Nov. 11, 2013
Throughout the Michigan women's lacrosse team's inaugural fall season, the squad gained valuable experience on and off the field, began to build the program's foundation and got acquainted with each of the 28 different personalities that make up Team One.
Knowing that being a part of the first women's lacrosse team at the University of Michigan is a special privilege and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, freshman Regan Anderson (Dana Point, Calif./St. Margaret's Episcopal School) wanted each memory created by Team One to be permanently documented. A student in U-M's School of Art and Design, Anderson enjoys doing photography and videography in her spare time. Preferring to be behind the camera instead of in front of it, Anderson spent the fall doing just that -- capturing countless Team One memories that her and her teammates will be able watch for years to come. Following the fall season, Anderson compiled some of her favorite moments into a special video for her team titled -- Team One. One Team.
Anderson also wrote a blog about capturing the essence of Team One on camera:
My goal with this video was to document the "behind-the-scenes" of Michigan women's lacrosse. Over the next four years, our class has the task of creating traditions and determining what we want the culture of this program to be. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that we were going to work hard every day on the field, but what people didn't know is how dynamic our team would be off the field.
Over the several weeks of fall, we learned an exponential amount about our teammates. Kim (Coughlan) for instance loves to be the center of attention. Tess (Korten) laughs at almost anything, except the Navy SEALS because "that's not funny". As far as I'm concerned, I won the pumpkin carving competition and being an art major may or may not have given me a leg up. Kathy Quigley is the living version of Candace from Phineas and Ferb, and Jess Angerman has an obsession with sloths that might even rival coach Ancarrow's obsession with cats. Kelly Schlansker, no matter how hard she tries, might not ever be able to say the word 'breakfast'. And possibly the most valuable thing we've learned is how to interpret Coach U's plays on the whiteboard after she's erased and redrawn them over again multiple times.
There is still a lot that this video doesn't capture in just one minute and thirty seconds, like all of the "Go Blue's!" we got from strangers walking through the airport as a team in our matching sweat suits, or our rendition of "Say My Name" that we belted out in the back of the bus at midnight as we drove through the middle of nowhere on our way to Louisville. Lastly, this video definitely doesn't capture all of the stolen cookie incidents that occurred because according to coach Valore cheese isn't allowed and cookies definitely aren't.
We're learning. We're learning what it's like to dig deep and push hard. We're learning what it means to be a student-athlete and compete in the classroom and on the field with hard work and resilience. So this video was my way of bottling up the journey and hopefully in four years we'll look back on this video as a class and remember how far we've come and see it as one of the many traditions we start.
MGoBlue.com caught up with Anderson for an exclusive interview to discuss the team's first fall season.
On getting adjusted to traveling as a team ... "The weekends were very fast paced. We would leave Friday afternoon and get back Sunday night so our schedule was very much planned out, which was fun, but at the same time there was really no down time. I think one of the biggest things that I kind of expected to happen when we traveled, but didn't understand it until we experienced it, is walking through the airport and getting complete strangers walking up to us and saying 'Go Blue!' or telling us stories of how they graduated from Michigan and asking about our team -- that part was really cool."
On the biggest adjustment to college lacrosse ... "I think it's just a much faster pace. The speed of the game is much faster and it took a while for all of us to adjust to that. We came out of the gate with strong competition so we were forced to up that level in practice from there on out after playing Loyola and Johns Hopkins. I think toward the end of the fall we were really coming together and starting to understand the speed that we needed to play at."
On what they learned from playing nationally ranked opponents ... "I think it was a great experience. Going up against teams like UNC can be a little intimidating, having won the national championships last year, but I think all of us went into it with a really optimistic mind and the mindset that we had nothing to lose and everything to gain from the experience. We were ready and excited to show what we had and what our team could bring to the table this year."
On the team's first home tournament being a highlight of the fall ... "I think overall it was just an awesome weekend. It was Parents Weekend too, so having our families in town just made us feel even more comfortable and even more at ease. Playing on our home turf obviously was a huge advantage for us. The whole spirit of the weekend was awesome. Our team comradery really brought us together. Singing 'The Victors' after the game for the first time as a team and hearing it played after every goal was really exciting for us. I think it was a huge weekend and a big confidence booster for all of us, knowing that we can compete at this level."
On the best part of being a member of Team One ... "I think the fact that we're all coming in brand new and we're all in this together. None of us necessarily has a leg up on anyone else. Everything we go through is together, whether it be bad or good, tough or easy, it's something we do together. I think that's really helped us grow as a team and as a class, knowing that in four years we can look back and think about all we went through as freshmen."
On what she's learned about herself this fall ... "I think as a team, we learned that we can thrive in high pressure environments. There was a little bit of resistance at first to adversity, but I think looking back, we don't shy away from a challenge and we always want to take it head on. Especially when we participated in The Program, no one gave up, wanting to complete the task. I think personally, I learned about my willpower and my desire to want to finish things and not give up."
On her favorite moment on and off the field so far ... "I think on the field would be playing UNC. We didn't win, we didn't dominate, but just stepping on the field with the national champions was such a great experience. It's so great that our program would have the opportunity to do something like that. Off the field, I just love getting to know everyone. Our team is so dynamic -- on the field in terms of what everyone brings to the table skill-wise, but also off the field in terms of personalities. Being able to learn from everyone was a lot of fun."
On the team continuing to hold each other accountable in the offseason ... "I think it's cool because we are 28 freshmen, but there are definitely among us a lot of leaders who have stepped up and taken the initiative to get the team together and make sure we are keeping our play at a high level. We don't want to come back in January and have dropped our level of play in any way. So scheduling that time together to play wall ball or shoot around together is important. Also I think mentally, now that we are in our eight hours, taking the time to catch up on school work is important. We need to rest, but at the same time really buckle down with our school work and training so that when we come back in January, we'll be ready to go."
On capturing the fall on tape and producing a video ... "I've showed it to some of the girls already and they're excited. I definitely have a reputation on the team as being the artsy one, which I love. I'd definitely rather sit behind the camera than be in front of it. I love being able to capture moments like this. We all have great memories of the fall, but being able to capture it in an actual video, that's something we can look back on and say 'that was so much fun'. And also to be able to show it to our parents and show them what we did is really cool too. Being an art major helps, but even if I wasn't an art major, it's just something I love to do."