Athlete of the Issue: Gill Duquette ’19


David Li '21

Gillian Duquette ’19 punts the ball at a home game against Westminster.

Gill Duquette ’19 has been a member of the Girls Varsity Soccer team for four years. She is also goalie of Girls Varsity Hockey. Louisa Essuman ’20, striker on Girls Varsity Soccer, said, “She’s helpful on and off the field. Anytime I’m having a bad game, I know she’ll be there to cheer me up even though she’s beating herself over a goal scored on her. She’s what anyone would want in a teammate.”

What is the best feeling about being goalie? What is the worst?

The best feeling is making a good save. Last year, against Miss Porter’s, I had to save a PK [penalty kick] and we ended up tying. That felt amazing, because I knew if I had let that in we would have lost. The worst is definitely letting in a horrible goal, something that is totally easy to save and you mishandle it or mess up in some way and it looks horrible and your team knows it.

How does it feel to be the team’s last line of defense?

It’s stressful and nerve-wracking at times, because if anyone else makes a mistake it doesn’t show up on the scoreboard, but if I make a mistake or let something in, it’s there for everyone to see. I think in this team, being the last line of defense [is] not that stressful because they are so good; if I make a mistake, they have my back.

How has the team evolved over the years?

My Lower Mid year we weren’t as good as we are now, and we had just missed qualifying for [New England Finals]. Last year we made it all the way to the semi-finals, and won western New England’s. We have honestly always been a team that has the heart, but now we also have the skills. We are extremely hard-working.

Do you think that the team is bonding both on and off the field?

Definitely. On-the-field bonding is critically important, and I think after losing our first game, we realized we have to be a team from here on out. We always have to be there for each other, whether it’s watching a United States game in the faculty room, or hanging out and chilling at team dinners for an hour. We are always together and always support each other.

How do you think that the team has done so far this season? What do you hope for in the future?

I think we have had a challenging season so far, it’s been a little bit disappointing. I think we are working really hard and [we’re] really motivated to improve throughout the season. This hard start will help us later on. If you get up to the post-season and you haven’t lost a game yet, there is no feeling to motivate you. But, having already struggled, you have that disappointing feeling to motivate you to win.

How does being a goalie effect your place on the team? 

When you are first joining a team as a goalie, sometimes it can be hard because you are [physically] separated [from other players]. [However,] having been on the team for forever, I know everyone. [During overtime] you get more comfortable yelling and commanding on the field, because you actually know names and how they play. [Players] will talk back to you and communicate, and it can be hard in the beginning because you are nervous to communicate. [But] as you spend more time on the team, you definitely open up and feel more a part of it.

Do you receive any special goalie training? 

[Roamy Tarantino ’21], the Lower Mid goalie, and I work together [almost] every practice, and sometimes two assistant coaches come and we work on high balls and reaction saves. We also do simple things like calling for the ball and making sure we are yelling.

How does it feel to look back at your life at Hotchkiss and see that you have been the varsity goalie for so long?

That’s a hard question, because soccer is so important to me, but the thing about Hotchkiss is there is so much going on, more then just sports. It’s awesome to see that I [have been] a part of such growth on the team, and looking back on last year and how successful we were, it gives me such a good feeling.