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Feb. 15, 2012
By Cassie Speno, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- The Penn State women's lacrosse team will be honoring former head football coach Joe Paterno's life and legacy this season by sporting his initials on their sticks as well as their shooting shirts.
The shooting shirts read "Make an Impact"- JVP. Jay Paterno, Joe Paterno's son, came to speak to the team and discuss what the quote meant to him and his Dad.
Captain Dana Cahill said what resonated most with her and the rest of the team was when Jay spoke about the lacrosse team laying the foundation this year for the future of the program
"He is a great motivational speaker, he talked to us as a squad when I was a freshman and I just really enjoy what he has to say," said Cahill. "What really stuck with me was when he talked about us laying the groundwork for our program here at Penn State. The University is making a tremendous effort to build the lacrosse program, so we are really going to need to prove to everyone how capable we are. This is the year to make our impact."
Joe Paterno was not just a football coach; he was much more than that. He acted as a mentor to the students, staff and faculty.
The term "Success With Honor" is something that all athletes at Penn State take very seriously. The values that Joe Paterno preached are near and dear to all Penn Staters hearts and are the main reason many of the women on this squad came to Penn State.
Captain Theresa Zichelli wanted to be a part of a program and University that would not only make her a better athlete, but also a better person.
"I wanted to play for a program where playing for your school and teammates meant more than just playing for yourself," said Zichelli. "We have the opportunity to make an impact this season. Out of all the things Joe Paterno taught his players and the rest of us athletes we thought this quote was the most appropriate for our program. "
Head coach Missy Doherty agreed and said the team and the coaching staff took a lot away from Jay Paterno's message.
"Having Jay, who is a friend of our program, speak to the girls was a great way to kick off our season," said Doherty. "He is a tremendous motivational speaker and we were all honored to hear what he had to say."
After listening to Jay, the team went on a bucket list tour of a Beaver Stadium.
"As a senior that just completed my list of things I wanted to accomplish before I graduated," said Cahill. "When the gate opened to the field and we all stood in the middle of one of college footballs most historic landmarks, it literally took my breath away."
After that unforgettable experience and motivational speech the team is united and ready to begin their season on the road against Bucknell.
The Penn State-Bucknell match-up at 4pm on Wednesday with live stats and instant scoring updates will be featured on GameTracker. Find a link on the official website of Nittany Lion athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com.