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Class L state tournament: Centaurs edged in quarters by Wethersfield

For the first time since 2003, the Woodstock Academy girls soccer team reached the Class L state quarterfinals.

Unfortunately, that is where the journey would come to an end on Saturday night.

The 11th-seeded Centaurs started out quickly again but third-seeded Wethersfield cooled them off and posted a 2-1 victory to advance to the Class L semifinal against St. Joseph’s.

The loss ended the season at 14-5-2 for Woodstock Academy.

But it wasn’t without its share of thrills including winning the Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I and Division 1 tournament championships and going as far as the final eight in the state.

“We have to be happy with the whole season and to see what a team can achieve behind great captains and leaders,” Woodstock Academy coach Dennis Snelling said. “Daily, this soccer season has been the best a coach or a team could ask for. The program has set a new bar for itself and Grace (Gelhaus) set a new bar for work ethic, attitude and accomplishment.”

Gelhaus struck early for the Centaurs.

Macy Rawson sent a ball in from near midfield that Gelhaus caught up to and sent into the back of the net just 4 minutes, 48 seconds into the match.

But just like the previous second-round match against Daniel Hand, the early scoring was not finished.

Wethersfield (14-0-3) countered just 4 minutes later when an attempted clear got up in the air and Eagles senior Isabella Bonfiglio headed it home.

Unlike the previous match with the Tigers, that’s where the scoring ended for quite some time.

The two teams battled for the next hour without a goal until Wethersfield was able to cobble together the game winner.

Bonfiglio took a pass from the left of Woodstock Academy keeper Rebecca Nazer and made a nice cross to an oncoming Allie Leahy who used her left foot to find an opening and score with 11:21 left in regulation.

“We thought we could get to the semifinals so we’re disappointed but in reality, we are so happy with this team,” Snelling said. “If you would have told me that we would go on a 12-match run with no losses, with a league and tournament championship and get to the state quarterfinals, we would have been happy with that back in September.”