NorCal All American Girls Lacrosse Selections: Tenacity players sweep all 16 spots on the NorCal All American team!

We couldn’t be more proud of all 16 All Americans and the 28 All Academic Players who are part of our Tenacity Community. Way to make us proud and #PlayWithTenacity

“Below are the Northern California All Americans and Academic Award winners for the 2016 Girls’ Lacrosse Season.  Players were nominated by their coaches and voted on by members of the Northern California coaching community per US Lacrosse policy.  Congratulations to these fine representatives from Northern California.”

All American Players: ALL have played or currently play with Tenacity

“US Lacrosse defines an All American player as: the best players from their area. They exhibit superior skills and techniques, possess exceptional game sense and knowledge, and embody good sportsmanship.”
Sadie Grozier Junior Amador Valley
Morgan Taylor Senior California High School
Jordyn Pandolfo Junior California High School
Ashley Ward Junior California High School
Lauren Hardoy Junior Granite Bay
Caitlin Mccarthy Senior Marin Catholic
Kate Graham Senior Marin Catholic
Ashley Hill Senior Marin Catholic
Amanda Outcalt Senior Monte Vista
Jensen Neff Senior Novato High School
Catriona Barry Junior St. Ignatius
Ally Mayle Senior St. Ignatius
Emma Knaus Junior St. Ignatius
Kyra Pelton Senior St. Ignatius
Sophie Kamanski Senior St. Ignatius
Emilee Pineda Senior St. Ignatius

All Academic Players: 28 of the 61 have play or currently play for Tenacity

“US Lacrosse defines an All-Academic Player as: one who exhibits exemplary lacrosse skills, good sportsmanship on the field, and represents high standards of academic achievement in the classroom.”

Sadie Grozier Amador Valley High School 2017
Juliana Leedeman Amador Valley High School 2016
Emily Hickey Amador Valley High School 2017
Bella Freschi Amador Valley High School 2017
Charly Hennegan Amador Valley High School 2016
Kayla Meacham Archbishop Mitty High School 2016
Camille Garlick Archbishop Mitty High School 2017
Katie Kuptz Carondelet High School 2016
Mia Maloney Carondelet High School 2016
Abigail Cattermole Carondelet High School 2016
Sofia Panella Carondelet High School 2016
Olivia Pereira Carondelet High School 2016
Michaela Lopez Dougherty Valley High School 2016
Devyn Diolazo Dougherty Valley High School 2016
Stephanie Yeo Dougherty Valley High School 2016
Haley Raizes Dougherty Valley High School 2016
Amanda O’Brien Dougherty Valley High School 2017
Nicole Chan Dougherty Valley High School 2016
Kaley Stunz Granite Bay 2017
Mckenzie Francis Blackwell Granite Bay 2017
Quincy Smith Granite Bay 2016
Autumn Mannsfeld Granite Bay 2017
Jaden Troxel Granite Bay 2017
Sydney Saylor Granite Bay 2016
Michaela Setiawan Granite Bay 2016
Ashley Hill Marin Catholic 2016
Grace Lombardi Marin Catholic 2016
Caitlin Burnham Marin Catholic 2017
Caitlin McCarthy Marin Catholic 2016
Kelly Woods Menlo-Atherton High School 2017
Sally Carlson Menlo-Atherton High School 2016
Emma Easton Menlo-Atherton High School 2017
Sara Reid Monte Vista High School 2016
Lily Sauer Monte Vista High School 2016
Blaire Southmayd Monte Vista High School 2017
Rory Daly Novato High School 2017
Maya Benatar Palo Alto High School 2016
Reid Walters Palo Alto High School 2016
Kylie Callan Palo Alto High School 2016
Holly Tumminaro Palo Alto High School 2016
Mikayla Spaizman Palo Alto High School 2016
Emma Johnson Sacred Heart Prep 2016
Rachel Wu San Francisco University High School 2017
Sara Cami San Francisco University High School 2016
Nina Lampert San Francisco University High School 2016
Margot Young San Francisco University High School 2017
Karson Daecher San Francisco University High School 2016
Sophie Kamanski St. Ignatius 2016
Kyra Pelton St. Ignatius 2016
Madelyn Francesconi St. Ignatius 2016
Catriona Barry St. Ignatius 2017
Emma Knaus St. Ignatius 2017
Kaleb Pattawi Stevenson School 2016
Taylor Ianrosca The Harker School 2017
Taylor Ianrosca The Harker School 2017
Aditi Maheshwari The Harker School 2017
Alayna Richmond The Harker School 2017
Priyanka Taneja The Harker School 2017
Emma Cushing York School 2017
Geri Pirkle York School 2016
Brooke Pauken Archbishop Mitty High School 2017


Senior Spotlight: Sara Reid, Tenacity Bay Area

Sara Reid
Tenacity Bay Area
Claremont McKenna ’20


As a goalie, Sara Reid is no stranger to pressure and the nerves that come along with it.  She might have been a little nervous when, as a freshmen at Monte Villa High School, she first held a lacrosse stick and stepped into the cage.  She might’ve been a little nervous when she tried out for her Tenacity team at an early-season practice or when she had to make a decision about where to go to college.  But she had a blast on her first day playing and this fall, just four short years later, she’s heading off to Claremont McKenna to continue her lacrosse and academic careers, so I’d say she’s found a way to conquer those nerves!  Sara says that Theresa Sherry gave her the best advice: “Nerves are a good thing.  They show that you care—but you also need to learn how to control them.”  She uses visualization and breathing techniques to prepare herself for big games, big tests and anything else that comes her way, and she understands that being an athlete is not just about the work you do on the field—the sprints, the wall ball, the juggling.  It’s what you do off the field as well.

I caught up with Sara just hours before she left for Uganda on Monday night.  Bon voyage, Sara, from all of us back here at Tenacity!  


You’re leaving for Africa tonight.  What’s the trip for?  

Kira Weiss has an organization called Fund-A-Field and I’m going over there with that organization.  We’re going to host a soccer tournament and a lacrosse tournament in Uganda and help the kids learn how to play.  I’m really excited.  We’re trying to spread lacrosse.  We get teams in California to donate sticks and we bring them over.  I didn’t go last year, but my sister went and she said the girls had so much fun playing.  They love the sticks and the goggles – everything!  I think we might bring some of the Workout Wednesday’s over there.  


Will you be bringing anything else that you’ve learned through Tenacity?

Oh, definitely.  I’m really looking forward to helping the goalies.  Last year they didn’t really have a goalie coach—and I’m not a coach, but I know a lot about the position.


How did you decide to be a goalie?

I played soccer throughout middle school, but not really at a high level.  I played goalie and had a lot of fun with it, and then in high school I just really wanted to play a sport.  I felt like I could make an impact on the school if I could play a sport, but soccer at my high school is really competitive.  You have to be on the best club team to make it.  Then my friend said she was going to try out for lacrosse and that there were no cuts, and I thought, ‘Oh, that sounds good.’  I thought maybe I’d make the JV team, but I just really wanted to play.  And then they sent out an email asking for goalies, so I started playing goalie.  I had a lot of fun at tryouts.  I was put on JV and then halfway through the year I made Varsity.  I improved a lot!  


I love that lacrosse is new enough out here that school teams are really open and encouraging so much growth, that you don’t have to be really experienced going into it—like you would have with your school’s soccer program.  

Yeah.  If they had cut me, my life would have been so different.  I’m grateful for that.


As a goalie, you bring something very unique to the team.  Any advice for younger girls in the cage?

It’s such an intimidating position.  Most people want to be that star attacker, but if you make a big save with a minute left, you have that star moment.  It’s a very rewarding position.  I have a lot of sense on the field as well, and I have a lot of mental toughness.


Theresa mentioned that you talked to her about mental toughness the night before the Novato game this spring, and that you had an incredible game!  What role does mental toughness play in how you prepare to take the field?

Mental toughness plays a huge part in how I play.  Goalie is an athletic position, but it’s so much about mental toughness.  Your team really relies on you to have that.  The Novato game was by far the biggest game of my life, and at school, before we had to leave, I just put my head phones in and was visualizing a lot.  Visualizing before any game, and honestly anything in life, helps me so much.  You know what you’re going to do before you do it.  I like visualizing low saves because those are the hardest for me.  The breathing techniques I learned with Tenacity are important to me too, even in other nervous situations in my life.


Have you had any obstacles that you’ve had to overcome?

The biggest mental block I have is when I’m not really playing well in a game and I start to get down on myself for letting four or five goals in. Going into halftime, I try to juggle a ball or doing something to reset my mind.  That’s a mental block that I’ve had to deal with for four years.  And then this year I sprained my ankle and I had to come back after a three day weekend.  My ankle was really hurting, but I knew I had to do it for my team and push through the pain.


How did you decide on Claremont McKenna?

It was a really hard process for me.  I knew I wanted to play lacrosse in college.  I had a DI offer my junior year, but I turned it down because I didn’t feel ready to make that decision and I knew other opportunities would come later.  Then I started talking to Coach Uhr at Claremont and I went to the camp.  I really liked Claremont, but I was also really interested in the University of Michigan for academics.  I would have played club lacrosse there.  They’re really different schools and I was really confused about the decision, but I ended up choosing Claremont because it’s just such a great school.  I really like that with Division III, it’s a big commitment but you can still focus on your academics, and the location is beautiful.  It’s only an hour from home on a plane, or a six hour drive.  So it’s a good distance but still close.


Do you know when you’re going to major in yet?

I think either biology or mathematics.  I’m not really sure.  


Any other activities you might want to pursue?

My sister is the president of a club called Voice for Animals and I was the secretary, so I might want to keep doing something like that—helping animals.  But I’m also excited to go down there and meet new people and see what they’re interested in.  I’m really open to new activities and I really want to go in with an open mind.


What kind of work does Voice for Animals do?

We volunteer at ARF, the Animal Rescue Foundation thirty minutes from my house.  We run drives and donate supplies for animals.  In our meetings we try to raise awareness of what’s happening in circuses and at places like Sea World.  Most people aren’t even aware of that animal abuse—the scars on their bodies or the small living spaces.  


What are you going to miss the most about high school?

The best decision I made was to play lacrosse and I’m definitely going to miss my team and the entire program.  Some of my best friends are on that team.  And I’m going to miss seeing certain people all the time—the ones that I probably won’t see again.


Written By: Courtney Bird
June 23th, 2016

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Senior Spotlight: Winnie Brandfield-Harvey, Tenacity Houston

Winnie Brandfield-Harvey
Tenacity Houston
Princeton University ’20


Winnie Brandfield-Harvey knows that playing like a girl means dominating. It means hitting home runs, doubling an opponent in a re-defend, heading out to the track early, getting up after a rough fall. It means having the will to win, having tenacity, courage, strength, confidence.

As head of the Women Helping Empower Each Other club at St. John’s, Winnie knows what it takes to play like a girl. She started lacrosse in 9th grade, playing in goal for St. John’s and for the Tenacity Project in Houston. Fast forward four years. As a senior, she’s been named All-American for the second time and this fall, she’ll be starting her freshmen year at Princeton University, where she’ll be playing lacrosse and, maybe, joining an acapella group. (Speaking of ladies who both sing and play a mean lax game, here’s a fun fact! Did you know that Theresa Sherry used to sing the National Anthem before both soccer and lacrosse games at Princeton? Winnie, I sense performances in your future.)

As to what she’s studying? Who knows. The world is her oyster! Congrats Winnie, and good luck. We’ll be cheering for you and for all of our incredible seniors.


You were named All-American again this year.  How did that recognition feel?  What does it mean to you to come from a state not traditionally associated with lacrosse and to receive that kind of national acknowledgement?

It’s such an incredible honor. It’s not just the title, but the meaning behind it. When my coach, Angie Kensinger, told me the good news, she mentioned all the players in past years that had received the same award. Just hearing the names of players I look up to now and knowing that they also got that recognition made me feel so honored and motivated to live up to that expectation every day. It means so much to me, especially coming from Texas where lacrosse is not nearly as prevalent as it is on the east and west coasts. I take a lot of pride in my state and having the chance to prove that lacrosse is just as competitive here as it is in Baltimore or Sacramento is an opportunity I don’t take lightly. Ok maybe not as much as Baltimore but hey, we are getting there.


How did you decide on Princeton?  What makes it the right fit for you?

Before the spring of my sophomore year, I toured Princeton and another school I was seriously considering but nothing can beat the perfect balance of academics and athletics that Princeton offers. The team is really close and was so welcoming and Coach Sailer is a legend in her own right. Her coaching experience and positive attitude reminds me so much of my high school coach and I instantly felt comfortable. The campus is beautiful and two of my older sisters will be living in New York and Boston so being just a train ride away from family isn’t too bad either.


Are you nervous?  Excited?

Both. It’s difficult leaving family and living on my own for the first time is going to be weird. My twin sister and I have bunked together since I was a kid. But it’s also exciting. It’s a new adventure, a new experience of independence and growth. I can’t wait.


Do you know what you want to major in yet?  What kinds of classes are you most excited about?  No pressure here.  

I have no idea what I want to major in yet. But that’s part of the fun. I’m excited to take some screenwriting classes but also classes in anatomy/neuroscience. My dad (orthopedic surgeon) is dying for one of his five girls to become a doctor.


What will you miss most about high school?

Of course I am going to miss my teachers and my friends and just the familiarity of my school in general. But as cliche as it is, I think I am going to miss the lacrosse program the most. My attackers asking to take shots on me on the weekends. All our themes for championship games (ex. Wearing togas for Greek Olympics theme). We even have our own holidays like Cinco de Michael where we listen to all Michael Jackson songs at practice. We are always intense but at the same time never take ourselves too seriously to a point where we aren’t enjoying ourselves. St. John’s was my first experience playing lacrosse and I don’t think I would have the same excitement and passion for the sport as I do now if I had played for any other team.


Will you talk a little bit about what you’ve been involved with outside of lacrosse?  Do you feel that those commitments—whether school leadership or community service opportunities—compliment your lacrosse persona?  How so?

I was fortunate enough to be the leader of WHEE (Women Helping Empower Each Other) club this year at my school. Equality on and off the field is very important to me. I want young female athletes to know that if “playing like a girl” means ripping eight meters to top corners and winning national championships then they should always take it as nothing less than a compliment. That’s why I think Tenacity is such a great opportunity for young girls, as they receive the same treatment and respect as boys programs. It’s helping facilitate and improve the girls game.


I recently came across your YouTube videos.  You have a beautiful voice!  What role does music play in your life?  Is that something you’re interested in pursuing in any way?

Music has always been a big part of my life whether I am trying to get pumped for a game or just having fun at a concert. It’s a lot like lacrosse in that it helps me destress after a long day or a taxing homework assignment. I like to play my guitar in my room after school when I’m feeling stressed. I think I might join an acapella group at Princeton. I’m excited for that.


What’s the comraderie like on your Tenacity team?  

Our coaches Tiffany Deinzer and Beth Rogers Lester do a great job of making us laugh and bringing us together through team bonding games such as “Giants, Wizards, and Elves” as well as non traditional conditioning exercises such as yoga. You bond quickly when you and your teammate are trying to make it through 10 chatarangas, I’ll tell ya. Coach Beth and Deinzer aren’t afraid to get out of their element so it makes us all feel a lot more comfortable and less stressed about being perfect all the time on the field. We also have a team GroupMe so we stay in touch throughout the week whether it’s celebrating someone’s birthday with an embarrassing throwback picture or discussing the skills we want to work on as a team next practice.


What’s the most fun you’ve ever had playing lacrosse?

My high school team goes to California every Spring Break to play even better competition and that is always a fun time. We go for about a week and when we aren’t playing games, depending on where we are, we take a trip to the Golden Gate Bridge or relax on the beach. We have lunch or dinner with some of the California teams after we play and it’s nice to meet girls with different perspectives on the game. Last year we went undefeated in California and it’s one of my favorite memories. The teams we play are amazingly skilled so we feel lucky to just play against them. Actually winning is an indescribable feat.


How did you first step into the goal?  I asked Laurel, one of our Sacramento goalies, the same question because as a coach, I find it hard to convince new players to take on such a seemingly scary, unique role.  How would you convince a 5th grader to be goalie?

I’m a goalie in soccer so I’ve always been comfortable with that position. I didn’t need much convincing fortunately. As for convincing a fifth grader – when kids are in middle school they all want to be the player who scores the most and that is a very tempting role. And the goalie position is scary for a lot of them. But I would tell that kid that nothing compares to the feeling of saving a shot in sudden death or setting up a goal with a great clear. The goalie sees everything and therefore, leads every player to success whether it’s telling the defense to crash or letting a midfielder know who is on their back. Your teammates know the magnitude of your responsibility and you should never feel like you are letting your team down if you get scored on. That took me a while to understand. When you get a bruise as a result of making a save, it doesn’t hurt that much, it actually feels great. Trust me.


How have you developed the mental toughness you need to succeed in goal?  Did it come naturally or have you worked at it?

Soccer helped me with that before I started lacrosse, but I still struggle with it sometimes. I think everyone does. I remember in one of my first lacrosse games, the opposing team had scored up to 8 times on me, and I just started to cry in my helmet. I had to run over to my goalie coach on the sideline who calmed me down. Coming from a low scoring game like soccer where just one goal means you could lose the game, I wasn’t used to the difference. But with experience, I learned to have a short memory when it comes to goals in lacrosse. The most important thing is that you appear tough on the outside at the very least. Your teammates need to know their goalie is still in the game and you don’t want your opponents to feed off of your anger either.


Written By: Courtney Bird
June 16th, 2016

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Senior Spotlight: Jensen Neff, Tenacity Bay Area

Jensen Neff
Tenacity Bay Area
Stanford University ’20

You get the sense, talking to Jensen Neff, that she’s endlessly fascinated and inspired by the world and people around her.  If you don’t believe me, take a look at the pictures on her photography website or watch her in the ceramic studio.  Talk to her about the classes she’s going to take at Stanford University or the friends she’s made through Tenacity.  Check out the tomatoes she’s planted at Novato High School, where she heads up Garden Club, or challenge her to a 1v1.  Take note of the way her creativity infuses not only her artistic work, but her approach to athletics.  Take note of her drive, of her belief that anything is possible.  Or just talk to her.  I think you’ll find yourself looking at the world a little differently.  

You’re heading off to Stanford this fall.  What are you most excited about?

Lacrosse is definitely a huge part of it!  I chose the school equally for the sport and the academics.  I’m excited to push myself to a new level and that’s something that we stress in the Tenacity program: it’s going to be so hard, but they’ve prepared us for it.  I’m excited for everything to be challenging and new, and I’m really excited to be able to pick classes that inspire me.  I’m already filling out the forms.  

What kind of classes are you looking at?  Do you know what you want to major in yet?

We’re not picking out classes yet, but we’re looking at pre-courses and doing the roommate stuff and meeting with advisors.  At Stanford, you go in undeclared and that’s perfect for me because I’m someone who likes experimenting with a ton of different things and while I do have focuses in design and environment science and the humanities, I want to branch out as much as I can freshmen year.  I don’t want to worry too much about classes going towards a specific major yet, and I don’t know what that major will be.

I love that idea of exploring and it seems to be in sync with how diverse your interests are!  You identify yourself as a lacrosse player, but you also identify as a surfer, baker, artist, photographer and ukulele player.  How do you balance all of that?  

I’m someone who loves so many things and high school has definitely been a balancing act.  For me, it’s been so nice having lacrosse as a constant, and then everything else on top of that.  In terms of art, ceramics have totally been my thing over the past couple years.   I’ve had more time senior year, without SAT’s and all that, but it’s been almost harder because I have to adjust to the feeling of being able to relax.  I love always having something to do, so being busy definitely energizes me.  The main thing I’ve realized is that I need to fit sleep in there too!

I think a lot of people think of sports and art in two different camps.  How do you feel about that?  Would you draw that distinction?

It makes me kind of sad that there’s this idea that if you’re an athlete, you can’t be an artist, or if you’re one type of character you can’t also be another.  I encourage myself and everyone around me not to limit themselves.  The competitive, lacrosse side of me is balanced out by the feeling of calmness and creativity that comes with art.  I think that’s what high school does to a lot of people, tries to define them.  You pick what you like and then you’re kind of viewed as that, but I think it’s fun and surprising and exciting to not just fall into a role that people expect.

You mentioned that you want to take environmental science classes at Stanford.  Can you talk a little more about your interest in the environment?

I grew up in an environmentally aware family.  My mom was my gardening teacher growing up – she taught gardening at my school from when I was in kindergarten through 8th grade.  So my mom and my older sister and I have run Garden Club throughout high school. One of my biggest projects in high school was creating a mural on the garden wall.  It was 72 feet long—just a huge project and so fun!  And from there I started getting super interested in where art and the environment intersect.  I’m working with my art teacher now on biomimicry stuff and I’m really interested in where we can draw inspiration from the forms in nature for design.  But I’m totally an open book, so who knows?  Next year I might be saying I’m an English major instead, but that’s what I’m interested in right now.

Was there a moment in your college process when you knew that Stanford was the right fit?  Like an ah-ha! moment?

Well, my parents went to Stanford so ever since I was two years old I was absolutely in love with the school.  I’d deck myself out for game days and go to tailgates there, and then once I hit 8th grade I was much more open minded.  I looked at a lot of colleges, thought about east coast and everything, but Stanford was always in the back of my mind.  Once I got an offer from them, everything in my body was like, “There’s no way I would ever regret this.”  That’s kind of when I knew.  There was just no comparison for me.  It was my dream and I think I didn’t realize for a little while just how much that dream meant to me.  

Highlights of this season? Any moment that stood out?

This year, we were the first west coast team to be named in the National Rankings and our team won our second NCS championship.  It was especially cool because we had freshmen starting, sophomores starting, juniors and seniors starting—so it wasn’t a single class.  The whole season, we kept in mind that we were doing it for the west coast.  That was really what carried us through the season.

In terms of a moment: the final game.  We went undefeated the whole season and when we got to the finals, we were playing a team we’d previously beaten 22 to 2.  And it was the most intense game of my life.  They played out of their minds.  It was incredible.  They were up by 3 goals in the second half and that was the first time we’d ever been down all season.  Then at the very end, we were tied 12-12 or 13-13, and we had the ball down on offense.  The ball was fumbling around and a sophomore on our team picked it up with an entire crowd of defenders around her and shot as the buzzer went off.  The ball barely made it in.  It was just the most intense lacrosse moment I’ve ever been part of.  

Playing on a club team is so different from playing for a high school team.  You’re only practicing together one or twice a week, so the way you build relationships on the team is different.  Do you have thoughts on how that dynamic works with your Tenacity team?

I seriously can’t put into words how much my Tenacity team means to me.  It started with the trust that was given to me by Theresa, by Schmidty and by Coach Richards.  I was absolutely an underdog, probably shouldn’t have made a team at all, but they had so much faith in us as players.  I’ve never felt more like a coach had faith in me and my potential.  I think that carried on to our team environment as a whole.  The recruiting process can be kind of crazy—it’s a time that gives people the option to be selfish—but on our team I never once felt like anyone was playing for themselves.  Everyone was playing to make each other look good and that’s the whole ethos of BearLax [Tenacity] and I think that’s what allowed us to be so close.

You played on the Green team for three years before making the Blue team as a freshman.  What advice would you have for a 7th grader who’s on the “B” team, who wants to play in the big leagues but is struggling to get there?

If there’s one piece of advice, it’s to let the position of the underdog empower you.  I remember playing against one of the Blue teams at one point and we got so fired up because there was nothing to lose.  You have to have the mindset of, “Let me prove to them what I can do.”  Honestly, it’s so fun to use the underdog mindset as a way to get fired up.  No matter how good you are, you can always keep a piece of that with you—the idea that there’s always something more to do, always another goal to work towards.  You can be intimidated by the people who are better than you, or you can take it as a challenge.  


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Senior Spotlight: Laurel Maunder, Tenacity Sacramento

Laurel Maunder
Tenacity Sacramento
Fresno State ’20

Laurel Maunder started playing lacrosse in 6th grade, when the first Sacramento program started up.  Like most 6th graders, she didn’t envision herself as a goalie, but all that changed two years later when an opposing coach commented on her natural skill in the cage.  She’s played in the National Tournament in both 2013 and 2014, representing Northern California, and she joined Tenacity just after sophomore year.  Last Friday, she celebrated her graduation from Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, where she was also a member of the National Honor Society and the Italian Club, and participated in community service.  Laurel will be continuing her lacrosse career and academic journey at Fresno State next year, and while she’s excited, she’ll miss the camaraderie and spirit of her high school team.     


It can be hard to convince young players to step into the cage.  Any advice for coaches trying to get new players to embrace the role of goalie?

I like comparing goalie to a quarterback.  We call the shots and see the entire field.  Everyone knows who you are and when you have a really good game, it feels great.  Even if you don’t have a good game, your teammates are always there for you because they know you’re doing something that they couldn’t do.  It takes a lot to step in front of shots, but when my teammates and my coaches cheer me on it really pumps me up.  


How do you handle the mental challenges of being both the quarterback and the last line of defense?  It’s a really unique position on the field.

I’m pretty mentally calm, so I don’t get very worked up or emotional.  It helps a lot, especially when you’re down by a few goals and just need to keep your head in the game.  I’ll take a few deep breaths after a goal’s been scored or talk to my teammates for a couple minutes about what we need to fix.  We’re never negative about it.  We just say this is what happened, this is what needs to be fixed and this is how we’re gonna do it.  


Do you have any favorite memories from this past season?  Your senior season?

Beating Granite Bay to win the league title.  Our whole team stormed the field and we had a lot of people in the stands.  I don’t know how to describe it.  We were so happy.  It was only the third time our team ever beat Granite Bay and I’d never beat them before.


What kind of community service have you been involved with during high school?

My favorite program is called Evening of Dreams, which is a prom for Special Needs students.  We go as dates for them, so we have dinner there and dance.  It’s a huge celebration.  Our lacrosse team signed up together, and the football team did it too.  It’s such a rewarding experience.  We signed up as a team, but it’s not about the lacrosse.  


How did you decide on Fresno State?  What was your experience with the recruiting process?

Sophomore year to junior year, I was deciding whether I wanted to play Division 1 or Division 3, so I toured a lot of schools.  I thought I didn’t want to go to Fresno State—I thought it was too hot there!—but then I toured the school with my parents and went to their clinic.  They showed me all the athletic facilities, which are brand new and so nice, and I got to meet the team.  The team had such a strong bond and that’s something I really wanted.  


Are you nervous about anything, heading off to college?

Trying to balance lacrosse and school work.  I like to challenge myself in classes and keep my grades up pretty high, so I really want to make sure I find that good balance.  But I’m excited.  I think I want to major in nursing or do something medical.


How did you decide on nursing?

I took bio and bio-sciences all four years in high school.  My AP bio teacher kind of encouraged me.  She said, ‘You love bio, but you really like human interaction too,’ so she was really pushing me towards pre-med studies.  And then I took human anatomy and physiology this year, which was really interesting because it was basically biology but focused on the human body.  It was fun.  If I’m sore, I’ll know exactly what muscles are sore and how to stretch them because I know how they’re positioned in the body.  


Any advice for younger goalies training on their own?  What kind of work were you doing?

It takes a lot of self-motivation to get out there.  I used to read Lacrosse Magazine and find drills, or watch YouTube videos of really cool goalie saves.  That’s how I motivated myself.  And the girls on my team would always ask me to go out early and take shots.  Sometimes I juggle with a partner, and I do ladders and wall ball.  


How did joining up with Tenacity change your experience with lacrosse?

I started to take it more seriously.  I started to think of it not just as a hobby, or something I do on the side, but as a part of me.  It’s kind of like my career right now.  It helps me stay motivated.


How do you get yourself pumped up for games?

Our defensive unit wrote a word on our wrists for every game.  I think the first one we did was force, as a reminder to work as a force and not as individuals.  It really helps, especially towards the end of the season.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from a coach?

My high school coach, Randy Gross, who also coaches with Tenacity, always says ‘At the moment of truth, you won’t rise to the level of expectation but fall to the level of your training.’  That’s always stuck with all of us.  He’ll start to say it and the whole team will finish it.