|Gina Kearns (right) along with head coach Josh Brandwene and sophomore forward|
Tess Weaver at last year's postseason banquet.
Here is a complete transcript of assistant coach Gina Kearns' comments at the women's team's media day Wednesday afternoon.
You've played against Vermont before back in Boston, so do you think you'll be able to help this team prepare for what they might see this weekend?
I don't know specifically about preparing for Vermont, it's been quite a few years and they have a new coach there, and they're kind of now on the upwards swing. But just as far as those first-game jitters, a lot of the pregame stuff, the timing of it all. If I can help, I'm sure they'll ask, and I'll be there willing to help.
How important do you think it is to start the season off strong?
It's definitely important. We've been grinding away here for just about 10 days. These kids have risen to the occasion and have done everything we've asked, so...not so much important in the long scheme of things, but just important for us as a coaching staff and for the girls just to go out there and do things right and just have fun. That's the most important thing.
What do you think it's going to be like to watch the players take the ice in Vermont and go out and play for Penn State?
It's going to be awesome. I've been thinking about - I don't know if Coach Brandwene mentioned it - but I even dreamt about this moment the other night. I can think back to that day that I stepped on the ice for the first time, it's so vivid in my memory, and I'm just so excited for all of them to get to experience it.
What was it like recruiting this team, with a lot of people from the same areas? Was there a snowball effect?
Yeah, I guess 'snowball' is the right word. As soon as both Coach [Brandwene] and I were hired, we hit the road everywhere. We were in Minnesota, we were in Canada, we were in New England. We kind of found the right players, and I guess word travels fast. Friends of friends, coaches of coaches, and they all came here to Penn State.
I know you guys had the scrimmage last weekend, but did you get a chance to catch any of the CHA games?
Yeah, we did. We also watched Vermont and Montreal play. So that was good for us, just to see their system, their power plays, their PKs, things like that.
Early impression is we have a lot of work to do. We feel that we can compete with anybody, but we're going to have to do the little things right in order to do so.
Is it good to maybe open on the road to take a little of the pressure off before you come back here next week against Syracuse?
Absolutely. There's all sorts of fears and excitement, and all those things that come along with playing the first game. As long as it's a little bit further away, you kind of get some of that pressure off. It's not your fans, it's not you guys, it's not a lot of the people. So first game on the road is a little bit in our favor, but we're definitely excited to come here and open up at Greenberg.
And you have the three players who have played Vermont several times without having lost to them. That has to be kind of cool to have on your side.
Yeah, that's good for them - I hope they're not thinking about that too much, because we have a lot of people that have never played them before. We're just looking to go out and have a good showing, and hopefully at the end of the game, the scoreboard's in Penn State's favor.
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