Boston University senior goalie Kathleen Keegan (center), worked with Woodstock Academy field hockey goalies (left to right) Rachael Roberts, Olivia Stanikmas, Alina Michalski and Kailey LaChappelle on Jan. 12.
BU goalie pays a visit
The Woodstock Academy field hockey team welcomed a visitor on Saturday.
Kathleen Keegan, the senior goalie for the Boston University field hockey team, came to The Academy on Saturday and gave a 90-minute clinic to four Woodstock Academy players; senior Olivia Stanikmas, junior Rachel Roberts, and sophomores Alina Michalski and Kailey LaChappelle.
“She did a lot footwork drills, a lot of higher-level technique and updated skills for ground work,” Woodstock Academy coach Lauren Gagnon said.
Keegan started all 20 games for the 12-8 Terriers this past season and earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors on two occasions. She finished with a goals against average of 1.67.
Keegan has also worked with the trainer for the English National team goalie, Maddie Hinch.
“She has a ton of experience,” Gagnon said.
The 5-foot-6 Keegan is a Connecticut native, having graduated from Hall High School in West Hartford. Gagnon coached her in the past with the HTC field hockey club.
“I couldn’t be happier for her. She is an amazing kid. She told me that someday, she was going to play D-I and she was this tiny little thing and you’re like, ‘That would be awesome, but who knows’ because it’s the pipe dream for everyone. She always put in the work and was totally committed. I always saw her at UConn games just watching. She was so focused on the game,” Gagnon said.
Keegan has possibly played her last field hockey.
She plans to go into finance after graduation.
Stanikmas, the starting goalie for the Centaurs, is currently looking at a number of colleges both academically and athletically. She plans to continue to play field hockey and Gagnon feels that it’s possible she will recieve a Division II offer.
Roberts will be doing Futures with Centaur teammates Avery Jones and Eliza Dutson which Gagnon feels will be beneficial come the fall.
Gagnon was also pleased to see the goalies get a little attention for a change.
“I have very little time to dedicate to just four kids when I have 55 others. It’s huge for them to be able to have someone dedicated to just looking at their body position and distribution of weight and all that type of stuff that can be real nit-picky but can translate to huge gains,” Gagnon said.
Positive signs for Centaurs
It wasn’t the record the Woodstock Academy field hockey team was hoping for.
The Centaurs finished 3-13 on the season.
But there were positive signs.
Ten of the losses by the Centaurs were by two goals or less and of those, five were by one including a 2-1 loss to Stonington on the road.
“The fact that we never gave up and were playing our hearts out with a minute left in the game even if we were down by two or more goals, that just shows the character of this team,” Woodstock Academy coach Lauren Gagnon said. “Opposing coaches and officials have come to me after games and said that we don’t give up, don’t make it easy. That’s great. If you’re going to lose, it’s best to lose with heart and character.”
The Centaurs did lose their last eight contests and only one of those, a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Old Saybrook, was by more than two goals.
That despite the fact that the Centaurs were dealing with some key injuries.
Sydney Cournoyer, a sophomore center-back and Hannah Wotton, a senior center-midfielder, both went down in the middle of the season.
It meant Gagnon had to make adjustments.
“They were supposed to hold down the middle of the field and then, we would have been able to push up Avery Jones to a more offensive position. That would have helped the offense quite a bit to have her being able to stay a low forward, blasting the ball up,” Gagnon said.
Instead, Jones (3 goals, 8 assists) had to stay in the middle.
The junior, however, did make an impact.
She was named Class M 2nd team All-State.
“It was very much deserved,” Gagnon said. “She has been working her tail off for as long as I’ve known her (since sixth grade). She learns fast and can master any skill she tries. She is a force in the ECC and, sometimes, gets overshadowed by some of the flashier players from East Lyme and Stonington because she is unselfish and more concerned with distribution than goal scoring.”
Sophomore Megan Preston, just in her second year of playing the sport, had to step into a pivotal role for the Centaurs.
Katie Boshka, a forward, was pushed back to defense and prospered. The senior earned All-Eastern Connecticut Conference honors.
“She found a home back there. That was incredible,” Gagnon said.
In addition, Gagnon also saw positive signs among her other younger players.
“There was great growth at the junior varsity level. We had only two losses and one tie and when you watched them play, they really didn’t play like most JV teams. There is promise for the future and our younger players gained some confidence in themselves,” Gagnon said.
One thing the team has to overcome is themselves and their view of the program.
“We have this inferiority complex,” Gagnon said. “Early on, when we first started the program we deserved it because we went immediately into a varsity program which is tough and we took our lumps. They figured out early on who they could and could not beat and drilled it into their memory banks. We can’t beat Stonington, because we just don’t, even though the last Stonington away game we should have absolutely won it, or at least, tied it. We were knocking on the door the entire time and left a couple of goals on the end line which was really tough.”
The Centaurs will lose a host of seniors including Olivia Stanikmas, Victoria Staples, Boshka, Wotton, Hannah Chubbuck, Samantha Mowry, Madison Skellett, Emma Strandson and Abbe Lecuyer.
“We’re definitely going to miss Katie in the backfield and, a lot of them were utility players who you could put in where you needed them, like Sam (Mowry) who could play offense or defense. They will be missed, but we come back with a lot of strength,” Gagnon said.
The group that will return has already talked about playing in the offseason.
Although extremely important, it’s not something that is as easy as it sounds.
“One of the difficult things about field hockey is that there is not much indoor and what there is, is incredibly expensive. For kids to have to $1,000 to play in the offseason is not financially doable for most. We’re trying to find some more reasonable options for kids, especially to get them to be able to play together,” Gagnon said.
Centaurs finish season with another close loss
The Centaurs may not have had a great record this season.
But delve into the numbers a bit and the Centaurs can take some comfort in what they did accomplish in 2018.
The field hockey team finished with a 3-13 record after a 2-1 loss to Stonington on Monday down by the shoreline.
The difference was the closest the Centaurs had come to the Bears since 2015 when they lost by that same score.
It speaks to what has been the case all season.
Five of the Centaurs losses this season were by one goal, five others were by two goals.
The only games decided by more was a 5-2 loss to East Lyme, a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Old Saybrook and two wins over Norwich Free Academy, 6-0 and 6-1.
On Monday, Eliza Dutson scored her fourth goal of the season for the Centaurs.
Emma Durand had the assist on the Dutson goal.
Stafford downs Centaurs; Boshka named All-ECC
The game went to overtime on Thursday, but the Centaurs fell just short, losing in Stafford, 1-0.
The Centaurs did get some good news Thursday night.
Kate Boshka was named first team All-Eastern Connecticut Conference on defense.
Avery Jones received honorable mention.
The Centaurs (3-12) will now finish off their season on Monday at 4 p.m. in Stonington.
The game with the Bears was originally scheduled for Saturday but was postponed due to the anticipated storm.
Chubbuck scores twice but Centaurs fall
Senior forward Hannah Chubbuck scored her fourth goal of the season in the first half and her fifth of the year in the second, but it was not enough as the Centaurs lost to Waterford, 4-2, on Tuesday night on the road.
The loss dropped the Centaurs to 3-11 on the season.
Molly Quiles, Chloe McCue, Cassidy Susi and Sophia Hathaway scored for the Lancers who won their fourth game in a row and improved to 8-5 overall and 8-3 in the ECC
Centaurs fall to Falcons again
The Centaurs found themselves on the short end of the score to the Fitch/Ledyard cooperative for a second consecutive day.
Zoe Pearse scored both goals for the Falcons (8-7, 6-5 ECC) who won their sixth straight game.
Devin Lyon and Maggie O’Leary added assists for Fitch/Ledyard.
Centaurs shut down by Falcons
The Centaus failed to find the back of the cage and lost to the Fitch / Ledyard cooperative on Senior Day, 1-0.
Zoe Pearse scored off an assist from Ella Bergendahl with 5:21 left in the first half to give the Falcons (6-8, 5-5 ECC) the win over the Centaurs (3-9, 3-6).
Centaurs battle but fall to East Lyme
Paige Kasacek and Eliza Dutson scored for the Centaurs Monday at the Bentley Athletic Complex, but the field hockey team fell short to East Lyme, 4-2.
Dutson and Emma Durand added assists for Woodstock Academy (3-8, 3-5 Eastern Connecticut Conference).
Kristen Healy had the hat trick for the Vikings (9-3, 8-1) while Sarah Healy had the other goal and two assists.
Old Saybrook blanks Centaurs
Rachel Canedy had four shots and Emma Durand three, but none found the back of the cage and the Centaurs fell to Old Saybrook, 5-0, Saturday at the Bentley Athletic Complex.
The Centaurs (3-7) were outshot by the Rams, 15-13.
Five different players scored for Old Saybrook (7-4-1) led by Mandy Beck who had a goal and two assists.
Centaurs fall in OT
The Centaurs rallied from a two-goal first half deficit, but couldn't hold off Killingly in overtime, the Redglas posted a 6=5 overtime win at the Bentley Athletic Complex on Tuesday.
Avery Jones put the Centaurs (3-6, 3-4 Eastern Connecticut Conference) ahead with just 12 minutes, 39 seconds left in the first half.
But Killingly's Brianna Caffrey scored two of her four goals in a 2:16 span to put Killingly ahead and Soudalath Souvanhnaphan added a goal with four minutes left in the first to give Killingly a 3-1 lead.
The Centaurs answered with three goals in the first 9 1/2 minutes of the second half.
Abbe Lecuyer pulled the Centaurs within one and Rachel Canedy added a pair of goals just two minutes apart to put the Centaurs ahead.
A pair of Caffrey goals surrounded a Hannah Chubbuck tally for the Centaurs and it was even at 5-5 at the end of regulation.
The Centaurs peppered Killingly goalie Alyssa Gaudreau but the Redgals keeper made three saves and Hannah Walters added a defensive save.
Killingly won it when Alyssa Elsey slipped the ball into the Woodstock cage with 3:01 left in overtime.