Head in the Game

Co-captain Anna Lazur talks team bonding, the hilarity of Dwight Schrute, and life lessons.

Anna Lazur, the reigning MVP of Monmouth’s women’s soccer team and a MAAC All-Academic Team selectee for two years running, returned to campus in August excited for the start of the season and dreading its end.

Welcome to the bittersweet duality of senior year.

“It’s going to be really hard,” says Lazur about the prospect of never taking the field with her Hawk teammates once the final whistle blows later this fall. And though the inevitability of that moment weighed on her mind all summer, she entered the 2019 campaign focused on three things: nabbing a fourth straight MAAC championship, finally winning an NCAA tournament game, and enjoying her good fortune one last time.

On what it takes to be a great defender.

Defense is all about communicating, which I’d never been big on [laughs]. You have to really talk to everyone around you. It’s a lot more mental. You have to constantly have your head on a swivel. It’s a lot of keeping yourself organized and making sure everyone else is organized.

On her favorite team hangout.

Coach Kylee’s [Flynn] in-laws have a house on the lake in Denville, New Jersey. During preseason, we all hang out there for a day: swim in the lake, paddleboard, kayak. That’s a lot of fun. As much as we all love soccer, to not think about it for a couple hours and just hang out as normal people—I think it just helps.

On the joys of victory.

There’s definitely no better feeling than winning the way we do, with our best friends right next to us and being able to celebrate. Everyone’s just happy for each other and for the team.

There’s definitely no better feeling than winning the way we do, with our best friends right next to us and being able to celebrate.

On the lessons to be learned from defeat.

It’s a reminder that we all need to try our best every single day. It’s hard and it’s tough, but I think it gives us a good reminder of what we’re there for and what we need to do.

On how she achieves academic and athletic success.

I’m a lot more focused and structured during the season than out of season. Knowing, “OK, I have a game this day, we’re going to be away for this many days, this is when we get back,” it forces you to do the work when you need to do the work.

On what she’s currently binge-watching.

The Office. My favorite episode is the one where Stanley has a heart attack after Dwight cuts off the CPR dummy’s face.

On what success has taught her.

Coach always says we don’t have to be here—that it’s a privilege to be where we are. I think that’s something I didn’t really get until I got to college. There are so many girls who dream of playing college soccer who maybe don’t get this opportunity. I’ve just kind of been trying to soak it all in and absorb it, and learn as much as I possibly can, because I was lucky enough to make it here.