As a four-year starter in lacrosse and field hockey, Kristen Dirmaier understands the challenges that a team must be ready to handle every time it takes the field in what is arguably the most competitive Division III Conference in the nation.
But for the Camel players and their fans, there is plenty of reason to believe that Wednesday´s game against 15th ranked Williams College can serve as a springboard into a successful second half of the 2010 season.
"Every game, we´ve been getting so much better," Dirmaier said. "Last year was a bit of a rebuilding year. This year, we have young players but our sophomores have stepped. We´re close as a team, and we have chemistry on and off the field."
That chemistry was evident on a successful spring break trip to Florida that was highlighted by a victory against a previously undefeated McDaniel College squad.
Dirmaier is comfortable playing in a defensive backfield with classmates Cookie Smith and Kylee Yam, close friends that communicate well together on and off the turf.
"I know when Yam is going to go for the interception or when I have to slide," Dirmaier said. "We know each other´s tendencies."
The Camels have been finding their offensive rhythm with 23 goals scored in the past two games. Sophomore Hope Barone and Abby Hill share the team lead with 16 goals scored. Katelyn Driscoll exploded with five scores against Bowdoin Saturday and ranks second on the squad with 11 goals.
Ashleigh Kowtoniuk is averaging 9.86 saves per start in her first season as the full time starting keeper.
The team has been appreciative of the tutelage they have received from Head Coach Heather McClelland and the rest of the coaching staff.
"It´s been amazing to have offensive and defensive coaching and the individual attention we need," Dirmaier said.
Dirmaier and the rest of the Camels will be looking for support from the home crowd Wednesday.
The Camels and Ephs will clash in a 4:30 p.m. NESCAC game on the Artificial Turf at Silfen Field.
April 6, 2010