Woodstock Academy, Milton Academy claim top prep school titles
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Woodstock Academy (Conn.) and Milton Academy (Mass.) claimed the top prizes during championship weekend for the nation’s prep schools.
Woodstock Academy rallied for a 3-1 victory over Northwood School (N.Y.) in the inaugural Prep Premier League championship, played Saturday at Capelli Sport Complex in Tinton Falls, N.J. The win completed an undefeated season for Woodstock, which went coast-to-coast as this year’s Prep Top 10 No. 1 team.
“This is the goal we have been working towards, it motivated everyone,” said Woodstock Academy senior and Syracuse commit Kelvin Da Costa. “We eat together, we live together, we train together … This feels great. This is the best way possible (to end the season).”
Meanwhile, on Sunday, in Suffield, Conn., Milton Academy finished off a stellar season with a 2-0 victory over Taft School (Conn.) in the NEPSAC Class A final played at Suffield Academy. Milton Academy ended the year 19-1-2. It avenged its only loss in the Class A semifinal win over Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.). Taft School suffered heart beak for the second time in three years, falling in the final after an undefeated regular season. Milton and Taft will finish No. 2 and 3 in the Prep Top 10.
The other NEPSAC champions are Kimball Union Academy (N.H.) in Class B, Vermont Academy (Vt.) in Class C, and Wooster School (Conn.) in Class D.
Here is a recap of the weekend finals:
PREP PREMIER LEAGUE
Championship: Woodstock Academy delivered on a season full of expectations with its victory over Northwood in the final to cap a 15-0-1 season, but it certainly wasn’t easy.
Northwood School struck first in the 10th minute, and oddly, it came on a counter from a Woodstock free kick that was shaping up as a scoring chance for the Centaurs. Instead, Northwood corralled the errant pass, countered, and sprung Lohkoah Paye, who beat Woodstock’s keeper on the breakaway.
In the 40th minute, Woodstock drew even when Choelhui Cho stole the ball from a Northwood defender and beat the keeper. Only three minutes later, Woodstock took the lead on a goal by Hendrix Mota.
Early in the second half, a Northwood player picked up his second yellow card on a foul in the box that really damaged Northwood’s chances. Not only was a Northwood player sent off, but Woodstock Academy’s David Lee, who was taken down in the box, converted the ensuing penalty kick for a commanding 3-1 Woodstock lead.
Woodstock, which allowed only four goals all season, controlled much of the remaining match.
Woodstock and Northwood each won semifinal matches Friday to set up Saturday’s championship clash. Woodstock defeated Phelps School (Pa.) 2-0, and Northwood jumped on Kiski School (Pa.) with four first-half goals in a 4-1 victory.
Third-Place: Kiski School (Pa.) defeated rival Phelps School (Pa.) in a consolation match that was more of a scrimmage outing for these teams. Kiski edged Phelps 5-4 three days earlier in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state final, and both teams went deep ino the bench for Saturday’s rematch.
Fifth-Place: Western Reserve Academy (Ohio) and High Mowing School (N.H.) played to a 2-2 draw.
Seventh-Place: Hoosac School (N.Y.), which lost to Western Reserve 5-4 on Friday, played a club team to finish the season. Immaculate Heart Academy (N.Y.), the expected eighth team in the tournament, had shuttered its soccer program at the end of regulation play.
Class A: Junior standout Alfred Debah was involved in both second-half goals as Milton Academy defeated Taft School 2-0 in the Class A final.
Debah scored the first goal, which was created when Alejandro Palacio stole the ball from a Taft defender just outside the penalty box and then fed it to Debah, who was alone on the keeper. Debah was on the other end for the second goal, calmly slotting a cross to hard-charging Silas Lawrence, who scored the second goal.
Davis Kahn, a 6-foot-8 junior keeper, recorded the shutout for Milton Academy.
Milton Academy was the Class A runner-up last season. Milton, under coach Chris Kane, last won a NEPSAC A title in 2015. The school also had a NEPSAC title in 1987.
Boys Soccer Prep Top 10These are the final team rankings for the 2023 prep school season.
|1||Woodstock Academy||Woodstock, Conn.||15-0-1||PPL champion|
|2||Milton Academy||Milton, Mass.||19-1-2||NEPSAC Class A champion|
|3||Taft School||Watertown, Conn.||15-1-4||NEPSAC Class A runner-up|
|4||Northwood School||Lake Placid, N.Y.||6-3*||PPL runner-up|
|5||Northfield Mount Hermon||Gill, Mass.||12-2-4||NEPSAC Class A semifinalist|
|6||Worcester Academy||Worcester, Mass.||13-2-6||NEPSAC Class A semifinalist|
|7||Kiski School||Saltsburg, Pa.||17-3-3||PPL third-place finisher|
|8||Phillips Andover||Andover, Mass.||13-2-4||NEPSAC Class A quarterfinalist|
|9||Berkshire School||Sheffield, Mass.||13-3-3||NEPSAC Class A quarterfinalist|
|10||Loomis Chaffee||Windsor, Conn.||12-6-2||NEPSAC Class A quarterfinalist|
|*-PPL overall record|
All-Time Prep Top 10 No. 1s
|2023||Woodstock Academy (Woodstock, Conn.)||Westminster School (Simsbury, Conn.)|
|2022||South Kent School (Conn.)/Worcester Academy (Mass.)||BB&N (Cambridge, Mass.)|
|2021||Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.)/South Kent School (Conn.)||BB&N (Cambridge, Mass.)|
|2020||no season||no season|
|2019||South Kent School (South Kent, Conn.)||BB&N (Mass.)/Rivers School (Mass.)|
|2018||Berkshire School (Sheffield, Mass.)||Noble and Greenough (Dedham, Mass.)|
|2017||Brooks School (North Andover, Mass.)||Loomis Chaffee (Windsor, Conn.)|
|2016||South Kent School (South Kent, Conn.)||Loomis Chaffee (Windsor, Conn.)|
|2015||South Kent School (South Kent, Conn.)||Rivers School (Weston, Mass.)|
|2014||Berkshire School (Sheffield, Mass.)||Noble and Greenough (Dedham, Mass.)|
|2013||Hill School (Pa.)/Berkshire (Mass.)||Rivers School (Mass.)/Tabor Academy (Mass.)|
|2012||Berkshire School (Sheffield, Mass.)||Governor’s Academy (Byfield, Mass.)|
|2011||South Kent School (South Kent, Conn.)||Worcester Academy (Worcester, Mass.)|