekly Roundup: Tennis teams gear up for tournament time

    Clara Siegmund can not believe her high school years are rapidly coming to an end.

    Last Thursday, the girls tennis program celebrated Senior Day during their last scheduled home match at the Bentley Athletic Complex.

    Siegmund was one of those who was honored.

    “So fast, so insanely fast,” Siegmund said of the last four years of her young life. “I was, literally, just thinking about that. Senior Day is here, it’s just crazy.”

    Siegmund, the No. 1 singles player for the Centaurs was talking after she had just handed Killingly’s Julia Massey a 6-1, 6-0 defeat and helped the Centaurs to a 6-1 victory over the Redgals last Thursday.

    “It’s such a good feeling to win on Senior Day. You feel accomplished for your whole season even though we have a couple of weeks left, it’s such a good feeling to know that you are ending at home on a good note,” Siegmund said.

    Woodstock Academy coach Ann Rathbone said Siegmund has been a rock for the Centaurs.

    “Clara has just been the heart and soul of the team for past couple of years,” Rathbone said. “She wears her heart on her sleeve and is very passionate about tennis and her teammates.  She has endured the highs and lows of playing at the No. 1 singles slot and has represented The Academy with great class on and off the court.”

    Siegmund will be headed to Rhode Island College in the fall and plans to continue to play tennis.

    “I’ve been texting coach (Adam Spring) about my season, his season. He’s such a great guy. I could not be more excited,” Siegmund said.

    The Centaurs also boast two other seniors in the girls starting lineup, Ellie Chervenkova and Sam Sheldon.

    “Ellie is like the (silent) assassin. She’s quiet but can be quite deadly to her opponents as she is a hard-working, steady player who has been an integral part of the team for the past four years.   Sam has turned herself into a good little player.  She is great at working with the younger players and showing them the ropes.  Sam is just such a positive, kind presence and such a pleasure to have on our team,” Rathbone said.

    There is still plenty more to look forward to over the next couple of weeks.

    The Centaurs girls program still has four matches to come this week, all on the road, at St. Bernard, Ledyard, Montville and Stonington.

    Next week, some of the squad will take on Northwest Catholic on Tuesday while those like Siegmund will be playing in the Eastern Connecticut Conference championship tournament.

    “I think we’re ready,” Siegmund said of the ECC championship which will take place in Stonington. “I think myself and (No. 2 singles player) Mari (Ruggeri) will go pretty far. I really think I have a chance of making the final. I was No. 4 last year in the ECC and had to play (Stonington’s) Gabby (Dellacono) in the semifinals. I can really see myself being No. 2 in the ECC, it’s one of my goals.”

    Siegmund got a taste last week of what she is in for should she get that far.

    The Centaurs hosted Stonington and lost to the Bears, 7-0, at the Bentley Athletic Complex.

    Siegmund fell to Dellacono 6-0, 6-1.

    “I think it was the most beneficial match I played all year, Siegmund said. “I feel like I left everything I had out there and I got one game. That’s more than I was expecting.”

    Rathbone agreed with Siegmund saying the tough competition, especially at this time of year, can only be beneficial.

    “I do believe it makes us more battle-tested heading into the post-season and what doesn't kill the kids, makes them stronger and they need that mental strength come tourney time,” Rathbone said.

    The Bears clinched a tie for the ECC Division II title with that win. They clinch the title outright if they can beat the Centaurs again, in Stonington this time, on Friday.

    The Academy did rally after that loss.

    It posted wins over New London, Killingly and Fitch to raise its record to 11-3.

    Boys tennis

    The boys tennis team had similar results.

    It lost to Stonington, 6-1, which gave the Bears the Division II championship.

    Matt Tiffany and Aidan Stewart scored a 6-4, 6-2 win over Quinn Hamilton and Ben Anderson at No. 1 doubles to account for the Centaurs only win.

    The boys team also downed Killingly and Fitch by the same score, 5-2, to raise its record to 7-6.

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  • Weekly Roundup: Girls lacrosse team on cusp of Division title and tourney berth

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 5/13/2018

     

     

    Girls lacrosse

    Centaurs' senior Madison Brennan with Mom, Amy, and brother, Kyle, celebrate Senior Day at the South Campus turf field Friday

     

    Weekly Roundup: Girls lacrosse team on cusp of division title and tourney berth

    About three weeks into the season, girls lacrosse coach Kathleen Johnson made the decision to move senior Madison Brennan from midfield to attack.

    The move has proven to be very beneficial for the program.

    Coming into the week, the Centaurs were on the verge of qualifying for the Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament for a first time ever.

    That and a share of the ECC Division II title can be had with a win on the road against Montville on Tuesday.

    And their 10-2 record has also qualified them for the state tournament for just the second time in program history.

    Leading the way has been the lone senior on the team.

    Brennan scored six goals and added an assist on Friday in a 14-3 win over St. Bernard.

    It was her way of celebrating Senior Day.

    “I wanted to win on Senior Day, who doesn’t want to win on their Senior Day. That’s what we did, it was a team effort,” Brennan said.

    Johnson said it has been a special year for Brennan.

    The move to the front line was afforded by the addition of some capable players including freshman Bridget Horst.

    “It’s great to have her on attack. She has been able to use her skills scoring goals. That’s great because she has played all four years. I coached her (in Pomfret recreation) so she played before she got to The Academy and she’s also going to play in college. It’s awesome to see her development as a player,” Johnson said.

    Brennan feels she has found a position that is more natural for her.

    “Ever since I’ve moved to attack, I think I have got better at scoring,” Brennan said.

    Brennan is an easy target to find.

    She stands 5-feet-9 and has long arms which helps her get her stick above the fray in close to the goal.

    She is also very athletic and fast and is able to make the quick cuts necessary in a sport dictated by such abilities.

    “Saving her speed to cut and be able to attack the goal is so key because, sometimes, as a midfielder, running the entire field, you don’t always have your legs underneath you to make those quick cuts. I think it’s just a great fit for her and it’s just been awesome,” Johnson said.

    Johnson said she wanted to feel things out at the beginning of the year before making the move, switching Brennan to the front line at the end of April.

    “I have such confidence in my midfield at all times, it freed up Maddie to really have that target and have her speed and great stick skills on attack,” Johnson said.

    Brennan has responded to the move with 36 goals for the Centaurs this season including 16 last week.

    But this season is hardly over yet.

    The Centaurs have done some special things.

    Just last week, they posted their first-ever win over Stonington, a 10-5 win under the lights last Tuesday.

    “The Stonington win was unbelievable,” Johnson said. “It was the best game of the year. The girls were amazing. The team chemistry and the bench just cheering the team on and the team defense was  just out of this world.”

    Brennan scored six goals in that win while Horst added a couple. Emma Redfield and Aislin Tracey also scored.

    But that win may have contributed a little bit to what happened next.

    On Thursday, the Centaurs suffered a rare loss this season to Bacon Academy in Colchester, 10-9, on a grass field.

    “The grass was very uneven while the turf is one level and it’s easier to get ground balls. They definitely had the advantage on ground balls and it’s a lot slower on grass. We are very quick team so (Thursday) was very hard for us,” Brennan said.

    Johnson said it didn’t help that the Centaurs had a couple of calls go against her team late and were playing a man down for the last four minutes.

    “I always say a loss is a good learning lesson, it’s a reason to reflect on what we need to work on and move forward,” Johnson said.

    Brennan scored four goals in that game while Gelhaus added three.

    The Centaurs returned home to South Campus on Friday and scored the first five goals, two of them by Brennan, but they led only 5-2 at the half.

    Four goals in the first nine minutes of the second half put the win away for the Centaurs.

    “We definitely wanted to bounce back from that loss because we worked really hard (Thursday) but couldn’t come out with the win, sadly,” Brennan said.

    Redfield added two goals while Peyton Saracina added a goal and an assist.

    Then the team got to celebrate the fruit of their labor.

    Senior Day meant a cookout was in store after the game.

    For Brennan, it wasn’t her first Senior Day since she also celebrated one in basketball, but it was her last.

    “It’s pretty sad. I’m going to miss playing high school sports, but I’m going to continue to play lacrosse in college so I will still have it with me,” Brennan said.

    The senior won’t be going too far away. She has been accepted at and will play lacrosse for Worcester State.

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  • Weekly Roundup: Golf teams get ready for stretch run

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 5/13/2018

     

    Mason Stewart boys golf

     

    Mason Stewart tees off on the 12th hole during the Wildcat Invitational Golf Tournament at the Norwich Golf Course last Monday

     

    Weekly Roundup: Golf teams get ready for stretch run

    It’s a different mindset.

    For the first time this season, the boys golf team had to compete for 18 holes at the Wildcat Invitational at the Norwich Golf Course rather than the nine holes that is traditionally played in a high school match.

    “It’s a different animal,” coach Rich Garceau said. “It’s an endurance test. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and so it does help the guys develop that mental toughness. You can see, sometimes, the guys mentally fatigue.”

    Another difference from a normal day on the course was that teams were limited to four players and all scores counted. There was no opportunity to throw out the high score.

    The Centaurs went into the tournament with a goal.

    Garceau wanted to have four players under 90.

    The Centaurs came close.

    Jack Gelhaus finished with a 79, Mason Stewart carded an 88 and Eli Child came in just under the red line at 89.

    Those numbers meant the Centaurs finished ninth as a team with a 350-stroke total. That was well behind the winner of the 46th annual event, Xavier, which finished with a 297.

    “It wasn’t too bad,” Gelhaus said of his round. “The greens were pretty hard and hard to read and I had three three-putts which isn’t good. But it was a hard course and we were playing from the tips (the blue tees). It’s never going to be an easy day.”

    Gelhaus also had another handicap.

    The senior had to wear a back brace after suffering another injury playing soccer the day before the tournament.

    Gelhaus was forced to miss the season-opening match this year after taking a soccer cleat to the face.

    “It didn’t hurt too bad except on the drive, the drivers killed me,” Gelhaus said of his latest injury.

    It has not been the easiest of seasons for Gelhaus, not only because of the injuries.

    Going into the Wildcat, he had only broken 40 once.

    “It’s been a tough year, my irons haven’t been there, but (Woodstock’s home course) Quinnatisset hasn’t opened its range yet (that happened late last week). It’s always tough without the range open,” Gelhaus said.

    The team total said to Garceau that the Centaurs were “OK” right now.

    “We still have a little bit of work to do,” Garceau said.

    He, like Gelhaus, was excited to know that the driving range at their home course had opened so the team could get some work in.

    “It’s not often that I’m excited about going to the driving range or the putting green, but that’s what we need,” Garceau said. “We’re close, but we’re not where should be or want to be. We’re not where the guys want to be. Hopefully, we can work some of the kinks out in practice and get to where we need to be to make the (Eastern Connecticut Conference) tournament (on May 31) more competitive for us especially since it’s at Quinnatisset.”

    The Centaurs returned to the course on Wednesday of last week and suffered a 7-0 loss to Killingly, which finished second at the Wildcat Invitational.

    Despite the loss, the practice showed.

    Gelhaus shot a season low 37 and Stewart also had his best effort of the year, a 39.

    The Centaurs (9-5, 3-3 Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II) also got a 41 from Child and a 45 from Robert Maheu.

    The Centaurs had three matches scheduled for this week with one at home against Montville on Tuesday before going on the road to East Lyme and Bacon Academy on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Girls golf

    A little practice is starting to make for better things for the young Centaurs girls team.

    It shot its lowest team total of the season, a 199, against Glastonbury last Wednesday at Quinnatisset.

    It didn’t produce a win as Glastonbury shot a 187, but it did show the team’s potential.

    A little practice time goes a long way especially for the new players,” coach Earl Semmelrock said. “The practice time is what everyone needed.  The away scores are still higher than we would like but many of the new girls with limited experience on the course are seeing these new courses for the first time. You can tell them what to expect but once they get out on the course it is in their hands to navigate the course and post the best score possible.  I am really proud and pleased with the effort from all the girls.”

    The Centaurs started last week with a second-place finish at the girls Wildcat Invitational. Unlike the boys, the girls played only nine holes. Instead of the 16 schools and 21 teams that showed up for the boys, only four teams were on hand for the girls at the Norwich Golf Course.

    The Centaurs finished with a 226 total, 12 strokes behind the winner, Waterford, in the first meeting of the week with the Lancers.

    Caroline Eaton and Linda St. Laurent both shot a 57 for the Centaurs.

    Those numbers got better on Wednesday.

    Eaton shot a 46 and St. Laurent a season-best 49 in the loss to Glastonbury.

    The low scores came despite newly aerated greens at Quinnatisset.

    While that didn’t bother them in that match, it came into play on Friday when the Centaurs traveled to the Great Neck Country Club in New London.

    “When you go from aerated greens, full of sand, to fast non-aerated greens like we had (Friday), it’s hard to adjust to the drastic change in speed. That certainty had an effect on our score,” Semmelrock said.

    The Centaurs were back over 200, finishing with a 228, well shy of Waterford which captured the ECC regular season championship with a 197 total.

    “They have a very strong top of the lineup.  Three girls that usually score in the low-to-mid 40’s and can go lower than that.  Their No. 1 player is very talented,” Semmelrock said.

    Both teams defeated Bacon Academy.

    Caitlin Cannon was best for the Centaurs with a 53.

    The Centaurs have a 4-6 overall record and a 2-2 mark in ECC play and head into a pretty busy week.

    ”With four matches this week, our goal is to close out the season with a winning record,” Semmelrock said. “We actually get an entire week and a few days of practice before the ECC Championship (on Tuesday, May 29) that we host at Quinnatisset. If all the young ladies play up to their potential we could be right in the mix for the tournament title.”

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  • Weekly Roundup: Boys lacrosse still has some work to do

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 5/13/2018

    Weekly Roundup: Boys lacrosse still has some work to do

    The high school boys lacrosse season is rapidly drawing to a close.

    The final regular season game for the Centaurs is Saturday against Griswold.

    If the Centaurs don’t want it to be their last game, period, of the season, they need to win three of the four games they have scheduled for the week.

    The Centaurs are still stuck on four wins in the 12 games that they have played.

    “Just to get a play-in game, we need three more wins,” first-year coach Michael Noel said. “The good thing is, we can have three wins if these guys play up to their talent.”

    The Centaurs, coming into the week, have a game against the Norwich Tech-Windham Tech cooperative on Monday, a program they have already beaten, 12-9, this season.

    They also play host to Montville on Tuesday.

    The Indians downed the Centaurs earlier this year, 6-5.

    And then, on Thursday, a home game against St. Paul Catholic.

    The Bristol-based school has posted a 12-1 record this season. In those 12 wins, St. Paul has outscored its opponents by 196 goals or an average of over 16 goals per game.

    The Centaurs close out against the Wolverines on Saturday, who are the opposite of St. Paul, having won only one of their 12 games thus far.

    The Centaurs had hoped to pull out a win last week to make the final week a little easier, but it was not to be.

    The Academy lost to Stonington, 7-5, at home last Tuesday and then fell to Bacon Academy last Thursday, 17-7.

    “I expected two tough teams coming in here,” Noel said. “We played pretty decently against Stonington. We held strong with them, had a nice comeback, but, once again, it wasn’t enough. It’s that whole fourth quarter thing.”

    Ryan Wojciechowski raised his goal total to 15 on the season, tied with Ethan Holcomb for the team lead as he put together the hat trick against the Bears.

    Guerin Favreau added two goals and an assist in the loss while Holcomb had two assists, Ethan Haass had one and Carson Hadley made 12 saves.

    The Centaurs fell behind early against Bacon Academy.

    The Bobcats put five of the first six goals on the board before Liam McDermott scored off a Holcomb dish with 12 seconds left in the first quarter to cut the deficit to 5-2.

    It didn’t get any better in the second quarter.

    Haass was the only player to find the net for the Centaurs and the Bobcats scored four more times to make it 9-3 at the break.

    “I was very disappointed with our defense,” Noel said. “Carson (Hadley) did all he could. They must have had 40 shots and he saved most of them. I was proud of him (Thursday). We have to work on our slides and teamwork.”

    The Centaurs also had to work on their penalties. They were whistled numerous times in the first half which made life a lot easier on the Bobcats.

    “That was another big disappointment because it meant we lost our focus again,” Noel said.

    The home team did come back a little in the third quarter.

    After Bacon scored first to open the half, Favreau (14 goals this season) took passes from Wojciechowski and Holcomb and put two balls into the net and Sean McCusker tallied to cut the deficit to four, 10-6.

    “I thought that was our best quarter,” Noel said.

    But they could not sustain it.

    The Bobcats scored two goals in the final minute of the third and two more in the first 90 seconds of the fourth to put the win away.

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  • Weekly roundup: Softball comes up with big win to end week

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 5/13/2018

    Weekly Roundup: Centaurs softball comes up with big win

    Softball coach Jay Gerum was concerned about the remainder of the season.

    The Centaurs qualified for the state tournament with its eighth win of the season last Monday at Bacon Academy.

    But the schedule looked pretty daunting from there on.

    His fear was realized a bit last Wednesday when Stonington shutout the Centaurs, 8-0.

    “It’s scary how good the Eastern Connecticut Conference is and how tough the schedule is. Our league preps you for the state tournament, and you want competitive non-league games, but you also want the chance to make the tournament. We couldn’t find many non-league games and scheduling Shoreline Conference teams didn’t do us any favors,” Gerum said.

    But on Friday, Gerum breathed a sigh of relief.

    His Centaurs shutout one of those Shoreline foes, Valley Regional, 2-0, in Deep River.

    “I’m feeling a little better than I was two weeks ago,” Gerum said.

    That’s because the Warriors had beaten Haddam-Killingworth whom the Centaurs (9-7) play this Friday.

    Add to that, Hale Ray’s 15-0 loss to Griswold - the Centaurs play the Little Noises next week - and the Centaurs might have a good chance to reach double digits in wins.

    “If we get to that 10 or 11-win mark, you’re in the upper half of the bracket, playing a lower bracket team. We might even have a chance for a home state tournament game,” Gerum said.

    Being in the top half of the bracket and getting a first-round state tournament home game may not seem like big deals, but consider this.

    The last time the Centaurs had a Class L state tournament home game was in 2003. They were ranked 14th and downed No. 19 Ledyard, 3-2. It was also the last time the program advanced into the second round of the state tournament where it lost to Lyman Hall, 6-0.

    Since that time, the softball team has only made the state tournament seven times, including the last three years in a row, but have never been seeded higher than No. 18 in 2016.

    It’s a pretty big deal for the Centaurs.

    Gerum said the game against Valley Regional was a “championship-style” game with two dominant pitchers.

    “We played perfectly and they blinked once, we didn’t,” Gerum said.

    That blink occurred in the fifth inning when the Centaurs scored both their runs.

    Winning pitcher Mackenzie Leveille drove a one-out single to left and Hannah Wotton came on as a courtesy runner. Haley Armstrong followed with a bunt that was misplayed and allowed Armstrong to reach safely and go to second while Wotton advanced to third.

    Cami Corrado then walked, but a pop out left the bases loaded with two outs.

    It brought up catcher Julianna Nuttall.

    Nuttall struggled at the plate early in the season, but has found her stroke. She came into the game hitting .341 and Gerum moved his catcher into the second spot in the batting order.

    Gerum did so out of necessity as much as Nuttall’s resurgence at the plate.

    Naomi Rivard, who had been hitting in the No. 2 slot, is sidelined with a shoulder injury and may be done for the season. Maia Corrado is out for the remainder of the year with an ankle injury.

    “Julianna is a tough, smart kid who is dependable and has bounced back offensively this season,” Gerum said.

    Nuttall wasn’t fazed by the situation even with a 2-2 count, two outs and the bases loaded. She delivered a line drive to left field that scored both Wotton and Armstrong and gave Leveille all the support she needed.

    Leveille had a tough outing against East Lyme so Gerum sat her for the Monday and Wednesday games, but decided to go with the freshman in the non-league game against Valley Regional.

    Leveille allowed only three hits and struck out six to raise her record to 4-2.

    “She’s a freshman, she’s going to have good days and bad days, but she is a great pitcher. On any given day, she’s ready (for varsity). She was on. That was, by far, her best game this year,” Gerum said.

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