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Week 4: Woodstock Academy blanks Bears

For the first time since 2018, the Woodstock Academy boys soccer team prevailed over Stonington, 1-0, on Tuesday night on the road.

“Since I’ve been here, we haven’t beaten them,” said Woodstock Academy senior captain Wyatt Robbie. “So, this was really exciting for me personally but as a team ,that was a big game because it gives us more hope for the season. We were kind of tying games and things were not really going our way. To come out and beat a team that won everything last year, gives us a lot of confidence.”

The Bears won the Class M state championship a year ago and had come into the match with the Centaurs sporting a 5-0-1 record.

But the Woodstock Academy defense stifled the Stonington offense.

“The defense played excellent and it wasn’t just the defensive line but it was the entire team. We played defense by committee. Our forwards kept Stonington pinned in. Garrett (Bushey), Austin (Byer), Jeff (Phongsa) and Max (Ferreira) just wouldn’t let them out. When you have to play on the defensive side for the whole game- it gets difficult,” Woodstock Academy acting head coach Jason Tata said.

The lone goal of the game came with just four minutes left when Ferreira picked up his second goal of the season.

“It was a beautiful scramble goal,” Tata said with a smile. “The ball just bounced the right way and Max, in typical Max fashion, with his nose for the ball and nose for the goal, tapped it right in.”

Robbie agreed the defense has been playing well all across the field.

Unfortunately, the ball also has to go into the net a few more times.

“You can’t win games just playing well defensively. We know what we have to work on,” Robbie said. “It’s really link up to link up play in the final third. We had a team conversation (Friday) and (fellow senior captain) Noah (Page) commented that it’s not necessarily the amount of shots, it’s link up play; playing off each other and being aware of each other.”

That lack of offense reared its head later in the week when the Centaurs fell to 2-4-2 overall with a 1-0 loss in a non-league match at Berlin.

The host team scored a goal 12 minutes into the match and it held up.

“We’re still dialing in the offense and it’s a work in progress,” Tata said. “The beauty of it is that our defense is keeping us in games. If the offense isn’t getting it done, the defense is holding these teams to low-scoring games which is perfect. We’re trying different combinations of players and formations, we’re seeing some success here and there but we’re still trying to figure the offense out.”