Munoz: Stanford Starts Packed Fall Schedule
FINALLY I am back at school! Stanford uses the trimester schedule, so September felt endless at home in Maryland with having no one else around to keep me company but my lovely parents. Even my younger sister went off in early August to start her freshman year at Limestone. Now as I have finished my first week of school, many of my friends have begun preparing for midterms!
The trimester schedule is really crazy, but I like it. The extra month to myself gives me extra time to focus on my workouts and lacrosse. Since my sister left early I got to experience being an only child for a month, which was awesome! Mainly because my sister is severely allergic to peanuts so being deprived for so long as a child, I was so happy to finally make my favorite peanut butter cookies.
We finished our first week of lacrosse also, which is very exciting! Our 11 freshmen have been adjusting well to our style of play, and it's been great for me having another goalie on the team! Also, we're getting to know our new assistant Lauren Schwarzmann, who we are all thrilled to have as a coach.
On Monday we started out with a run test, called the Manchester United test, which is required by all of us to pass in order to play in games. It's a series of 100-yard sprints in which the first 10 you have to run 100 yards in 25 seconds, and back in 35 seconds. Then, as you go up a "level" or to the next sprint, the time spent sprinting decreases by a second and the recovery increases by a second until the 20th sprint, which is 15 seconds down and 45 seconds back. To pass the test, you have to get to the 20th sprint, but coach Bokker encourages us to do as many as we possibly can. This year was great because we actually had three girls max out the test at 30 sprints, and many others were close to doing so.
Tuesday we had our first lift, followed by a scrimmage later in the day. Not surprisingly it was little chaotic, but it got better as time progressed. I was just happy to be playing with my team again. Wednesday is always our off day, but for me I like to keep up my fitness by doing a non-impact workout so I'm getting cardio work in without putting a ton of strain on my body. After all, the rest of the team runs a lot more than me during practice. Thursday we have the same schedule as Tuesday, but in practice we got more into our defense and sliding packages.
Friday morning was our first beep test -- a series of runs of about 20 yards, basically an endurance test where the time between beeps decreases after each touch of a line -- followed by some 300-yard shuttles (everyone hit the ice bath after that one). We had practice in the afternoon, introducing the freshmen to more fundamentals of our strategies. Saturday was the last practice of the week and we did some of the same things. We have already improved through the week, and look to continue to do so in the coming week.
This year I think we might have the toughest fall ball schedule of any Division I program. While everyone else has been practicing for weeks before their first fall ball competition, we have seven practices to get ready for the Stars & Stripes event that we're participating in this week. We play England and Rikkyo University from Japan on Wednesday. We play Australia on Friday, and Sunday we play USA. It's extremely intimidating to start off with such tough competition but it's also extremely exciting to play against the best teams at the highest level of lacrosse. I know it's going to be a great learning experience for the whole team to not only play against the best and challenge ourselves, but to see what they do and how they do it.
The following weekend we travel to the East Coast, near my hometown, which I am so pumped for! We're leaving Friday afternoon, and then going to Navy Saturday morning to play UNC, Bucknell, Towson, and Syracuse. Then Sunday we're going to Georgetown to play Ohio State, UVA, and Georgetown.
It's going to be super busy, but a lot of fun too. We're playing a lot of games in a small amount of time, but it will be great to get exposure to so many teams to learn what we need to improve on moving forward. Also, not to mention it will be a great opportunity to see family and friends who live close, especially since majority of our team is from the East Coast. The next weekend we host our own playday, playing some conference teams. Needless to say, Stanford lacrosse is getting after it this fall.
Even though it's only been a week, our team atmosphere is so great, and the energy couldn't be higher. We all really mesh together well, and it's going to be awesome to see how that develops in the future. It's going to be a great year, and I'm looking forward to it!