Philadelphia Force Cement Perfect Season with UWLX Title

PHOTO BY RISLEY SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Michelle Tumolo scored three goals to help propel the Philadelphia Force to a 13-7 win over the Boston Storm at Harvard Stadium in the UWLX championship game Saturday night.


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The goal is always to win the final game of the season.

The Philadelphia Force went into each contest in 2018 riding high off a win. Without a loss heading into the championship contest, there was plenty of confidence they’d do it again.

Even after trailing in the first half, the Force surged, dominating the second stanza to topple the Boston Storm 13-7 and win their first United Women’s Lacrosse League title.

“Our offense has a ton of power,” said championship MVP Michelle Tumolo, who scored three goals. “It’s tough to shut us down, so we were just clicking on offense. People were putting their shots away and flowing on offense.”







Philadelphia advanced with a 15-10 win over the defending champion Long Island Sound on Monday at Lake Placid, N.Y., while the Storm narrowly defeated Baltimore 8-7 in a thriller to face the Force.

While Philadelphia started hot early, Boston hung in there.

The Storm scored three in a row to take a 4-3 lead, their only advantage of the half, before the Force controlled possession.

Boston struck quickly in the second, needing just under three minutes to find the cage.

That was nearly as close as it could get.

“We were just taking better opportunities on our end and taking care of the ball a little bit,” Tumolo said. “They have Kayla Treanor and a couple of good attackers on their end, so of course they’re going to make the game interesting. They made a game of it. It was fun to watch tonight.”

PHOTO BY RISLEY SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

The Force scored in every way possible, from lengthy possessions toward the end of the shot clock to transition and free-position goals.

With Zoe Ochoa between the pipes, Philadelphia prevented Boston from inching any closer, while the Force offense continued to gain momentum.

For a team that didn’t get much practice time together, anyone watching wouldn’t have been able to tell with the chemistry Philadelphia displayed.

“We had it from the get-go,” Tumolo said. “We were 6-0. We had that chemistry from the start. It’s just our passion and work ethic to be a family. We just came together. As soon as we got to the field, we had a flow. That chemistry on and off the field is why were successful the whole season.”

Philadelphia beat Boston on July 11, 17-4 in Columbia, Md. Saturday night was a lot more competitive as the Storm, the second-seeded team in the postseason, found their groove.

Despite it being a home-friendly crowd for Boston in front of friends and family of the local talent, the Force didn’t seem to skip a beat.

“We played them this season and had a great game against them, so we knew they were going to come out hot,” Tumolo said. “We kept our cool and were doing a thing. We went in wanting to be competitive the whole game, and that’s what we did.”

After several UWLX players jumped to the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League before this season, all four teams had plenty of roster turnover.

On Saturday night, it seemed like the Force had played together their entire lives.

“Our whole team was flowing,” Tumolo said. “Defense to offense and into the net, that’s why we came out with a win today.”

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