For four years, Mira Shane was the best goaltender in Michigan women’s lacrosse history. And now, just 18 months later, she’s making the return to Ann Arbor.
Shane finished her career as Michigan’s all-time leader in career victories, saves and save percentage. Now, Shane is returning to her college town as a volunteer assistant coach to help out the Wolverines’ goalkeepers.
After spending last season coaching at Harvard, Shane hopes to bring her “energy” and “good vibes” to Michigan. Aside from simply helping build enthusiasm on the field, Shane is looking forward to creating strong bonds with the goalkeepers, helping them improve both on and off the field. She also understands that her athletes have lives outside of their sport.
“Every other coach told me that I wasn’t able to do my music,” Shane said. “I wouldn’t be the player that I had been without music. I (knew that I) would have support staff and a coaching staff that would see that (music) was important to me. I had other facets to who I was as an athlete.”
Now, as a coach, Shane recognizes that relating to the goalies and asking them how they’re doing is just as important as improving technical aspects of goalkeeping.
“Going from Harvard to here, I’ve kinda taken the page of listening to my goalies,” Shane said. “I think it goes back to that point about really trying to relate with whatever the athlete is going through.”
At the end of the day, athletes walk away from the game with memories and feelings, not just the physical skills. It’s something she experienced first-hand during her collegiate playing career. In the last three minutes of her final game, a NCAA Tournament matchup on her home turf, Shane dove in an attempt to make a save, dislocating her shoulder on the play. By this time, the Wolverines were losing by an insurmountable goal differential.
With tears in her eyes — maybe due to her physical pain, maybe due to the sadness of her college career ending — Shane was flooded with the many memories of her time at Michigan: memories of making amazing saves on the field, of hanging out with the members of her a capella group, of advocating for mental health awareness across campus and of speaking up for social justice and opportunity for all.
Mira Shane returns to Ann Arbor with years of playing experience and a season of coaching under her belt, and she’s ready to support her athletes both on and off the field. It was the support that made the difference for her as a player. Now, it’s the same support that will help shape Michigan women’s lacrosse.