Athlete Profile: Dana Shaner

Nine assists, 21 goals and 51 points during 66 games over a four-year career just might make senior co-captain Dana Shaner the quintessential student of the game. Whenever she wasn’t on the field, she was likely studying hard – and not only for her classes as an education major.

“I was always into watching a lot of college and international field hockey videos,” Shaner said. “I would always bother coach [Cathy] Foto into providing me with any film that might have helped me learn something new.”

It certainly did not take long for Shaner to acclimate herself to collegiate level hockey, as she was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2002.

“Coming into my first-year, I was aware that Coach Foto was going through a big transition,” Shaner said. “As a result, I put a lot of pressure on myself to play as well as I could so that I could become someone who my teammates could count on to win games.”

A true difference-maker and the ultimate teammate, it was only fitting that her first score as a Raider was a game-winning goal against Fairfield. Despite Shaner’s tremendous contributions and heroics in her first season, the Raiders finished the season with a 6-10 record. Losing was an attribute that Shaner was unaccustomed to, especially after leading her high school team to a 16-0-1 record during her senior year. Nonetheless, the humble Pottstown, PA, native took the change of scenery in stride.

“Losing in general is frustrating because in high school, I was used to winning all the time,” she said. “It was an adjustment, but then I came to a realization that the team was young and we had to improve with each step, instead of worrying about the scoreboard.”

She noticed an immediate difference last year, a campaign that nearly netted a Patriot League Championship. Shaner attributed the successful 2004 season to her teammates. “I had played together with [them] for a few seasons, which allowed us to develop crucial team chemistry,” she said.

The turnover from the 2004 Raider squad was profound, as the Raiders lost 10 members due to graduation, injury or personal reasons.

Despite a disappointing 2005 season to end her career, Shaner will always have fond field hockey memories to reflect upon.

“During my first-year, we played Syracuse, whom we have a big intrastate rivalry with since they are always one of the best teams in the nation,” Shaner said. “We ended up beating them 1-0 on a goal that I scored. Two years later, in my junior year, after the rough start to the season, we qualified for the PL Tournament and we came from behind to beat Holy Cross, 4-2, to advance to the championship game.”

Challenges have been one of Shaner’s best friends over her four years at Colgate. One need not look further than the team she played with this year, a first-year-laden squad that included 10 underclassmen in total. Nonetheless, she projects a bright future for Raider field hockey that could possibly include a title.

“I am really excited to see how things go next year, since [current junior] Jacque DeMarco will be the only senior on the team with four juniors, seven sophomores and eight first-years,” Shaner said. “Honestly, I would not be surprised if in three years, they won the championship. Anything is possible.”

As Shaner bids Colgate farewell with the rest of her classmates in a few weeks, she will tackle a new challenge – only this time, it doesn’t involve turf.

“I want to land a job for a few years and then go back to school and get my master’s degree,” she said. “I do not want to necessarily become a teacher, but I want to focus on developing curriculums for schools.”

While it remains to be seen if Shaner is hanging up her field hockey cleats permanently, one can be more certain that this four-year champion will find success at any level of work she may aspire to.