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Feb. 24, 2012
By Cassie Speno, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Captain and 2011 ALC Goalie of the Year Dana Cahill is a phenomenal player and student to the game of lacrosse. She is a game changer in more ways than one and her teammates are grateful she is on their side. Assistant coach, Amy Altig, says Cahill has fantastic natural ability and very technically sound skills.
"She really has a nose for the ball," said Altig. "She tracks it really well, no matter what level the ball is shot at. She has great patience and allows herself the time to make the save."
One of Cahill's many strengths is her ability outside the cage. Last year she ranked first on the team and second in the conference in ground balls (47) and finished the season with seven caused turnovers.
"She is becoming better outside of the cage looking for interceptions and coming up with ground balls," said Altig. "She is a complete and utter game changer. When things might be a little crazy on the defensive end, you know she's right there and is going to come up with the big save. She comes up big when you need her all the time."
Being a captain and a goalie, Cahill has a very vocal presence on the field. She is a tremendous leader and the anchor to the defensive end.
"She has such a voice back on the defensive end," said Altig. "Due to her success in the goal cage her teammates really look up to her. They know in a time of need Dana is going to be there. I think when you're a leader you feel a little pressure, but she does a great job of channeling that and really rising above."
Over the past two years, Altig has worked closely with Cahill to advance her skills even further. Altig says when training they focus on how to play certain attackers, taking away certain angles and specific opponents tendencies.
"Dana has a natural ability to really see the ball and just go get it," said Altig. "It's hard to teach hand eye coordination and hand speed, but Dana has those things. She has been a real sponge and great student of the game. She is always in here asking to do film; individual sessions and we are constantly throwing ideas at her so she loves the learning part. It is great as a coach working with a player who wants to learn so much. She was great from the start, but she has only gotten better because she is such a student of the game."
Cahill's coaches and teammates are extremely proud of all of her accomplishments and are looking forward to her success this season.
"I couldn't be more proud of her being on the Tewaarton Watch List right now," said Altig. "For her, I hope she looks back at the ends of this year and says I had an awesome senior year. All the accolades aside, I hope she is proud of herself for the progress she has made in the last year. I know we couldn't be more proud of her and I know her teammates are."