Stanford's Breakthrough at Snowy Ohio State
Many exciting events have occurred recently here at Stanford. First, about two weeks ago I was placed on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List with teammate Anna Kim. Having been selected to the All-Tewaaraton team my senior year of high school, I know what a huge honor it is to be placed on this list. Even though the list will be dwindled down throughout the season until five candidates remain, I am very honored and humbled to be considered.
The following weekend, we earned our first win of the season against then-No. 17 Harvard. I was extremely impressed with our attack unit showing their strengths, and having 11 different people score. However, personally this game was a mental step back.
From reading my previous blogs you can see that sometimes, especially as a goalie, my mind can take over my abilities. If you look at the stats, you will notice that I had one save in the time I played for the first time in my career. Despite receiving the Tewaaraton honor that should have filled me with great confidence, not to mention coming off a hard-fought loss against Notre Dame, my mind was tainted. My mentality was completely shifted from an attitude that I can do anything to I have to do everything, and I think this affects a lot of players. For me I was thinking that I had to make saves instead of thinking that I could. In doing so, this mentality was causing me to be really impatient when shots came, making it much easier for attackers to score. Even though I was very disappointed in myself for letting this mentality get in the way, it's good to recognize what happened and come up with a solution for how to change it.
From the Harvard game, I realized that it wasn't my goalie abilities that were getting in the way of my success, but my mental abilities. I recognized that I'm at my best when I am able to remain patient and calm. Usually before games I like getting pretty hyped up and have a lot of energy, mainly so I can give it to my teammates. However, prior to playing Ohio State this weekend I listened to really calming music and even did some meditation and deep-breathing exercises. I was able to project high energy while remaining calm inside, and I knew I was ready for the game. We were coming off a redeye flight the night before and ended up having to play in the snow. Yet, I felt calm, prepared, and ready, as did the rest of the team. I was able to have success in this game because of my changed mentality and will carry it into every game in the future. I am so proud of my team for this win (12-10, recap here), not only because of the conditions we were playing in, but because this win finally felt like we won together. Those are the best wins.
We got back to campus around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, and are getting right back to business as we play Georgetown on Tuesday, followed by Temple and USC this weekend before we head into our two-week break to prepare for our final exams. I'm looking forward to what's to come this week together with my team and with a changed mentality.