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Field Hockey Leaders
Six seniors, back from left: Sofia Murray, Eliza Simpson, Elaina Borski and front, from left: Tegan Perry, Julia Powell and Donela Perzichino, will lead the Woodstock Academy field hockey program this season. Marc Allard photo.

Woodstock Academy field hockey coach Lauren Gagnon might need to look at her roster a bit more often early on this season. There are a lot of new faces and names to learn.
The Centaurs lost a dozen players from last year’s team. They also played most of the minutes for the team which finished third in the ECC with a 6-4 record.
It’s the most Gagnon has ever lost from one season to the next.
That’s not the only adjustment. School is back to full-time, in-person learning and that has presented an additional challenge early both on and off the field.
“The kids were struggling to just sit there in class for 84 minutes- even with a walk break in the middle - to stay awake. Some of them have been waking up at noon and staying up until 3 a.m. doing whatever and they have fallen out of a lot of good habits,” Gagnon said.
Senior Elaina Borski said: “It was weird going back to school (for the first full day last Tuesday) and then coming to practice. Hopefully, after a week, it will feel normal,” Borski said. Borski is the only returning player who even scored a goal last season.
Offense will have to be a point of emphasis as the Centaurs lost players like Olivia Ott (7 goals), Rachel Canedy (5 goals, 3 assists) and Eliza Dutson (4 goals, 2 assists). Dutson is playing field hockey at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Canedy will be playing lacrosse at Emmanuel College. “Eliza and Rachel had a nose for the goal, knew how to score and were driven by that. I think that is something that we will struggle with this year,” Gagnon said.
The coach is hopeful that Caroline Harris, who had played defense as a freshman last year, will be able to step up to the front to provide some firepower.
Grace Pokorny, who played on the Woodstock Academy ice hockey team when she was in middle school, is now a freshman and Gagnon is hoping her stick skills also translate to field hockey. “In field hockey, so many goals are garbage goals that result from little scrums in front of the goal. About 80 percent of the goals come off rebounds. They are not your traditional big hit shots,” Gagnon said. “If we could get more people playing field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse, which also translates well, I would be very happy.”
Borski thinks the new players, who she feels have great potential; mean a good chance for growth for the program. For Borski, personally, it’s another year of possible change.
She has played forward, low and midfield in her first three years.  “Maybe she will have me playing forward, but it could also be mid,” Borski said.
While the offense is a question mark, Gagnon is not concerned about the cage.
Junior keeper Ava Basak returns after working behind Kaily Lachapelle for the past two years.
“Ava is a beast. We always have strong goaltenders, it’s something near and dear to my heart and they’re crazy,” Gagnon said. Gagnon feels she has several strong defensive-minded players who she can station in front of Basak.
There are only six seniors this season; Borski, Sophia Murray, Eliza Simpson, Teegan Perry, Julia Powell and Donela Perzichino.
“The big focus is getting this team back to the love for the game, it’s why we play and coach. It’s one of the most fun sports in the world. We had a lull last year. Only three freshmen came out and a lot of that I think was due to the anxiety of COVID. A lot were nervous, in general, about being out in public and not being in school was also difficult. We just want to get them out there healthy and happy,” Gagnon said.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy

Field Hockey schedule:  Saturday, Sept. 11: at E. Catholic, 11 a.m.; Tuesday, Sept. 14:  vs. Stonington, 4 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 16: vs. Waterford, 4; Tuesday, Sept. 21:  at Killingly, 3; Thursday, Sept. 23: vs. NFA, 4; Tuesday, Sept. 28: at E. Lyme, 6:30 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 5:  vs. Fitch, 4; Thursday, Oct. 7: at Stonington, 6:30; Saturday, Oct. 9: vs. Valley Regional, 11; Tuesday, Oct. 12:  at Waterford, 3:45; Thursday, Oct. 14: vs. Killingly, 3:45; Saturday, Oct. 16:  vs. Enfield, 11; Tuesday., Oct. 19: at NFA, 7; Thursday, Oct. 21: vs. E. Lyme, 4; Saturday, Oct. 23: vs. Wethersfield, 11; Saturday, Oct. 30: at Fitch, noon.


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