Munoz: Reflecting on a Historic Season at Stanford
For those who didn't follow the NCAA tournament games, our season ended May 12 at Northwestern, where we lost 15-8 in the second round. The game started off well, and Northwestern led only 6-4 at halftime. Unfortunately we again could not put two halves together, we lost draw controls (something we lead the nation in), the defense was not playing as a unit, and the offense wasn't capitalizing on opportunities. It is again unfortunate to go down like that but unless you win the national championship, most team's seasons end on a loss. As hard as it is to accept the end of a season, it's important to reflect on the positives.
This Stanford team has accomplished a lot this year, even making Stanford lacrosse history. Not only did we make program history by advancing past the first round for the first time, but also several individuals put their names at the top of the record books. Junior defender Megan Lerner set the program record for most draw controls in a single game and well as single season at nine and 63, respectively. Junior midfielder Anna Kim surpassed the previously held record for draw controls of 52 as well, grabbing 56. Redshirt sophomore attacker Rachel Ozer tied the record for most shots in a single season, coming in with 101. Several other players put their names in the record books this season, albeit not at the top.
This team was historic for several other reasons as well. This season, with its ups and downs, has by far been my favorite year of playing for Stanford. I could not have asked for a better combination of teammates, coaches, and staff. Each and every member of the team had an impact on one another, no matter how many minutes were spent on the field. Something that coach Amy Bokker has continually told us is how this team has changed the culture of Stanford lacrosse. It started this fall in our work ethic, from our fitness test results to our efforts in the weight room to the competition level at practices. Amy has also told us that this is the first year that at every practice there are several players arriving before her putting in extra work. Not only has our work ethic been historic, but also the relationships formed this season have been tremendous. I cannot say enough about how great my teammates are. There is always support and love that goes out to everyone on our team, and it is because of the atmosphere we have created. Despite the large amounts of time we spend together, everyone enjoyed the time we had. Through the hard conditioning sessions and practices, there was always someone who found a way to provide some laughs. Even when it was 7 a.m. and pouring rain, we laughed. It was by far the best year, and I'm very sad to see it end.
Another reason why it makes me so sad that the season is ending is because it has made me realize that I only have one more left. There's only one more season to accomplish what I came to Stanford to do, and that's to win a national championship. As tough as it is to see this season end, I am also filled with so much excitement for the coming year already. As our team loses two great seniors and gains eight new freshmen, we will continue to rise. After coming off the great season we did have, I know the future is very bright for this team. I can't wait to start preparing, and making myself the best player and teammate I can before my last year at Stanford.