By Chuck Tidmore
Sports Information Assistant
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon women's lacrosse team looks to improve this season under new head coach, Julia Steier.
Steier was named head coach of the women's lacrosse team in June and comes to Huntingdon after spending the past three seasons at Drew University, where she went 28-24 as the head coach.
The Lady Hawks won one game last season and finished 1-14 and 1-5 in the USA South Athletic Conference. Steier has said that the team has used that as motivation to get better.
"The overall optimism of the program has been the most impressive thing that has stood out to me between fall ball and the preseason," Steier said. "The team wants to get better and you can see that they are not happy with how their season finished last year.
"We're really looking to tackle team concepts this preseason," Steier said. "The team chemistry is something I want to improve, but it has gotten tremendously better since fall ball."
This will be Huntingdon's third year in the USA South and Steier's first. The Lady Hawks were picked sixth in the preseason conference polls on Wednesday.
Huntingdon opens its season with five out of conference games before traveling to conference opponent Ferrum on March 5th. Coach Steier thinks that the opening part of the schedule will help her team come conference play.
"The hope is that our out of conference play in the first part of the season will help us be ready for when conference games start," Steier said. "What I've learned about the USA South is that any day can be anyone's game. We hope to be peaking when the conference schedule starts."
Huntingdon will graduate its first senior class, which features eight girls who have played since the first season of competition.
"I am the third coach this senior class has had since they have been here, which can be difficult for any player," Steier said. "Their optimism this year has been really good and they are listening to the coaching staff and are trying to get better. They want to make this a great year and the underclassmen have been feeding off of their enthusiasm."
Steier mentioned Candace Williams as a senior she's been impressed with.
"Since the start of preseason, Candace's fitness level and relentlessness has been great for the team," Steier said. "It's been great for the team and has been breeding competition."
Huntingdon will host Alabama-Huntsville, a Division-II school, on Sunday for the Lady Hawks preseason scrimmage at 1 p.m.
The new season brings new rules. Steier is looking to use this scrimmage as a learning tool.
"There area lot of new rules this year and we are going to use this scrimmage to familiarize ourselves with them," Steier said. "We want to see how we can use the new rule changes to better our game and we're going to try to strategize within the rules.
"The scrimmage will also give us a chance to play another team, so it will be nice to play against some one other than yourself."