Monday, January 16, 2012

Zurmuhlen Stars on Stanford NCAA Championship Team

It is not everyday that a kid from New Hampshire starts for a team that wins a Division I National Championship in college. Well on December 4, 2011 that's exactly what happened.

On that day Kristy Zurmuhlen (Walpole, NH) helped the Stanford Cardinal win its first ever NCAA title in women's soccer, as they defeated Duke University 1-0. Zurmuhlen was a starting midfielder and one of the 4 seniors on the team. Those 4 seniors had a combined record of 95-4-4 over their 4 years at Stanford.

This is an amazing accomplishment for Zurmuhlen, who was a standout player at Fall Mountain Regional High before heading to Stanford. She should be looked at as a role model for all youth athletes coming up in NH that anything is possible with hard work.

Zurmuhlen has been busy attending classes at Stanford and celebrating the championship, but she was kind enough to take time out to do an exclusive interview with the New Hampshire Notebook. Here's what the granite stater and national champion had to say.

Jeremy Leveille: What was it like to help Stanford win the national title?
Kristy Zurmuhlen: It was an amazing feeling, I think all of us were just overwhelmed and a little unsure if it was real. We had worked so hard to get to that game, and to finally accomplish our goal was incredible!

JL: Talk about your senior class at Stanford, and how you guys were
Able to achieve such tremendous success on the field.
KZ: Lindsay Taylor, Teresa Noyola, and Cami Levin are just amazing people. They are all like sisters to me and we would to anything for each other, and anything to help each other succeed. All three of those are some of the most amazing soccer players I now and I am honored that I had four years to play with them. I have learned so much from them and I couldn’t imagine having a college experience with out those girls. I think we were able to achieve so much success on the field because we care about each other so much off the field. I think the whole mindset of the team this year was to work hard for each other! And don’t let each other down out there. The friendships we’ve created on this team will last a lifetime.

JL: Talk about your experience at Stanford, not only athletically, but academically and as well.
KZ: My experience was a little different the other 3 seniors. I didn’t earn a starting spot until my senior year and it was a really hard thing to do on a team with so much talent. I’ve had to work harder than I’ve ever had to work in my life at this school and I am so much better for it. I wouldn’t’ have it any other way. Academically, I am a human biology major and after I’m done playing soccer I’m looking to go to PA (physician assistant) school.

JL: Talk about your experience at Fall Mountain High, and how playing there prepared you for your career at Stanford.
KZ: Fall Mountain was a great experience. It was a great team and I had a good coach (Justin Parrot) who was very passionate about the game. However, I think most of my preparation came from ODP team, clubs teams, regional teams, and then national team experience.

JL: Who were the some of the coaches and what were some of the teams you played on growing up that helped your development as a player?
KZ: I have to say two of the most important people were Matt Sprague and Neil Stafford who were my coaches at Seacoast United in NH. They are great people, they believed in me and taught me so much.

JL: Talk about being a role model for younger female soccer players in NH.
KZ: It’s a great feeling. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to look at kids and tell them that if they work hard, they can accomplish whatever they want to, and have the personal experiences to back that statement up.

JL: What would you like to accomplish after graduating from Stanford this spring?
KZ: Well, I’m really excited for the spring. The 2012 draft just took place, they drafted 23 very talented payers - I was not one of them. So my plan is to try out for some teams. I got invited by one of the head coaches to attend their preseason in March so I will most likely being doing that and trying to get on the roster! So in terms of school, if I make a WPS roster I will not graduate in the spring, but will come back in the fall. After I’m done with soccer, my plan is to attend PA school and become a physician assistant! But we’ll see where life takes me!

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