Last year the Huskies started off the season like a powerhouse. Going on a seven game winning streak, we felt it was our year to leave a lasting legacy at the University of Washington. Unfortunately, we hit the Pac12 season and our streak ended. Despite some losses, we made enough of an impact to get a bid for the NCAA tournament. Facing Auburn in the first round, we put up a strong fight in front of our home fans on our home field, but left the rainy night feeling confused and distraught. Knowing we did not play up to our potential, we looked in the mirror and knew there was more to give.
Our alarms sounded at 5:00am. Day after day, we bundled up in sweatpants, packed ourselves into cars and made our way down to the locker room. Hardly awake, we threw on our cleats, managed to stuff down a Luna bar and walked out into the cold, dark, winter morning. Our morning workouts ranged from pushing sleds, holding 5-minute planks, bear crawling in the frost until our hands went raw and ultimately achieving a mental toughness most could never understand. With the feeling of Auburn fresh on our minds, we turned the loss into motivation.
The media can think what they want and onlookers can question us, but I know my team and I know that it’s only a matter of time until we click and the tides turn for us. Personally, I would rather get the kinks out early on in the season and show up big to the Pac12 when it truly matters. These losses are hard to swallow, but they have been crucial to our development and are telling a story. We are slowly piecing together the small gaps that will result in a unified, complete team. How we face the bumps in the road will determine how long we will travel.
A former coach of mine used to say, “You have to let the tea boil at the right time.” Let me be the first to say, the Dawgs are starting to heat up.