The Day – All-Region Field Hockey Player of the Year: Anne Drago of Stonington

Anne Drago embraces the tough things.

She plays for the field hockey team at Stonington High School, where she is often left to crush the line commands of talented opposing attackers. She plays for the Stonington girls’ basketball team, expressing enthusiasm for the first day of training recently, which would normally cause a whimper at the amount of running involved.

And Drago, a senior from Stonington, is a member of the Bears team.

“If you mean it that way,” Draco said with a laugh, hearing a list of his unenviable companies.

Drago, whom Stonington field hockey coach Jenna Tucchio calls “a woman of few words,” is calm. And yet his dominance in defense speaks volumes – “one of the reasons we had the confidence we had,” said Tucchio, whose team ended the season with a berth in the class championship game. S, “is because the eight players in front of her knew she was over there.”

Drago is an All-Eastern Connecticut Conference first team and Class S first all-state selection team, commanding the Bears for their 12th straight regular season title. Stonington was 18-4 overall, 12-0 in the ECC, allowing just 14 shots on goal in the conference game.

Drago was named The Day 2021 Field Hockey Player of the Year.

“She’s a great kid. She’s so shy. But she’s ultra-competitive, don’t let the facade fool you,” Tucchio said of Draco. “She’s very competitive. She’s not intimidated by anyone. She’s automatic when she’s on the pitch. Her actions speak louder than her words for sure. As a freshman, she played on the team. freshman and JV. Her sophomore, I could tell she had fire in her. “

Tucchio calls Draco one of the program’s best advocates.

“I don’t know if you can put it into words,” Tucchio said. “She’s got that intangible piece that makes her above and beyond.… I’ve seen teams and coaches tell me they’re doing anything to avoid her side.”

Draco calls defense his favorite part of the game. She didn’t start playing field hockey until her first year and was not sure what she would choose as a fall sport until the start of the season. .

“You always know what is expected of you,” Drago said of the defensive end of the ball. “I was kind of thrown into the defensive group. The main ones in basketball moved on to field hockey, especially on the defensive side. I think it took a while to figure out how to play; I think. also that the program at Stonington is set up to make that possible.

“I think I’m competitive. My brothers (John and Matthew) have always been passionate about the sport.… I think it comes down to the challenge. I love playing defense.”

It was a Stonington side with 10 seniors, none of whom considered themselves more important than the other nine. All of them produced brilliant moments. The Bears won back-to-back one-goal games in the S-Class tournament. The first, which scored Hannah Nulick’s overtime goal, featured the 7-on-7 overtime format that left Drago the only player to protect the goalkeeper Avery Slocum, a task she handled with remarkable ease.

“I think what’s really special about this team and what made us successful is that every person on the pitch and every person on the bench had a chance to score the goal, to pass the pass. decisive, to make the goal that saves the game, “she said. “Not one person scored all of our goals. Not one person helped. Everyone was a vital part of the team.”

Tucchio isn’t surprised at Draco’s humility.

“She’s so humble. She’ll never take anything away from herself. She doesn’t like being in the spotlight. She’d rather be part of a band or a team,” Tucchio said. “… Her teammates admire and respect her so much. They are in awe of her.”

Draco isn’t sure where she will go to college, but is considering majoring in computer science. She enjoys watching basketball with her mom and reading when she has time. However, she is mostly busy as an athlete in three sports, with a difficult combination of sports. Just the way she likes it.

“I don’t know if I would know what to do with myself (without all three),” Draco said. “I had a week off (between field hockey and basketball). We played on Saturday and then I had a week. I think I went shopping and made some muffins or something. I didn’t know what to do with myself.

Catherine J. Martinez