Fall defenders serve as leaders
With her gritty never-say-die attitude on the field and her inspiring work ethic in every practice, goal keeper Lauren Demski '96 proved to be the stronghold of this year's successful field hockey season.
Demski, who missed not one minute in goal throughout the season, racking up 1283 minutes of play, not only led her team on field, but also as its captain, and she motivated her teammates to play up to their potential.
"It's funny how she makes us accountable for our skills," Kelly Hannigan '97 said. "In practice if we are shooting at her, she gets mad at us if we miss the cage. She's always yelling 'let's go' to both get us mad and fired up."
With a total of 121 saves in 18 games, giving her a .818 save percentage, however, Demski's skill on the field cannot be overlooked.
"As far as being our captain this is her second year," Hannigan said. "She is a great leader and has done a great job of being a motivator and keeping up our intensity."
Despite her not being up front with her teammates during games, the Big Green women knew Demski was ready to support their efforts.
"She would yell during games like no other," four-year teammate Amy Coughlin '96 said. "She was always directing from behind which motivated the defense. It was just good hearing that and knowing she was back there."
Through four years at Dartmouth, Demski's leadership style changed somewhat, Coughlin said. Demski developed an important role on the Big Green's squad.
"I think the pressure she placed on herself let up a little bit," Coughlin said. "She was able to have fun with it a little more. I think she began not to dwell on the bad games, which is important. She took everything in stride."
This changed attitude proved beneficial not only for Demski herself, but for her team as a whole.
"A lot of emotions are contagious," Coughlin said. "She was stoic. She always had a positive attitude and the rest of us would follow. She had great leadership by example."
Hannigan added, "She is so improved. She definitely worked hard this past summer and it showed. She was such a force back there, and her leadership was a great addition this year."
For her efforts, Demski was named to the All-Ivy second team, as she led the Big Green to its first-ever ECAC Championship last week.
"Because she is in the goal, she serves as a leader of the whole defense and with that she sparks the offense, too," Hannigan said. "She works hard every day and that inspires everyone else to work hard, too."
The Demski name is one that will not soon be forgotten by Dartmouth field hockey players or fans.
"She is irreplaceable in a lot of our eyes both in work ethic and skill," Hannigan said.