March 7, 2012
Stanford senior Catherine Swanson has been a key member of the lacrosse team since she stepped onto campus as a freshmen. She has already seen action in 55 games at Stanford and scored 32 goals. The Potomac, Md., native has bounced back and forth from defense to midfield to help the team in whatever role she can. This season, she has taken on a leadersip role in the midfield, while also scoring goals and collecting draw controls at a prolific pace. Swanson took some time to talk to gostanford.com about the season, playing with her sister and her fascination with sharks, among other things.
GoStanford.com: What made you want to come across the country to play lacrosse at Stanford?
Swanson: I wanted to contribute to a program that could win a National Title. That's what we are striving for.
GoStanford.com: Explain the difference in the way lacrosse is perceived on the East Coast as opposed to in California.
Swanson: Lacrosse is definitely a growing sport in California. More high schools are starting programs, but competition is still dominant in the east. Most of my teammates are from the mid-atlantic and started playing when they were little.
GoStanford.com: What has it meant to get to the NCAA tournament each of the last two years?
Swanson: Making it to the tournament has definitely made a statement about west coast lacrosse. It's been exciting each time because only 16 teams make it each year.
GoStanford.com: Despite the slow start, does this team have what it takes to get back to the NCAA tournament this year?
Swanson: Yes. Absolutely. We have one of the most dedicated, hard working, talented group of girls. We've had to play the best of the best early, and each time we are right there competing. If we were perfect now, we would have nothing to work for. Through our competition we have been able to find what areas need improvement, so come tournament time, we are at our peak performance.
GoStanford.com: Explain how your role has changed this year, both on the field and being a leader off the field?
Swanson: I've always put the team first and have moved positions each year based on where I was needed most. Freshman year I played defense, I moved to midfield my sophomore year, moved back to defense last year, and finally I've returned to the midfield this season. I've always had older girls to look up to and count on--scoring goals, getting draw controls or ground balls--now that's me. I've realized I'm the one that others look up to to make big plays and consistently come through every game. Being captain has always been one of my goals. It's definitely a lot of work, but very rewarding.
GoStanford.com: What is it like having you younger sister on the team?
Swanson: It's so much fun having her out here. She's my best friend. If she didn't play lacrosse with me, it would be hard to see her every day. We both are extremely busy, so I'm happy I get to hang out with her on a daily basis at practice.
GoStanford.com: Tell Stanford fans something about yourself that they wouldn't know.
Swanson: I'm obsessed with shark week. My shark fascination started when I was little and saw the movie JAWS.
GoStanford.com: What is your major and what are your plans after your graduate?
Swanson: I am going to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology, and Society. After I graduate I will be moving to New York City where I am going to start as a full time Sales and Trading Analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.