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Woodstock, Weary, Falls

Springfield, Vt. — A tired and banged-up Woodstock High boys soccer team continued its march toward the end of the regular season with a 1-0 Vermont Division II loss to Springfield, a team the Wasps had beaten 8-0 earlier in the season, on Monday night.

“Seems like we play a game every other day,” said Woodstock coach Tom Avellino, who saw his team open the season with six straight wins, outscoring the opposition 28-5. The going lately has been like enduring a root canal — five losses in seven matches, with just six goals over that stretch.

As it is, Woodstock will get just one day’s rest; the Wasps play their last regular-season game at Hartford on Wednesday. Then the Wasps will finally get a chance to catch their breath with several days off until the first round of the D-II state tournament.

The Wasps’ fatigue was evident after halftime. Woodstock had some bounce in its stride even without a first-half goal.

“We just weren’t as fast in the second half as we were in the first half, and we were making too many long passes,” said Avellino. “That’s not our game. This is very disappointing. I thought we’d come out of here with a W.”

The victory instead went to the Cosmos, a team that may be putting the pieces in the right places after a dreadful start to the season. The Cosmos are now 3-7-3, but have three ties and a win in their last six games.

“We were good tonight, and we’re getting better,” said veteran coach Paul Kendall. “But we are going to have an awful tough seed with the record we have. However, there is no question we are playing our best soccer now and, with one regular season game left, it is the right time to be playing well.”

The game’s only goal came with less than 90 seconds gone in the second half, when a Pete Kendall corner kick bounced around the offensive zone and may have hit a Woodstock player before Dean Bactad cleared up all the confusion with a dribbler by Woodstock keeper Connor Fegard.

Woodstock did have some scoring chances in the second half. Leading scorer Doug Avellino was able to cross the ball from his wing position several times, but no connection was made. Avellino, who had three goals and three assists in the teams’ first meeting on Sept. 10, also let loose two hard direct kicks, but each time the ball went into the Springfield wall.

Woodstock’s Collin Campbell threw the biggest scare into Springfield when his long floater hit off the crossbar. The Wasps did make one last drive before the end of the game, but Mason Thompson’s hard deliver went over the cage as the final horn sounded.

“Too little, too late,” said Avellino.

Woodstock’s best chance to score in the first half came when sophomore Alex Crompton got a close-in shot on Springfield keeper Tim Hildreth, but the ball was booted away.

“We need some rest,” said Avellino.