TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Dominique Alpuche and her Hackley School girls lacrosse teammates are intent on repeating as state champions in the New York State Association of Independent Schools. The senior from Chappaqua has done her part in helping the Hornets take a big step toward that goal.
Alpuche has 37 goals in 10 games for unbeaten Hackley, and has been named The Daily Voice Athlete of the Month for Westchester County for April.
Teams have taken their best shot at the Hornets, who went undefeated in 2012. But led by Alpuche, the Hornets have picked right up where they left off last year. “I think all of us are very competitive,’’ Alpuche said. “We all put pressure on ourselves to be the best we can be. Last year, we got a taste of how good we can be. We all wanted to keep it going. We’re self-motivated, and I think everyone is excited to see what we can do.”
Alpuche had four goals in Saturday’s 16-5 win over Poly Prep Country Day School. She has multiple four-goal games already this season, and had five goals in a tough 16-13 win over Fieldston. She said the team’s balance, however, is what makes it formidable.
“One thing that’s special about this year’s team is we’re so deep,’’ she said. “There are a lot of girls who can contribute. There is not one player who defines us. Our chemistry that we have with each other is special. That’s the biggest part. We don’t have to rely on one player.”
Alpuche has added incentive to finish strong for Hackley this spring. This will probably be her last hurrah as a serious competitive athlete. She will attend Harvard, and made the difficult decision to give up competitive athletics. She also plays soccer and basketball.
“I thought if you really want to do this, you have to be all in,’’ Alpuche said. “I wanted to do a lot, enjoy things outside of sports. I didn’t want to have five-hour practices and just be a part of the athletic community. I want to be well-rounded and try as many things as I can.”
She has made an impact at Hackley off the field as well. She is editor of the school newspaper, and shares the role of head ambassador for potential students. “The easiest job in the world is to be an ambassador and tell them about how incredible the last 13 years have been,’’ Alpuche said. “You get to brag about how great it has been.”
In a matter of weeks, her athletic career will draw to a close. She hopes it ends up hoisting state championship hardware. Regardless of how it concludes, it’s going to be emotional.
“I’m extremely sentimental,’’ she said. “I try to the push the end of the year stuff out of my mind. It’s too overwhelming for me. As we get to our last home game, I know it’s going to be tough. I’m not going to think about it too much. I think the competition and the fact that you’re playing for a championship takes your mind off of it.”
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