Kristi DeMilt ’14 began playing lacrosse in second grade before moving to New Jersey. Playing club lacrosse before and after moving to the Princeton area kindled DeMilt’s passion for the game and motivated her to continue playing. DeMilt said that she became more involved with lacrosse over the years because she enjoyed the friendship aspect of the sport and the opportunity it provided to make new friends. “I like to bond with a group of girls every single day, and [I like] having a core group of friends,” said DeMilt. According to DeMilt, a big reason why she stuck with lacrosse is because “[she] had a lot of fun and made friends everywhere [she] went, which is why [she] became more serious about the sport.”
DeMilt originally started her career off on the offensive side, and then switched to defense when she underwent a high school growth spurt. At 5’11’’, DeMilt’s height enables her to be more impactful on defense by using her long reach to her advantage. Having long arms allows DeMilt to intercept passes more easily than shorter players and also helped her achieve 41 career ground balls. DeMilt’s defense this season has helped her guide her team to a 17–4 record and the finals of the Mercer County and Group III State Tournaments.
DeMilt has grown to occupy more of a leadership role as she has gotten older, helping out her younger teammates through leading by example. “As you get older, you’re able to open up more and become more of a leader and direct … and help certain players,” said DeMilt. Her senior experience has allowed DeMilt to help younger players perform in high-pressure situations. The pressure is greatest on the defense when the game is on the line and the defense needs to make a stop. “It can be very nerve-racking in the final 30 seconds when every pass and ground ball counts,” said DeMilt.
DeMilt gives a lot of credit to Taylor Blair ’11, who played on the team when Demilt was a freshman. “She showed me what high school lacrosse was, and without her, my whole experience could have been different,” said Demilt.
DeMilt has committed to TCNJ to play in its Division I program and plans to continue staying involved in lacrosse following her college career. She expects the quality and pace of the games to be much higher because the players there will be stronger. Also, different rules, such as defenders being able to run through the crease and engage in more body contact, will force DeMilt to alter her own game to match the collegiate style of play.
“It definitely will be an adjustment, but I think it will be very fun and exciting and a lot more competitive.”
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