Woodstock girls' soccer anchored by strong defense
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Woodstock - posted Mon., Oct. 8, 2012
When the Woodstock Academy girls’ soccer team took its halftime break on Oct. 4, coach Dennis Snelling urged the athletes on. They were playing a tough match with Waterford, but the Centaurs were doing more than holding their own. They were playing with intensity and putting pressure on Waterford’s defense. What they didn’t do enough of was take shots on net. Had they taken more chances, they might have capitalized on them. Instead, Waterford scored with just minutes left in the second half.
Snelling, in his first year as head coach at WA, admitted it's one area he wants to work on with his players. “We haven’t been taking as many shots as we should be as a team,” he said. “I think the problem is confidence in shooting. You don’t have to be close to the goal to shoot. They need to be aggressive. They need to shoot more.”
Snelling said his young team is playing great soccer. “They are coming together as far as being able to move the ball as a team,” he said. “They’re playing really well right now.” The Centaurs are led by five seniors and captains Danielle Nowak, Harley Blodgett, Molly Thompson, and Mackenzie Papuga. The bulk of the team is made up of sophomores and juniors. One freshman rounds out the roster.
The Centaur defense, anchored by senior keeper Danielle Nowak, is strong. “We’re very good at defending our end of the field,” Snelling said. “Nowak’s experience is invaluable to some of the other younger players.”
The coach is pleased with the passing abilities of his players. “They’ve practiced a lot of passing as a team and it’s really starting to show,” he said. “We’ve been complimented by other coaches.”
Getting the younger players used to varsity-level play, building their confidence and encouraging them to take more chances with shots on net are his immediate goals. “We have to continue to work together as a team. We have to stay healthy. They’re a fun group. They’re good soccer players,” Snelling said. “They just need experience and they’ll be fine.”