Woodstock Academy senior goalie Kaily LaChappelle, above (#24), and senior midfielder Eliza Dutson, right, were recently named Connecticut High School Coaches Association/ECC All-State in field hockey. Photos courtesy of The Woodstock Academy.

The numbers are not eye-popping for either Eliza Dutson or Kaily LaChappelle.
But numbers rarely tell the whole story.
“Eliza was very noticeable on the field. When I put her name forward at our (Eastern Connecticut Conference) coaches’ meeting, I didn’t have to explain who she was, what number she was or  what she looked like – everybody knew.” Woodstock Academy field hockey coach Lauren Gagnon said.
The same could be said for LaChappelle in goal.
The two Woodstock Academy seniors earned the only postseason award available to field hockey players this past fall as both received 2020 Connecticut High School Coaches Association/Eastern Connecticut Conference All-State recognition recently.
Gagnon called Dutson “the engine of the team” which finished 6-4 this past season for her non-stop style of play.
Dutson finished with four goals and two assists over the 10 games from her center midfield position.
“We needed her to get the ball up the field,” Gagnon explained. “She didn’t have a ton of assists because she is typically the one getting the ball to the player sending it in so she is always next in line to the assist.”
Dutson was also integral to the team in that she sent in the insert off the corner and also played defense on corners against the opposition.
“She was all over. She is going to be super-hard to replace,” Gagnon said. “She’s a great team player with a really positive attitude and a lot of motivation. She pushes everyone in all our physical skills and sprints in practice. She is just a happy person to have around.”
LaChappelle delivered four shutouts in goal in the six wins for the Centaurs.
The senior had to wait her turn.
Rachel Roberts saw most of the action in goal for the Centaurs last season.
Gagnon thought Roberts was a “phenomenal” goalie as well and the Centaur head coach was reluctant to pull the senior last season to get LaChappelle additional playing time.
Gagnon, a goalie in her playing days, called it a “pain in the neck” to sub for goalies but also realizes the difficulty of playing behind a player just one grade above.
Therefore, Gagnon was happy to see LaChappelle get the recognition this season.
“She has a ton of grit,” Gagnon said. “Playing goalie has so many levels of difficulty because you have to be worried not only about what you are doing, but what the offense, three other defensive players and three midfielders are doing, too. It’s so many moving parts. You have to be incredibly sharp, think on your feet, because you are deciding (which opposing player) is most dangerous and that is changing constantly and you have to communicate that to people.”
Gagnon added, especially at the high school level, it’s very easy for a goalie to “shut down” after she lets in a few goals.
LaChappelle was able to put aside the disappointment of letting a goal occur and get back into the game quickly.
“Because I was a goalie, (the position) has always been a focus of mine and that’s an edge we have over other teams,” Gagnon said.
She has drills designed to keep goalies sharp in addition to the shooting drills that most teams focus on with their goalies.
 “It’s always been a point of pride that we have really tough, really smart goalies. The numbers don’t always show it, but they are doing the right things and are preventing losses from becoming really huge losses,” Gagnon said. “It was great to see one of our goalies finally get All-State. (Kaily) is the first ever.”
It was a second All-State nod for Dutson who received second team honors last season.
Prior to this season and Dutson’s nod last year, only two other players in program history have received All-State honors.
Current Woodstock Academy assistant coach Mikayla Jones and her sister, Avery, were the other previous recipients.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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