November 30, 2005
I would have never thought this day would come. Inevitably I knew that my senior year would approach and that I would play my last game for the University of Washington but I guess I envisioned a sweeter ending to my college career. Sadder than anything our team gave away three of our last four games which cost us a spot in the NCAA Tournament this year.
Let me go back a little and apologize for the lack in up keeping in my journals for the past month or more. As the season went on I began to feel the load of 22 credits, pressure of getting results for our squad as a captain, managing an apartment complex and trying to at least have somewhat of a social life for my last quarter as a student-athlete. I sometimes wonder how I do it. Anyways, disappointed I have been for about a week or two now since our team forfeited our NCAA postseason run. I never fathomed my last game at UW would be so bitter.
Retracing our team's early footsteps over the course of the season I was happy as a captain. The guys got a long really well and seemed very worthy of our team's cause or goal, if you will, to go farther than our program has ever gone before. We played as though we had a purpose and we won games whether they were good games or ugly ones, we won. Somewhere down the line when athletics was reintroduced to the academics our team starting losing its edge. What really went wrong for us? You could point your finger in a number of directions: lack of scoring, mentally fatigued players that couldn't keep up, losing our mental edge and focus on our team's purpose, maybe even academics or perhaps a lack of cohesiveness among the senior class. I could go on for days but I'll spare you and save it for my coaches.
It's so easy to get fixed on the negative things in life and in athletics especially, but there was a point in our season where we had something to be proud of. Our team was filled with a strong character that was composed of some sort of relentless attitude not to lose and a willingness to work for one another at any cost. We pulled off some amazing comebacks: Air Force, Wisconsin and Gonzaga. Our team conquered a very difficult road trip in the Bay Area beating both Stanford and Cal. Although these things were nice they do not balance the disappointment of defeat in my eyes.
I think my uncle, Danny Zahlis, said it best. "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing!" I truly believe when a team has that mindset for the whole season there is nothing that will get in your way and I feel compelled to say that I wish I would have done more about it because at one point in time my team was that way. I've been a student of the game now for about 18 years and it goes to show you that you can always learn something new about the game. I am getting tired of learning lessons such as these disappointing ones but I know I that must fail to succeed but to be honest I can't take it.
It's difficult to grasp that I don't have another chance in the collegiate game but hopefully in time I can make it up in a level that I've always dreamt about since I was little. After so many years of grinding away trying to perfect my game I never thought the day would come where I would stare face to face with the opportunity to play professional soccer. Although I have tryouts and negotiations still to come I look forward to the next phase of my life.