Upon meeting admission officer and coach Alison DiNardo, her kind smile and welcoming presence are striking. But the girls’ varsity lacrosse certainly won’t have it easy this season. With a deep knowledge of the game and personal experience, Mrs. DiNardo comes determined to build up what is already an incredibly strong program.
Mrs. DiNardo knows what she’s talking about when it comes to lacrosse. As a member of the Amherst College women’s lacrosse team, she won the national title her junior year, and was a captain and second team All-American her senior year. This background is one of the things that excites players the most about their new coach.
“I think I’m most excited for her to bring her experience to the Deerfield team. I’m really excited to learn from a collegiate player and especially someone so passionate about the game,” said co-captain Hallie Dewey ’11. “I think she is an awesome addition to the program and will strongly impact the future of Deerfield girls’ lacrosse.”
Dewey is not the only one who is excited for the team this year and for where the program is headed. “I’m so excited about getting to know our players, and about the senior leadership this year. Part of the joy of being a new coach is fresh eyes on all of the players in the program, regardless of what their experience or age is,” said Mrs. DiNardo.
Mrs. Dinardo hopes to make a difference through
“supporting the girls through the college recruiting experience, because I know personally how intimidating it can be, and I really want to help them to play at the [collegiate] level.” She also wants to reshape the entire lacrosse program into a feeder system, in which girls at lower levels can develop and move up to the varsity team. Mrs. Dinardo eagerly anticipates the Florida preseason trip. “It will be a great way to get a sense of the depth of the team, as well as a fun, productive way to kick off the season!”
Dewey is also excited for the trip, adding, “I think this year will be defined by hard work, all starting with the spring trip this March. Especially with Ms. Creagh as her right-hand woman, who was a great addition to the team last year, this season’s motto might as well be ‘no pain, no gain!’ ”
Although under a pair of fit, tough, and experienced coaches, the team will strike a balance between hard work and fun. “One of the things I liked best about Mrs. DiNardo as our assistant field hockey coach was that she wanted us to work hard, but also encouraged a lot of team bonding and she always added fun games into practices,” said Lindsey Ziglar ’13, who captained Mrs. DiNardo’s j.v. field hockey team this fall.
So it seems that there are nothing but great things to look forward to this spring for the girls in the lacrosse program. With a new coach filled with enthusiasm and ready to push her players to work their absolute hardest, girls’ lacrosse will certainly be a team to follow closely this spring.