Return to Headlines

ECC Semifinal: Centaurs fall to Waterford on penalty kicks

Woodstock Academy  girls soccer coach Dennis Snelling was doing his best to avoid what was seemingly inevitable in an Eastern Connecticut Conference semifinal at Waterford.

Penalty kicks.

“I tried to keep sending people forward to try and end it a different way,” Snelling said. “We had not practiced penalty kicks. We took three or four on (Centaur goalie) Rebecca (Nazer) prior to the game thinking it may happen but we hadn’t had a lot of practice time with them.”

But it’s something that may rear its head again as the Class L state tournament looms.

“You hate to think that it will end that way again because it’s not a frequent thing. The deflation of it after a good game is not something you want to get used to any way. At best, they know how it works,” Snelling said.

The fifth-seeded Centaurs and No. 1 Lancers battled through 80 minutes of regulation and two overtime periods and no one found the net.

It was the Lancers who prevailed in penalty kicks, 4-3.

“Waterford may have had a few more chances (in regulation) but nothing really on goal. They hit the post once. We had a two very good chances but other than that, the play was really in the middle of the field,” Snelling said.

A mistake on a goal kick by Waterford resulted in a shot for the Centaurs that went wide. Another opportunity came off a corner kick but a shot from about 30 yards out just cleared the crossbar.

Nazer made eight saves in net.

“Everything that went to her, stuck to her hands. The one off the post was the only one she didn’t get to and she didn’t need to,” Snelling said.

Waterford missed the first of its penalty kicks which gave the Centaurs the early advantage in the first round of five.

Macy Rawson, Freya Robbie and Juliet Allard hit their PK’s.

“They hit the first three and Waterford missed one, so we knew if we just made our shots, we would win, but Waterford’s goalie came up with a big save and it gave momentum back to them,” Snelling said.

Robbie and Leah Costa were named Eastern Connecticut Conference All-Stars with Allard being named Honorable Mention.

The team’s ECC Scholar-Athlete is Taylor Lamothe with Kayla Leite as the recipient of the team’s ECC Sportsmanship award.

The Centaurs will be the 20th seed in the Class L state tournament and won’t have to travel far.

Killingly, the 13th seed, will play host to Woodstock Academy on Monday at 4 p.m.

“It’s a close game, a local game, and you get your newer players into a state game that isn’t a two-hour drive. I don’t know much about Killingly other than looking at their scores. I’m just focusing on what we want to do rather than what they have done this season,” Snelling said.