When Stanford women’s lacrosse player Hannah Farr goes after ground balls, you can tell she plays soccer too. She’s a small, shifty midfielder who appreciates the value of unsettled opportunities.
“In soccer, 50-50 balls are everything. Whoever wins the disputed balls usually controls more possession and in general, has more control of the game.” Farr said. “One of my strengths in lacrosse is winning 50-50 ground balls and just being scrappy.”
This fall, Stanford is 6-1-1 heading into its Pac-12 opener on Sunday against Arizona State. Farr has played in all seven games thus far as a reserve, registering one point.
“I really love switching back and forth from one sport to the other, because it keeps things fresh and exciting,” she said. “I’ve done it my whole life and play both to make me better.”
Farr started playing soccer as a young girl growing up in Northern California and picked up lacrosse in fifth grade. Her early lacrosse instruction came from her older brother Jack during mini-stick games they played in the backyard of their Bay Area home.
“We have a perfectly placed and surprisingly cushiony bed of ivy along the grass that I remember getting decked into countless times,” she said.
At St. Ignatius (Calif.) Prep, Farr rose through ranks in soccer and lacrosse and became a legitimate NCAA Division I prospect in both sports. Soccer commitments sometimes meant missing lacrosse games, and lacrosse kept her from participating in the Olympic Development Program in soccer, usually a key step for players with college ambitions.
But Stanford lacrosse coach Amy Bokker, who played lacrosse and field hockey at William & Mary, saw in Farr a rare quality to juggle two sports at the highest level.
“Students always ask if they can do two. It depends on the person,” Bokker said. “When I met Hannah, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that she’d be able to succeed at both.”
Stanford women’s soccer coach Paul Ratcliffe also agreed to let Farr double down. It did not hurt that she had a 4.3 grade point average in high school. Though undeclared in her major, Farr is interested in economics, Spanish and a future profession in sports reporting. She has the highest GPA among Cardinal lacrosse players.