Munoz: Stanford's Fall Ball Season Comes to End
These past two weeks feel like they have flown by! We have been very busy the past two weekends competing in fall ball tournaments. Last weekend we went back near my hometown in Maryland, and this weekend we hosted a tournament here in Palo Alto, Calif.
Last weekend was so much fun for the team; everyone loves road trips. It was especially fun when our flight got delayed and we didn't end up landing until 1:30 a.m. Then, we ended up going to bed at three and had to leave around 6:30 to go to Annapolis because we were staying in D.C. Upon arrival at about 7:30 a.m. we had to get ready to play UNC at 8:30 (just keep in mind that's 5:30 West Coast time). Besides that minor detail, it was great! It also didn't hurt that when we got out of the airport we were greeted by a party bus awaiting us, oh and lots of pizza. I think the lack of sleep definitely got to us during the first game. There were a lot of mistakes made that we caused ourselves, and usually never make. As the day went on though we definitely improved, ending with a game against Syracuse that we played pretty tight.
After we played Syracuse the team, families, and friends headed over to teammate Liz Adam's house, located perfectly on the Severn River. There was such a great atmosphere with family around, the Stanford football game on the TV, and of course the food. Amy joked that we should put a bowl of crab dip in the middle of the draw circle the way we all attacked it! We also attempted a class photo where we tried to pick up teammate Rachel Ozer, but failed miserably (see below, pretty hilarious).
The next day we played at Georgetown, and our playing was immensely better than Saturday. We started off playing Ohio State, and I can't say for sure because no scores were kept but I think we ended up winning. It was so much better to be discussing how to improve conceptual tasks instead of basic things like ground balls. We then played UVA, which again was a close game, and personally I was stoked to get my first interception of the fall. Interceptions for me are my favorite thing to do, mostly because no one really expects it from a goalie. We ended by playing Georgetown, which was also a close game. Overall it was a great weekend, and we benefited a lot from playing against such tough competition especially going into our tournament that we played this weekend.
On Saturday we played Oregon. Everyone was obviously pumped for this game since Oregon ended our season last spring in the MPSF Championship game. We unofficially won the game, and felt solid about our playing. Sunday was a little inconsistent, playing closer games with SDSU and Cal. We were causing almost all of our mistakes and not making smart decisions. Despite the inconsistently, we played well against UC Davis and St. Mary's. It left us with a lot to work on still, but when it comes down to it that's exactly what fall ball is for.
Now our fall ball season is officially over, and we won't play another team until February. Looking forward, we have until then to get better and work hard to have the best season possible. Everyone knows that preseason is the hardest part of the year, but in a way it's also the best because it turns you into the player you'll become during the season. I'm really looking forward to see how our team develops because I know there's a ton of potential for greatness.