Dana DuMerton - Spark

Dana DuMerton

Women's Soccer
Forward
Fourth Year
5'6"
Human Kinetics


You would be mistaken to think that Spartan center-mid Dana DuMerton's shy smile and gentle disposition are an outward expression of a reserved character, for they are merely a shell for the fiery spirit that burns within her. She may be but one person but it is clear that as Dana steps into a new role as the Captain of this talented Spartan squad it only takes a single spark to ignite a raging fire.

While most of the Spartans were out playing Timbits soccer at the ripe young age of five, Dana spent her younger years in the dance studio learning the intricacies of ballet, jazz, tap and hip-hop. But dancing is not all that different from soccer - both require precision and grace, endurance and speed - and so it was not a surprise when Dana, at age ten, began playing soccer and instantly fell in love. "It was a love, however, that was slow to mature," recalls Dana. "Soccer was a part of my life but I played so many other sports like volleyball, basketball and I ran track and field so it took me longer to narrow my focus in on soccer."

Dana began playing with the Abbotsford Rush - the team that would not only carry her all the way through her club soccer career but provide her with the necessary jumping-off point to become a CIS athlete as well. "The coach out at Abbotsford Soccer's School of Excellence is one that I credit as having had a tremendous impact on my abilities as a player," says Dana. "He taught me valuable skills like defensive shape and how to hold the ball, but above all else he instilled in me a solid work ethic."

In 2005 Dana walked onto the Spartan field for the first time and knew instantly that playing in the CIS was a whole new ball game. It would put her work ethic to the test, requiring her to prove herself and to earn her place on the team through hard work and perseverance. "Coming into TWU I didn't play much in my first year and quickly figured out that I absolutely hated sitting on the bench," says Dana. "Consequently whenever I went on the field there was a fire just blazing under my butt. Graham always talked about coming onto the field and being a spark - being a person who really changes the flow of the game - and I totally took his advice to heart. I know that my desire to be a key member of this team began in my first year and has been one of the motivating factors that has brought me to the place I am now."

And what a place it is for Dana to be. After three long years of hard work and even harder play Dana has emerged from the fire as a refined player who is leaving a mark not only on the CIS but on the Spartan record books as well. Clocking in with three game winning goals in 2007 (one shy of the school record) and with the third most games played in a single season with 24 games during the 2006 season Dana's spark has truly become a flame.

This year Dana has been charged with the task of leading the Spartans through the season as their captain and while she is well aware of the sacrifices it will take she knows exactly what she needs to do. "My burning desire and commitment to always working hard are things that have taken me this far," says Dana. "So, when I lead all I want to do is demonstrate that for the girls. I am by no means short on words but something that I have learned from previous captains is how to lead by example. It's something I have tried to adopt because in the end words will only take you so far - there comes a time when you just have to get out there and back it up with what you do."

Head Coach Graham Roxburgh has seen many leaders come and go but acknowledges Dana's inherent characteristics and tremendous work ethic that allow him to put his every confidence in her as a leader. "Dana is a special player for our program and when she is playing at the top of her game she is the type of player that raises the level for the players around her," says Graham. "I am excited that Dana has taken on the new role this season and has served our team in a number of ways, which I believe will prove crucial to the long term success of such a young team. She is a great contributor to our program and I believe a crucial component to our success."

But success never comes easily. With the goals of winning Canada West and ultimately a National Title coming closer to fruition each day, Dana is busying herself with fostering confidence and passion in those around her. "As a team we decided early on that we wanted the word ‘passion' to be the hallmark of our year. There's 30 of us but only 18 can dress and when it comes down to it this is a team sport and everyone needs to buy into and get excited about the goals we have laid out for ourselves - every single person has got to light the spark under their butt, ignite the passion and just give it all they've got."

 

Last Updated: 2008-10-14
Author: Scott Stewart

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