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Katherine Dahl is in the home stretch of her second campaign as a captain for the Westbrook field hockey squad. (Photo courtesy of Katherine Dahl )
Senior midfielder Katherine Dahl (right) helped the Knights’ field hockey team win 13 games during the recent regular season and is now leading Westbrook into the playoffs. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
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Katherine Dahl has only been playing field hockey for three years, but she’s made some swift strides in a short span of time as a member of the Westbrook field hockey squad. Katherine has progressed into an impact player for the Knights who’s also doing a great job of leading the team as a senior captain this fall.
Katherine, a left midfielder, grew up playing youth soccer, before deciding to go out for the field hockey team in her sophomore year at Westbrook. Last year, Katherine earned the rank of captain as a junior for the Knights. Now in her second year as a team leader, Katherine helped Westbrook finish with a regular-season record of 13-1-2 to earn high seeds in both the Shoreline Conference and Class S State tournaments. Thus far, she has two goals and two assists on the campaign.
“Switching over to the field hockey team here was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it’s been such a fulfilling experience. We had a good season last year, but we’ve come together even more this season,” says Katherine. “We’re working so well together. Everyone has a different role and brings something special to the team. There isn’t one person that carries the whole team.”
Katherine is constantly on the move while serving as a link between Westbrook’s offense and defense at the midfielder’s position. It takes a lot of endurance to cover so much real estate, but Katherine embraces the challenge.
“Left midfielder probably requires the most running. You can be helping the forwards, but then sprinting back to get on defense,” says Katherine. “It’s rewarding, though, because you help a lot in transition. It’s a rewarding position to play, even with all the running.”
Katherine has certainly come long way with her physical skills on the field during the past few seasons. She also feels that playing field hockey for Westbrook has helped her develop the mental durability that’s needed to get through everyday life.
“Field hockey has made me a strong person, because you need determination to play it. You can make a mistake, but it’s about how you bounce back,” she says. “We have a special environment here, and it’s like a family. You learn more than just the game. It helps you become a better person.”
Head Coach Janet Dickey describes Katherine is an ideal leader for the Knights. Dickey says that one of Katherine’s greatest assets is the constant optimism that she brings to the squad.
“Katherine is a great motivator and leader. She does everything with all of her energy and skill,” says Dickey. “Katherine is a hard worker and all-around great person to have on the team. We enjoy her energy and positivity that she brings to the field every day.”
Katherine is doing everything she can to help Westbrook have a memorable 2018 campaign in her capacity as a captain. However, she’s also teaching the Knights’ underclass athletes some valuable things that will benefit the team during future seasons.
“Captain is a major responsibility because, if the team has an off day, it falls on the captain to get the team back on track. You have to be a motivator and give the team energy and an upbeat mindset,” Katherine says. “It’s also important to help the younger kids, so they can prosper in the later stages of their careers.”
As usual, the Shoreline Conference features a deep pool of talented teams this year. Katherine says the Knights are ready to face every challenge head-on and play as a cohesive unit as they strive toward postseason glory.
“The Shoreline Conference is very competitive with good players and teams. When we keep our focus and play our game, amazing things happen,” says Katherine. “We can be so successful when we work together as a team. If we leave it all on the field, then that will be enough for us, whether we win or lose.”
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