Former North Allegheny ball girl captains U.S. Women's field hockey team in London

Updated:

Loading

PITTSBURGH - Lauren Crandall knows how to use a stick. She’s the captain of the U.S. Women’s field hockey team and is headed to her second Olympics.

“We're looking to stand up on the podium. We're looking to medal,” she said. “That's our goal.”

Crandall was part of the 2008 team that ended a 12-year Olympic drought. Now they are no longer just happy to be at the Games.

“We have a lot of veterans that were there in the 2008 team so we know what to expect this time,” Crandall said. “We're definitely going for the gold.”

Crandall has come a long way since being the ball girl at her sister’s soccer games at North Allegheny.

She lived in Allegheny County until she was 13 when her family moved across the state to outside of Philadelphia.

Crandall is now one of the country’s most elite field hockey players and is ready for the pressure of international play.

“Everyone's bigger, faster, stronger,” she said. “You go to the Olympic games. There are seven games where you need to put best performance every single game.”

Crandall and her teammates deal with the pressure by pampering themselves with a manicure or pedicure but don’t let their down-time ritual fool you.

“When you step on to the field and it's competition, even at this level the girliest girls become fierce competitors,” Crandall said.

Crandall and her teammates start their golden quest with their first game on July 29.