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Senior captain Dylan LaPlace is leading the Valley Regional boys’ lacrosse team in his second season as the Warriors’ starting goalie. (Photo courtesy of Dylan LaPlace )
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Dylan LaPlace serves as the last line of defense as the goalie on the Valley Regional boys’ lacrosse team. Dylan is a senior captain for the Warriors who’s started in goal during the past two seasons. After reaching the Shoreline Conference final last year, Dylan and company are getting ready to cap off the 2019 campaign by competing in the Class S State Tournament.
Dylan says that helping Valley advance to the Shoreline championship was one of the most memorable moments of his career. Next year, Dylan will continue his career when he plays Division III lacrosse at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Morrisville.
“I’m really proud of last year, when we made it to the Shoreline final. That was a big moment for our team,” says Dylan. “In terms of a personal achievement. I’m going to be playing lacrosse at SUNY, Morrisville. I’m very excited about going there and playing goal. I had looked into the college, and then I reached out to the coach. I worked with him a bit, then I got a letter of intent, and committed about a month ago.”
Dylan found his home at the goalkeeper position by being a team player when he was in middle school. Dylan started playing lacrosse in 6th grade, following in the footsteps of his older brother Hunter. One day, when his 7th-grade team needed a goalie, Dylan moved from the midfield and into the net.
“My team didn’t have a goalie for the game, so I stepped in. I liked playing middie a lot, but then I started playing goalie,” Dylan says. “I picked it up pretty quickly, and I’ve been pretty good at it. I’ve loved it ever since. Sometimes it’s frustrating not being able to help on the other side of the field, but I also feel like I help the team from the goal.”
This season, Dylan has made 207 saves against 334 shots faced for a .619 save percentage. He also has a shutout to his name. Dylan credits a lot of his success to his ability to work well with fellow senior captain Charlie Haughton, who plays defender for the Warriors. Dylan says that he and Haughton make sure everyone in the backfield is in the best spot to stop the opposition’s offense.
“We control different sections of the defense. He helps more with the middies, and I help more with the close defense,” says Dylan, a Chester resident. “We try to figure out who’s going to be the biggest scoring threat and mark them. If a goal does get through, we always come together and try to figure it out as a team.”
Being a senior captain comes with a lot of responsibility, but it’s something that Dylan is more than willing to take on. Dylan was named a captain at the end of last year and does everything he can to mentor his teammates on the field.
“I feel like my teammates look up to me because of that title. They know that I’m there for them. They can talk to me, and I’ll help them out as much as I can,” Dylan says. “I like it. I feel like it’s my responsibility as a captain to keep everyone focused and disciplined. A coach can talk to us as much as he wants, but I’m out there on the field with them. We’re friends. It’s not like I’m on the sideline watching. I can say how we can work together to better the team.”
Head Coach Mike Orfao says that Dylan makes a big difference in goal in each and every game. Orfao adds that Dylan constantly displays top-notch leadership skills among his teammates.
“Dylan is a great captain and does everything you would want a captain to do on and off the field. He leads by example and is always encouraging to his other teammates,” Orfao says. “Dylan’s extremely confident, but also humble. His play between the pipes has kept us in all of our games, giving our guys the best shot to grab a win.”
As the regular season comes to a close, Dylan is looking forward to helping Valley make some noise in states. No matter what happens, Dylan feels thankful for all the support he’s received throughout his final hurrah in the Warriors’ uniform.
“I’d like to thank my family members for always supporting me. Without them, I would have never gotten into the sport and started playing goalie,” says Dylan of his mother Heather, father Dan, and brother Hunter. “I’m glad the season isn’t over right yet. I still want to play and finish up my high school career strong.”
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