As a member of Stanford women’s soccer’s class of 2013, Rachel Quon will complete her collegiate careers as one of the few athletes who has no idea what it feels like to lose a conference match.
In her four years on the Farm, the three-time All-Pac-12 honoree and 2010 All-American Quon and the Cardinal have gone a perfect 40-0 in first Pac-10 and then Pac-12 play. After two seasons that ended in defeat in the NCAA Championship match, Stanford broke through last season with a 1-0 victory over Duke to win the program’s first national title.
The attacking outside back from Lake Forest, Ill. sat down with The Daily to take on all things Stanford soccer.
The Stanford Daily (TSD): How difficult is it to focus on the NCAA Tournament being in the same situation with a Pac-12 title in hand for the fourth year in a row?
Rachel Quon (Quon): I think that Paul [Ratcliffe] and all the rest of the coaches do a great job of keeping us focused. In the beginning of the season we have two main goals: win the Pac-12 and then win the NCAA Championship. And I think especially when we get into Pac-12 play we take it one game at a time. Each game counts if you want to win the Pac-12 and each game is always very tough. You know that every conference game is going to be a good one, so once we locked down Cal [in the regular season finale] and were able to a win there, our next mindset is the national championship. Paul emphasizes one game at a time and I think that’s what we do and each week is a new week and focusing on a new opponent.
(TSD): To some extent, this is old hat for you. You’re the defending national champs with a strong senior class: what’s the team dynamic like?
(Quon): I think that experience is definitely an advantage for us and I hope it comes through during the tourney. And again we know each game is going to be hard–it’s the playoffs so you have to win or you’re out. So having that experience, having a lot of players who’ve been in this situation in the Final Four already is an advantage knowing what to expect and the mindset we have to bring.
(TSD): What kind of legacy do you hope to leave when all is said and done? At this point, you have to kind of be like, “Wow, this is close to being done, there’s five games left.”
(Quon): Six games, don’t remind me.
(TSD): [Laughs] Well what does it mean to do that, not losing a single Pac-12 game in four years? Is that at some point just staggering?
(Quon): Well, yeah. I know our senior class wants to make just a positive difference, and it’s not just the senior class, it’s the whole team; and I think we have a mindset of wanting to do it for each other and for the people ahead of us who’ve made the program what it is today and teaching the younger ones what Stanford’s all about.
(TSD): I know you’re very competitive. What is your favorite part of this time of year when the playoffs come rolling around?
(Quon): This is the time where we really have to come together, and you really see it; everyone is trying their best, whether they’re on bench, starting, a sub, everyone knows their role and they want to do it for the team. And I think that’s my favorite part, seeing everyone do it for the whole team and the cause of helping us win. With winning comes a lot of fun.
(TSD): Do you guys have any superstitions or rituals?
(Quon): Our team is actually pretty superstitious, it’s kind of funny. Personally I always have the same pre-game meal–a grilled chicken sandwich and fruit–and I almost always walk to the field with Lo’eau [Labonta]. She calms me down, makes me laugh before the game, which is good.
(TSD):What songs are playing on the locker room’s iPod?
(Quon): Well whose iPod is in the locker room?
TSD:Good question. Whose is in there?
Well really it’s whoever gets there first. We have a lot of country fans, so there’s usually a lot of country playing. Last week we had Michael Jackson. Before games Emily [Oliver] usually plays her iPod. “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore is an up-and-coming one right now.
TSD:Okay, what’s your go-to study spot?
Quon: I like studying in my room, but if not there, then in the Alumni Café.
TSD:Best meal on campus?
Quon:Has to be Lake Lag Late Nite breakfast burritos. Too bad I don’t have Cardinal dollars anymore!
TSD: Anything left for you to do here? What do you want to accomplish before graduation in June?
Quon: Oh, I have a long bucket list. A lot people are going to be like, “Are you kidding me.” One, I want to finish the season off right and by right I mean, just do everything I can and have no regrets. And then, a lot of people are going to laugh at me for a lot of this, but I want to run campus loop, walk the Dish, go steam tunneling, take a class in the glass room in the front of Arillaga, I want to golf at the Stanford golf course. I want to go see every sport on campus–I’ve been to a lot, but not some of the more obscure ones like rowing. But I’ve been to squash<\p>…<\p>
TSD: Thank’s so much, Rachel.
Quon: Thank you!