Player Perspectives: By Marjani Hing-Glover
Oct. 5, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - Tuesday began another week full of excitement for what we had accomplished so far, anticipation of what lies ahead and a passion to push ourselves to the limits of what it will take to win a national championship. Just another week of Stanford Women's Soccer! This week was particularly exciting because we finally had everyone on the team back together again with the return of Rachel Quon, and a few other girls who had been quarantined in their rooms due to various illnesses. With everyone back together a familiar mentality filled the locker room, as we got ready to do whatever it took in practice Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare ourselves to do some serious damage against Santa Clara on Thursday.
Tuesdays are usually our hardest practice of the week and this Tuesday was no exception. Practices on this team are intensely competitive, but also extremely supportive. We all want to push one another to the limits of our abilities and there is also a genuine desire to see everyone succeed. This team is composed of 27 outstanding individual athletes all of whom were stars before coming to Stanford and all of whom are used to playing every minute of every game. But I will let you in on a little secret about our success: everyone on this team is focused on the success of the team rather than individual success and we have a strong sense of purpose to our season and a clear focus on what it will take to achieve our goal of a national championship. Here is another secret: we all get along extremely well. To quote a song from my parents' generation 'We are family', and we really are. We wouldn't be fighting with North Carolina for the No. 1 ranking in the nation if it weren't for the way we push each other and support each other each day. Every player on the team is exceptional from the starting 11 all the way down the bench. And for those of us not in the starting 11 we are a very lucky group of girls, because every single day in practice we play against the best 11 girls in the nation and hold our own. So, there's never any reason to doubt ourselves in a game, because we've played the best, we are part of the best, and everyone else is out there chasing us. So when you see us all get in a circle and shout 'Team', you can believe it. We do.
So with that said we went into the game against Santa Clara hungry for a solid win that would put us at 11-0 (and put us in the Stanford record books for having the best start to a season in the history of Stanford Women's Soccer) and silence the Santa Clara faithful who were beginning to think that this was their year. So there was a lot for us to gain by winning this game. Fortunately, we came out and played exactly as we prepared ourselves to play. We played the type of soccer that a team ranked No. 1 in the nation should play. We played as a team, we won as a team, and when each of the goals was scored we celebrated wildly as a team. As if beating Santa Clara on their home field weren't enough, we left no doubt by scoring six goals and dominating the game. And despite Coach Paul 'not being one to celebrate while we still have games left,' we were treated to a victory dinner at BJ's and we were given Friday and Saturday off from practice. What more could you ask for? And so we concluded our very successful week of soccer and we look forward to our upcoming trip to Oregon. Here's to a team I will always be proud to be a part of and to a job well done! Here's to my Stanford family. Go Card! Go team!