As a freshman on the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team last spring, Erin McMunn utilized her passing skills to make an immediate impact.
The attacker passed for a team-high 30 assists on the way to being named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
Coming into the 2013 campaign, McMunn was looking to diversify her game.
“I liked to focus a lot on feeding last year but this year I have switched my focus a little bit,” said McMunn, a 5’8 native of Westminster, Md.
“I just go out there and have fun everyday and see what happens and see what kind of game it turns out to be. That’s what I am looking for. I think coming in as a sophomore and just really relaxing and wanting to expand and do new things is something that is really fun and exciting for me this year.”
Last Saturday, McMunn had a lot fun with her shooting, firing in a career-high five goals to help Princeton top Brown 18-11 in its Ivy League opener.
“I think it was just seeing what was opening up on attack,” said McMunn, reflecting on her scoring outburst.
“If I had it, I wanted to be able to take it. But at the same time, if a couple of girls were getting hot on attack and things were opening up for them, we were just trying to get it to the open spots and see what we could create when we are moving.”
While Princeton didn’t open up well against Brown, trailing 4-2 midway through the first half, McMunn and her teammates weren’t fazed. “I don’t think there were any concerns, I think we were just very excited to be out here on a nice day and we were a little jittery to get off to a good start,” recalled McMunn.
The Tiger offense, though, started working well after that, closing the half with an 8-1 run with McMunn scoring four goals in that pivotal stretch.
“I think the biggest thing is that we just calmed ourselves down, took a breath, and focused on executing the little things,” said McMunn.
“We really started stringing some plays together in transition, getting some solid one-on-one looks in the settled offense, and I think just the little things we were doing right made a big difference for us.”
Princeton played a solid second half as it pulled away to the victory and improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 Ivy.
“I feel like in the second half we just came out confident and we wanted to have a good time and finish the game,” said McMunn, who now leads Princeton in points (16) and goals (11).
“I think we did a good job. They started to come out a little more and get excited but we weren’t letting their pressure waver us or letting their hype bring our level down at all. I think we did a really nice job of responding to that and just playing our game and doing what we do on the field.”
For McMunn, the performance was even more heartening, considering that it came in the Ivy opener.
“I think this was a huge game for us; for our attack to be able to put up 18 goals was huge,” said McMunn.
“Our defense came up with some big defensive stands. We did a really great job of putting together all the things we have been working on in practice in the game today. It is really starting to come together for us. We wanted to start with a strong showing in the Ivy League. I think this was a great confidence booster for us.”
The Tigers will need another strong effort this Saturday as they head south to take on 11th-ranked Virginia (2-4).
“We are hungry to get back into NCAA competition,” said McMunn.
“We felt like we could have played better against Georgetown [an 11-6 loss on March 1]. We have really been working on little things in practice and trying to up our game to that next level, so I think playing against UVa is going to be a great chance for us to really see where we are and how far we have come.”