Dinos field hockey is back in action for another season with a team as green as the turf they play on.
"We have a very young team," laughed Assistant Coach Carolyn Fitzgerald. "Because of the lack of experience, we are focusing on team unity. We don't want to depend too much on one player."
There are six rookies and only one fifth-year player on the team this year. But what they lack in experience, they make up for with enthusiasm.
"I really like it. It's a lot of fun," said Danielle Cousineau, a first-year forward from Vancouver. "Everyone has been really welcoming."
"I love it!" agreed Sabina Lee, a first-year from Kelowna. "I wouldn't have gone anywhere else. It's a lot of fun and all the girls are super nice."
Though the season hasn't officially started, the team has already had a chance to hone their skills at the University of Alberta for some exhibition games. They played well, taking a win against the University of Toronto and losing a close 1-0 game to the home team, the Pandas. That solid performance is boosting the Dinos' confidence.
"We're really excited. We have a chance to do really well," said Tanis Bartolome, who joins the dressing Dinos after red-shirting last season. "We're a super young team, but there's lots of potential to do well as long as we work hard. It's good to start from the beginning together and gel as a team."
Midfielder Adrienne McDougall agrees, citing their strong showing against traditionally better teams as evidence to their potential.
The coaching staff's focus this year will be on team building. In addition to Fitzgerald and Head Coach Anne Kromm, the team has a part-time goalie coach, former Olympian Gaye Hass.
The Dinos are at the U of A again Sept. 23-25 to kick off the Canada West season.