April 27, 2012
BERKELEY - In her final season as a Golden Bear, Tori Harrison has anchored one of the best defenses in California lacrosse history, while juggling class, an internship with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and a CalBears.com blog. A few days before the biggest game of her career, the senior took time out to discuss Oregon - Cal's Friday opponent in the MPSF Tournament - the season and her future plans.
CalBears.com: How excited are you to play in the MPSF Tournament?
Tori Harrison: It's always a really exciting time. Our conference is more and more competitive every year. It's a huge honor to go. We're excited to face Oregon in the first round - maybe overcome close games that have haunted us - and play close to home. It's a really good time to show everyone that we still have more left in us and to be able to continue my own play. This is my bonus time after having played my senior game. I'm excited to leave it all out there.
CalBears.com: During the regular season, Cal lost at Oregon, 10-9. Is that extra motivation for Friday?
TH: It's huge motivation. Our game in Eugene was heart breaking. It's great to have a rematch, but they're a really strong team this year and on a huge winning streak. It'll be a great first-round game. We're excited. We have been training our hardest this week.
CalBears.com: Has your role on the field or off changed at all under the first-year coaching staff?
TH: Since day one, Ginger told me I had to be a bigger vocal leader. I took it to heart and stepped up my leadership as a senior captain on this team. We have a strong group of captains this year, and after we lost Tara, we had to be even stronger. Ginger played a crucial role to give me the confidence to step up and have a bigger voice.
CalBears.com: How much of a leadership role to Tara and Megan Takacs continue to play?
CalBears.com: Has it hit you yet that your final season as a Golden Bear is winding to a close?
TH: For the last five or six games before each game, I've gone up to Vail Horn and said, "Vail, we have only five games left in this uniform!" As many times as I say it, it has no way sunk in. I come in every day, put on my uniform and play. It'll be a huge reality shock when it hits me. I've been doing the same thing the last four years. The senior game was eye opening, walking out with my parents and Mel. Having that celebration take place made me realize it is coming to an end. It made me push my butt off working the hardest in practice this week.
CalBears.com: What was the most memorable moment so far this year?
TH: It was our Villanova game. It was the end of a long road trip. Just had a loss to Navy, and the team was pretty down. Ginger came up to the defense before the game and said, "You have one task - to get the ball back. The defense was relentless! It was a big turning point for the communication aspect of our defense. Every game, the defense improved from there. I'm hopeful that this weekend could replace that game as my top moment this season.
CalBears.com: What was the funniest moment this season?
TH: In the airport on our layover in Chicago on the last away trip to Vermont, watching Grace, Paige and Vail run around the airport with their cameras and singing "Call Me Maybe" at the top of their lungs with random individuals was probably the funniest thing I've seen this season.
CalBears.com: What song fires you up the most before a game?
TH: We sing "Call Me Maybe" at the top of our lungs in our locker room, and Boody, Tara and I have a great relationship with "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)." We put it on our warm up when we're stretching, and it allows us to get ready for every game
CalBears.com: What's your favorite movie?
TH: This will surprise most of my teammates, but I'm a huge sucker for chick flicks. I'll have to say "Love Actually."
CalBears.com: What's your favorite TV show?
TH: Mel and I watch as many TV shows as we can fit into our schedule, but this year I actually I've been obsessed with "Smash." I was in theater all through high school. I love any show about musicals.
CalBears.com: Have you enjoyed writing the "Bear TaraTori" blog?
TH: It's really fun to let whoever reads it know about the fun quirks on our team. We have such a funny group of girls - when everyone's in intense mode, Grace's dance parties during warm-up, freshmen wearing crazy hairstyles in airports to be different. It's fun for Tara and I to give insight to people and fun for us to write it together.
CalBears.com: What are you going to do after Cal?
TH: I have interned at Comcast SportsNet. This affirmed that sports media is a field I want to pursue. I've been applying for jobs in the Bay Area and been apartment hunting.