Woodstock Coach Has 200 Reasons to Celebrate After Milestone Win

  • The Woodstock Union High School field hockey team celebrates coach Wendy Wannop's 200th victory, a 3-2 overtime defeat of Windsor at MacLeay-Royce Field in Windsor, Vt., on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. (Courtesy photograph)

  • Wendy Wannop

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 9/12/2018 11:59:18 PM
Modified: 9/13/2018 9:22:23 AM

Windsor — Wendy Wannop’s 200th career win as Woodstock Union High’s field hockey coach was pretty special.

The longtime mentor was talking about how many classic games her teams have had with Windsor over the years prior to Wednesday’s game with the Yellowjackets at MacLeay-Royce Field. What happened as the day went on should land somewhere near the top of the list.

“Well, was that exciting enough for you?” Wannop said to anybody within listening distance.

What Wannop was referring to was Lilia McCullough’s overtime goal with just 1:20 to play that propelled the Wasps to a 3-2 win over the Jacks in Wednesday’s Marble Valley League game.

Moments after the goal, Woodstock assistant coach Jane Hoisington produced a banner confirming Wannop’s milestone win, and that got a big cheer from Woodstock’s considerable fan base.

What made the win even more meaningful were a couple of escapes the Wasps pulled off. Woodstock, after tying the game at 2-2 with 27:12 to play, shut down its offense and had to hang on while Windsor was unable to convert on any of its 12 corners in the half.

Then, in the overtime, the Wasps were awarded a penalty stroke when sophomore Windsor goalkeeper Madison Leduc covered up the ball during a Woodstock offensive flurry. Khara Brettell, who was a factor all day for the Wasps, partially fanned on the shot, and Leduc easily kicked away the trickling attempt.

The opportunity came with 7:07 to play in the 10-minute, seven-on-seven overtime, and it seemed to deflate the Wasps for a few moments. However, the gloom turned into exhilaration five minutes later when Woodstock snapped in the game-winner as Mackenzie Yates slid a pass from the side into the middle and sophomore McCullough tapped it in.

“We didn’t play well in the second half, but we sure came through when we had to,” said Wannop, who retired in 2012 after 18 seasons but came back when no one stepped up to replace Annie Doton, who took a teaching job at Hartford High.

Windsor coach Jody Wood tried to take the sting out of the loss by telling her players “that a loss like this in the part of the season can be helpful.”

As for not taking advantage of the 12 corners in the second half, Wood said Woodstock’s speed was a factor.

“They were faster than us,” she said. “We had to take an offensive player off the field and put in defensive player. I think that had an effect on out corners.”

The first half was filled with scoring chances as the ball moved back and forth like a tennis match. Woodstock had the early advantage as two drives put Yates in front of Leduc, who denied both opportunities.

Windsor took a 1-0 lead when Hannah Wood penetrated deep into the Wasps’ end for a shot off that was kicked out by Woodstock goalie Maggie Parker, but the rebound went to Angelina Bigwood, who sliced the ball past Parker.

Three minutes later, Woodstock’s Brettell — who possesses a hard shot — tied the game when her blast from 15 yards made a big thud as it flew by Leduc and hit the backboard.

The score remained tied until there were three minutes left in the half, when Windsor sophomore Alyssa Slocum was called upon to take a penalty stroke after Parker was called for covering up the ball. Slocum got off a hard shot that Parker had little chance on as it slid into the right-hand corner.

Woodstock had been using a corner combination of Brettell to Yates at every opportunity, and it paid off less than three minutes into the second half. The duo hooked up when Yates one-timed the feed from Brettell to tie the game.

If corners are supposed to show domination, it didn’t work on this day. Windsor had a 17-4 advantage, but still came up short.

It was the first loss in three games for Windsor, which visits Newport on Friday. Woodstock also plays on Friday, when Otter Valley comes to town.

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