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Feb. 11, 2013
By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With under two weeks until the Penn State women's lacrosse team opens its season, standout junior attacker, Mackenzie Cyr, could not be more excited to take the field.
"[We're] really excited, so tired of playing ourselves and ready to play someone else," Cyr said.
Last Tuesday, the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association announced the Nittany Lions were ranked No. 10 heading into the season. Cyr said the team has worked hard to be in a position to be ranked in the nation's top 10, but the hard work is far from done.
Along with the Lions, fellow ALC teams Northwestern and Florida were ranked in the top 10, making the American Lacrosse Conference one of the toughest conferences in the nation.
In 2013, Cyr will be matching up against opponents she has had success against in her first two seasons as a Nittany Lion.
She had five points in games against Loyola and Virginia, as well as four points against Ohio State. All three of these teams are on the upcoming 2013 schedule.
After a stellar sophomore season, and helping lead the program into the NCAA quarterfinals in 2012, Cyr knows this year could be another step for her and her teammates.
"Anything can happen on any given day. It all depends on how we show up to play. We just got to keep working hard," Cyr said.
The junior attacker is part of a group of key core players returning for Penn State. With a young team, it's players like Cyr that will lead the team day after day. Other than senior Molly Fernandez, the attack corps is made up of sophomores and freshman. Fernandez and Cyr will help mentor the young players.
Cyr joined the program in head coach Missy Doherty's first season. Under Doherty, she has become a standout leader on and off the field, something her head coach notices.
"I mean it's exciting that she looks at me like that," Cyr said. "She appreciates me, so it's nice. I mean she's a great coach, she is motivational and all that good stuff."
The offensive star has been climbing the program ranks since she first joined as a freshman two years ago.
Cyr was a crucial part of the team in 2011, her freshman year. She appeared in all 18 games, scoring 12 times and leading Penn State in assists, with 23. When the season had come to an end, Cyr was second on the team in points, had a six point game against Lafayette and looked to be the Nittany Lion's next offensive star.
"I never compare the years," Cyr said. "I just try to do my best that year, like live in the moment."
By the time her sophomore season had come around, Cyr was ready to carry the offensive load. She found the back of the net 34 times, registered a point in 17 games and was tied for second on the team in points again.
"You always want to set a good example for your teammates," Cyr said.
As she prepares for her junior year, Cyr has the support of her team and her sister Madison, currently a freshman playing attack.
"Its awesome, I love playing with [Madison], the junior said. "We're supportive of each other. I get more happy for her when she does well, then I get for myself."
The Nittany Lions open up against Penn in an exhibition game on Saturday, before welcoming Bucknell for the regular season opener on Feb. 20, at 1 p.m.