Shepaug looks to improve
WASHINGTON - The Shepaug High School boys soccer team continues to improve, working toward its goal of reaching the postseason as the home stretch of the regular season gets underway.
The Spartans were 3-5-1 after a 4-0 victory over Wamogo on Thursday. The win snapped a four-game losing skid and got the team back on track as it works toward a Class S state tournament berth.
The season started with a 1-0 victory at Litchfield, and the Spartans followed that up with a 3-2 home victory over Thomaston. Then came a stretch where Shepaug went 0-5-1, including losses to Berkshire heavyweights Northwester Regional, Nonnewaug and undefeated Lewis Mills.
But the Spartans bounced back with that 4-0 home victory over Wamogo to start the second half of the regular season.
“I would say that this season has been a good one,” said Shepaug coach Jim Stinson. “We have continuously improved as the season has moved along. I think that we are playing well. Our goal this season has been that improvement and to make the state tournament. I still feel like we will be able to achieve both of these goals.”
Stinson has a relatively young team on his hands this season, with just two seniors in his starting 11. A total of nine juniors comprise the rest of the starting lineup, so Stinson has been leaning on the two senior starters to help lead the team.
“My two captains, seniors Alan Stinson and Nick Fleming, have been solid contributors so far this season,” Stinson said. “With their positive attitudes, leadership and willingness to work with the younger players, it has made our team competitive and in every game.”
Having so many juniors in the lineup bodes well for next season, but the group is also making an impact on the current campaign.
Junior Gavin Block is the team’s leading goal scorer with four goals, followed by Stinson with two goals and three assists. Junior Ethan Hibbard has been playing well in his first season as the varsity goalkeeper. Juniors Chance Dutcher and Jack Kennedy have played solidly in midfield.
Highlighting the second half of the schedule will be a night game Thursday against Litchfield (6-3). The game is part of Shepaug’s homecoming celebration, with the girls soccer team playing at 5 p.m. and the boys at 7:15.
“It’s our third homecoming, and we are really grateful for the opportunity to be able to play under the lights at home,” Stinson said. “Jason Conway and the Spartan Club work very hard to make this happen. This year the field hockey team will be able to play under the lights on Saturday as well. It is a great atmosphere during this time and I know that the athletes and coaches are excited for it.”