February 20, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- The Penn State Lady Ruggers seem poised to make another deep title run under coach Pete Steinberg and look to continue what has been an impressive season so far this coming weekend.
The Lady Ruggers will try to carry the momentum from their fall schedule that featured a 7-1 record with wins against Virginia, Princeton and Navy.
The Lady Ruggers will take to the pitch 9 p.m. Saturday against Pitt in a preseason game after a layoff of over three months from actual competition and game speed.
Even with the team's success, Steinberg is not willing to stand pat with what they have and wants his team in prime condition for a deep tournament run.
"For us, what we're doing in strength and conditioning is critical. We need to be in the gym and on the track," he said. "By the time we get to the end of the season, there's gonna be a lot of stuff going on, and we're gonna be tired."
The team's recent success has led to higher expectations, especially from the head coach. Steinberg said the goal is to go to the Final Four.
Stanford, who thwarted the team's championship hopes on the last play of the game in last year's tournament, could be a possible roadblock again this season, according to Steinberg.
"The only question is, 'Will we be able to knock off Stanford?' The answer is, 'Yes.' But it's going to be a struggle," Steinberg said.
Steinberg is also looking for some of the younger players to step up and help contribute to the Lady Ruggers down the stretch.
"We have some real high quality players, but what we need are some players that can step up out of the shadows. Players like Annie Ziegler, Kristin Eppig and Pam Coutts who just became starters for us," Steinberg said.
Steinberg is using Saturday's preseason match against Pitt as chance to try out some new things, work on the basics, give the B-side a chance to show what they can do, and get a fresh look at an opponent they have not seen in some time.
"We haven't played them for a couple of years so we'll probably play our b-side against them," he said.
(C) 2007 Daily Collegian via CSTV U-WIRE