Senior midfielder Katie Moran of the UCSB women’s lacrosse club team should be used to receiving awards by now. As a freshman in the 2006 season, she was named the team’s Rookie of the Year. She followed that up as a sophomore by being named to the All-League First Team. As a junior, she was named captain for the Gauchos and received her first All-American selection. This season, the recognitions kept rolling in.
Moran returned as a captain and, before the season even began, was named WDIA Preseason Player of the Year. Then, just two weeks ago during the WDIA National Championships, she received her second All-American selection and was named WDIA Player of the Year, the highest honor the league can give to a player.
“At the end of last season, I set a team goal and a personal goal,” Moran said. “I wanted our team to win Nationals and I wanted to get either Midfielder of the Year or, even better, Player of the Year. Most of my off-season work was geared toward meeting that personal goal. But once in season, my number one priority was winning a national championship.”
Though she did win Preseason Player of the Year, Moran was never guaranteed to take the in-season award. To do that, she needed to work harder than she ever had before, and she knew it.
“To me, the award meant that my hard work, what my coach might dub ‘overtraining’ at times, paid off,” Moran said. “I knew I was capable of getting the award and I knew exactly how hard I had to work and what areas to improve in to get it.”
According to Moran, winning the award was a great way to put an exclamation point on the end of her college lacrosse career. Though she would have preferred to win a national title with her team, she admits the award is a great consolation.
“Individual recognition among a team of All-American athletes is really rewarding and humbling,” Moran said.
Moran was proud to bring the award to Santa Barbara, one that she would love to see stay in the Gaucho’s hands as individual players continue to represent the quality of UCSB lacrosse.
“I already have a plan for the award to continue to stay in the hands of UCSB,” Moran said. “Maggie Aker will undoubtedly get Player of the Year next year and Ashley Algieri will get Attacker of the Year, mark my words. They’re both amazing athletes.”
Moran, a senior English major who is graduating this year, is planning to participate in the Teach for America program in the Bay Area for the next two years. Though she may have taken the lacrosse field for the last time, she will undoubtedly continue to think about and support her teammates who will be returning next season to make another run at a WDIA title.