Woodstock girls earn spot in state play
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Woodstock - posted Tue., Oct. 25, 2011
The Woodstock Academy girls' soccer team came out strong in the first half of play against Norwich Free Academy on Oct. 24. Midfielder Mackenzie Davignon and forward Molly Thompson each scored goals. It was enough to keep the Centaurs ahead for the rest of the game, winning 2-0.
“This was a good win for us,” said coach Amy Cross, after the game. She was pleased with how her team performed, especially after their first tangle with NFA, a game the Centaurs lost early in the season. “They played an awesome first half,” Cross said. “We came out really strong. We had some good service in the box and we scored off it. We played strong and just maintained our lead throughout the second half.”
“This was just a big accomplishment for us in terms of losing and then coming back and getting the win,” Cross said. Even sweeter was the notice Cross was able to give her players that they had made it into state tournament play.
While NFA returned most of its starters and nine seniors on the squad, Woodstock is still adjusting to the loss of All-Conference players center midfielder Shelby Archer and sweeper Shannon Papuga. “It's very hard when you have two amazing soccer players pulled off the field in two very important positions,” Cross said. “You're asking a lot of whoever is stepping in to fill those shoes.”
The good news is that Woodstock returned seven seniors, six of whom start. Goalkeeper Danielle Nowak has continued to play strong in the net. The 2010 honorable mention goalkeeper's play has been “awesome,” in coach Cross's words.
The season started off with tropical storms and bad weather forcing cancellations of several games. “We were playing four games a week with back-to-back games,” Cross said. While other teams had to contend with the same weather and cancellations, Woodstock had injuries to contend with, as well. “We had three concussions, two ankle sprains, and we had one girl in a car accident. This is our first game back with almost everyone. But we are still nursing injuries. It's been tough,” Cross said.
The Centaurs were scheduled to face East Lyme on Wednesday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 29. The games were rescheduled after cancellations early in the season. “This was only time we could reschedule them,” Cross said. “They're conference games, and we really want to win them, obviously.”
Win or lose against East Lyme, the Centaurs will play in the states, something they're accustomed to. “Most likely we'll pull a team on the other side of the state and have to drive two hours to play them,” Cross said. But that afternoon, she and the rest of her team were all smiles with the win.