Megan Menzuber is home, spending one last summer coaching with the Minnesota Elite Girls Lacrosse program. A sport that has given her so much over the last decade, the past five years at Marquette University in Wisconsin.
Coaching the 22s, this upcoming school year's seniors, Menzuber, of Chanhassen, is amazed at the talent on the team. Whenever she's back, watching a high school game, she wonders how she would have stacked up against today's elite players.
"I always want to think I was better, but I'm not so sure anymore," Menzuber laughed.
Menzuber, a Holy Family Catholic High School graduate, was certainly good. She scored 72 goals in her senior year in 2016 and was named Miss Lacrosse Minnesota and the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year.
She also is the all-time scoring leader for Holy Family Catholic girls hockey, totaling more than 200 points; and was a member of the Class A state champion Fire girls tennis team as a junior in 2014.
Not often do high school athletes headed toward a Division I track play three team sports throughout high school. Menzuber never wavered in that decision.
"It comes down to the fact that everything you do in different sports can be transferable to lacrosse. I remember each season putting the majority of my time, energy, and focus into that sport. Obviously I'm competitive, so I liked that constant competition, but I feel like I was not only able to add physical ability, but mental capacity, too. Tennis gave me a mental edge in my other sports. I was able stay in my own head, not get too external playing singles. Working with different teams, different sports, it really made me improve my teamwork," Menzuber said.
A trait that certainly helped her as a two-year captain at Marquette.
CHANGE IN PATH
Lacrosse wasn't always the path Menzuber saw herself playing in college. For years it was hockey. Then, all of a sudden it wasn't.
"I had a very distinct change in heart. It was always hockey then one day out of the blue, I went up to my mom and dad and said I think I want to play lacrosse in college. Lacrosse was a sport I wanted to get better. I could see myself putting in the time to get better," Menzuber said.
Putting in the time, being self accountable to improve, was something Menzuber strived for early on at the Milwaukee school.
Despite her high school accolades, Menzuber felt like she was one of the worst players on her team her freshman year.
"It was a whole different world. Playing with girls from the east coast. I came in with a chip on my shoulder. I always felt I had to do a little bit more than everyone else," she said.
After finishing with five goals and three assists as a freshman, Menzuber's steady improvement was rewarded. She scored 28 goals as a sophomore. Her score tally improved to 32 as a junior with a career-high 44 points.
She was on pace for a career year as a senior, 37 points, including 22 goals through the first 10 games of the 2020 season. The season was shutdown due to COVID. Menzuber returned home with a mindset that she had put on the Marquette for a last time.
"There was no way I was going back. I had a full-time job lined up in Minneapolis. I remember I came home, took a week to reflect. I went back and forth, but in the end, I felt like I was been giving another shot to play for a reason. It was so weird because I had it in my mind this was my last year. Now, I'm so happy I went back. My fifth year was probably my favorite," Menzuber said.
She set career highs in goals (40), assists (15) and points (55), even making the pass to fellow Holy Family Catholic alumni Leigh Steiner for her first career goal.
Menzuber, named to the all-Big East second team, finished second in program history for career points (178), career goals (127), career shots (296) and shots on goal (226), and top-five for points in a season (55) and career assists (51).
Not bad for someone who saw themselves as one of the worst players on the team as a freshman.
"It really has left me believing anyone can reach a goal if they truly want to work for it," Menzuber said.
TO THE FUTURE
Menzuber has plans to move to Chicago in August, having already started a consulting job remotely from home.
Competitive at heart, she's already looking for leagues to stay active in.
She said every sport in high school left a lasting impression on her.
"I learned so much from (former coach Jack Roach with tennis). I was able to improve in so many different aspects of the game, physically and mentally, that has helped me through today. Just that focus and being dialed in when I was on the court, Menzuber said.
"I still miss hockey. As time went on, it got harder to be away. When I come back home, I am always up for playing (pond hockey). It's a game that gave me so much. I'll always lace up my skates when I can," she added.
And then there was lacrosse.
"I would not trade the last five years for anything. There's been a lot of ups and downs over the years, but that family bond you get from being on a college team, it's incredible. I have seven years worth of teammates that I will have as friends for the rest of my life," Menzuber said. "I grew as a human so much these last two years as a captain. Really with two things, accountability and responsibility. Every decision you make affects your team. Just having that work ethic, the self motivation, the drive, for yourself, and your team."