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Every team hopes to start strong. To have that one defining moment to carry it through the rest of the season.
Last week, that moment came for the Chambersburg field hockey team off the stick of Rachel Dusman.
With just over six minutes left in regulation, Dusman grabbed a rebound at the top of the circle and sent an airborne shot past the right of the State College goalie for the eventual game-winning goal in the Trojans' 2-1 upset over the Mid Penn Commonwealth Division favorite.
Dusman, a junior captain, is the P.O. Female Athlete of the Week.
"The kids are still excited," Chambersburg coach Jen Amsley said. "It set the season off on a good note, and it was very positive for us. I think in that game particular I depended on (Dusman) and Liza (Ernst) a lot."
After the goal, Amsley sent Dusman and Ernst to control the defense and secure the win.
"We double-teamed them and worked together to keep them from scoring," Dusman said. "It was an important win for us. We know now that we can beat anyone if we work together like we did against State College. It gave us a good outlook for the rest of the season."
Days later, Dusman had a goal and an assist against Waynesboro in a statement 7-0 shutout and contributed even more as a junior captain.
"I've seen (her leadership) on the field," Amsley said. "Her play and just out there on the field, she's talking to the players and she presents herself well off the field; talking to the girls and leading by example."
In the offseason Dusman trained with her club hockey team Central Penn Elite, and worked tirelessly on her own to improve her game.
"I always have a stick in my hand," Dusman said. "I played every weekend and I do pulls every night. I put in a lot of work and I think it has helped me a lot."
"Her confidence has increased tremendously," Amsley said. "I feel like she is carrying more on her shoulders this year, and I felt like it was a big deal contributing to the win in State College. That go-ahead goal was a great goal for her."
Rachel Dusman, Chambersburg
Sport: Field hockey
Parents: Todd and Cathy Dusman
Other interests: She also plays lacrosse, and is a member of the Key Club and National Honor Society.
Athlete most admired: Katie Bam, USA field hockey
Favorite team: Baltimore Orioles
Surprising fact: Dusman is a second-degree black belt in martial arts. She began training in third grade and earned her black belt in middle school before focusing on field hockey.
Statistics: Dusman scored the game-winning goal in Chambersburg's 2-1 upset victory over State College, and had a goal and an assist against Waynesboro.