Sports Spotlight: Shae LaPlace
School: The Ellis School
Sport: Field hockey
Claim to fame: LaPlace netted a hat trick in Ellis’ 6-1 victory over Greensburg Central Catholic in the WPIAL Class AA field hockey final at Fox Chapel. She scored 14 goals and had one assist this season, helping Ellis win its fourth WPIAL championship in the past nine seasons.
“She’s a good natural athlete, and she just comes out to play and plays hard and scores a lot of goals for us,” coach Genny Kozusko said. “She knows how to shoot, so the girls try to get her the ball.
“She’s really just breaking into her own. We have a few more years to work with her and develop her skills. Because of her speed and shot on goal, she’s ahead, but she’s very willing to learn.”
Assessing the season: “The season was a bit rough in the middle. We had a couple big games that we lost. That was a kick in the butt, and everybody got their acts together and we practiced hard, and it really helped our team.”
Her hat trick in the WPIAL finals: “That was the cherry on top. I can’t say I scored three goals by myself. My teammates really help me. They bring the ball as far as they can, and when I get it I just try to score. Everybody tries really hard.”
Improvement in the next two seasons: “As a player, I’m going to put time in outside of my Ellis team. I’m going to play indoor for Team Golden Triangle. We practice at St. Edmund’s Academy, and we go to tournaments all across the East Coast. I hope to improve on my stick work and help the team as best I can.”
Something people might not know: “My mom is a coach for Ellis in field hockey and lacrosse. That’s been huge in how I’ve turned out as a player.”
Differences between lacrosse and field hockey: “The biggest difference is the whole dynamic of the game. You play on the ground with field hockey. It’s a lot more of a different communication with your teammates. Lacrosse is easier to pass the ball in a general position for someone to run and receive it. In field hockey, you have to win the ball on your own with no attacking and beating up the other player like in lacrosse.”