By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In just a few weeks from now, Katie Guy will pick up her stick and lead the women's lacrosse team onto the field for her final season as a Nittany Lion.
Guy has spent her first three seasons at the midfield position; in 2013 she will switch to the defensive end of the field to help her young team.
"We have a lot of young people, a lot of young defenders right now and our team is pretty young actually this year so I'm kind of just trying to bring them up to speed on the system Missy (Doherty) implemented and make sure everyone is on the right page," said Guy.
Lacrosse Magazine recently named Guy the x-factor of the Nittany Lions. She will fill the vocal void left by former goalie Dana Cahill.
"It's hard because this year is a whole new team. We lost Dana, our goalie last year, who was a huge part of our defense for me, talking and stuff she was a huge leader down there. I'm kind of trying to fill up her role a little bit. We're focusing on this team this year so it's not the same as last year, we have a lot of good players," said Guy.
Since Guy joined the program in 2010, she has steadily improved her game and become a leader of the team. The senior now looks to build on her recent success. As a freshman, she appeared in eight games, grabbed eight groundballs, five draw controls and forced a turnover.
As a sophomore, Guy played in 17 games, scored four goals and had 19 draw controls. It set up her best season yet as a junior. She helped lead the Lions to a 12-7 record, started every game and was a huge part of the team's on the field communication.
At the end of 2012, she had recorded 30 draw controls, created 13 turnovers and scored five goals, all career highs.
It was during Guy's sophomore campaign when head coach Missy Doherty arrived on campus. She implemented a system that transformed the team into an instant contender, and helped Guy take her game to the next level.
"[Coach Doherty] is definitely inspiring. She is hard on us sometimes, which I think we need. Other times she is great to us," said Guy. "We practice hard, she gives us the weekend off and she is not like a drill sergeant all the time but she's definitely hard when she needs to be which I think we need sometimes too."
Guy, a senior captain, has been in the program long enough now to know the expectations. The Nittany Lions advanced to the elite eight at last year's NCAA Tournament, and are excited about the season ahead.
"It's exciting. It's like alright, we have these expectations, let's build from them. We made it to the eight last year, we can make it to the final four this year I have no doubt in my mind. It's not like scary pressure it's sort of a little fire under our behinds to work even harder this year."
The Nittany Lions face a challenge in net this year with a new goaltender. Senior Ayla Harus and freshman Emi Smith are competing for time in 2013, and Guy has helped both develop.
"Both of them are doing an excellent job, they're challenging each other and stepping up everyday. I can truly say everyday they're getting better," said Guy. "It's just exciting to see and as a defense we're just trying to focus our defense on keeping the shots to the outside, I guess those are better angles for goalies and that kind of stuff, so we're really focusing our defense more on how to help them in the cage and help them get better."
Penn State plays in one of the most elite conferences in women's lacrosse. The team will play NCAA contenders in Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Florida and Maryland. Guy said the team has embraced playing these tough opponents and actually looks forward to the challenge.
"I figure if we're in our conference playing these teams in big games then when we get to NCAAs we won the first round, we were winning the first round because we were used to playing such hard teams. Northwestern, Florida even Johns Hopkins all made it to NCAA"s last year and they were all in our conference so we had seen them once or twice. Once in the season and then again in our conference final so we weren't really intimidated when we got to the NCAAs because we were playing teams that hard all year. It's awesome."
Guy also said the young team is doing very well preparing for the 2013 campaign. The freshmen and sophomores have stepped up on the practice field and thoroughly impressed their vocal leader.
"They're doing a pretty good job, a really good job, on their own stepping up. They're stepping into the shoes of people that left last year I don't even really have to say too much last year," said Guy. "Honestly, they're doing a great job, even just little things though on defense we're trying to get our defense together to slide sooner and communication is a huge part of defense, which we were lacking a little bit, but the girls are doing a good job of stepping up, I'm very impressed."
The 2013 season will mark the end of Katie Guy's Penn State career. She will be leaving a program she has become the leader of. The senior is ready to hit the field in a few weeks to start what should be an amazing run.
"I love this team this year so I'm just excited to sort of take it as far as we can and sort of leave it all out on the field I guess. I'm excited to just enjoy every moment along the way," Guy said.
Katie Guy Ready For Senior Year
By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
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