PHOTO BY LIZ ROBERTSHAW

Presented by teammate Megan Douty, attacker Michelle Tumolo earned the honor of being the flag bearer for Sunday's game against Canada.

Mission Log: Michelle Tumolo on Meaning of Team USA After Canada Win


Eat, sleep, play lacrosse, (laugh a lot), repeat. The routine of a World Cup lacrosse team. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than here, with these people.

GAMEDAY VS. CANADA: 6 P.M.

The best thing about waking up every morning – besides getting my sing and dance partner Alice [Mercer]’s Flat 3 group text – is that it’s constantly game day. It’s another day to get better at our craft, to work together as a unit towards our common goal, winning gold. I’ve been enjoying every single moment with these people and every time I think it couldn’t get any better, it does.

I start my morning off with a nice iced caramel latte from a café next door with Becca [Block], Brooke [Griffin] and Alice. We all grab a bite to eat to fuel our bodies for the big day ahead. This morning, I spiced it up and made avocado toast with a little bit of hot sauce – so trendy. Thanks to our amazing manager, Wendy Stone, and the rest of the staff for keeping the kitchen stocked!

Next, we head to our team meeting where we review film of our game against England, and prepare for our game versus Canada. No matter the score, there’s always something we can learn and improve on from a previous game. We know that Canada is a smart, skilled and physical team that will play us to their very best.

During our meeting, the well-deserved flag bearer from the day before, my forever roomie Meg Douty, got her turn to hand it off to the next person. I was that lucky person, and even better, receiving it from a selfless, hardworking, always-have-your-back kind of teammate and friend. It’s an honor to get the flag from you MEG DOUTY! (I’m screaming it like Bully [Sarah Bullard].)

We head to our pregame lunch, again fueling the tanks to make sure we are gassed up! Becca Block and I found a jackpot vending machine with sparkling coconut water. Life-changing. We indulge. I’m sure we will be getting cases sent to our Eugene apartment ASAP – I wouldn’t be surprised if Becca has already done so. (She’s the queen of online shopping.)

We head back to our Flats, hit play on our playlists and on our Normatecs. What’s better than a jam sesh while normatecing? Not much!

During this time, I was browsing the ESPN website and came across all the athletes that are in the Sports Illustrated “Body Issue.” My favorite one is the story of the USA women’s ice hockey team who won gold in overtime against Canada this April in the World Championship. One of the players spoke about playing for “something bigger than themselves.” This is a line Coach Fried always reiterates to us. I believe these are some of the most powerful words and every single player on this team exemplifies that. We’re locked in, standing 3-0 in pool play, ready for our fourth game in a row.


We play for the young people in the stands, who look at us as role models, who want to one day be in our shoes. We play for our families, our friends and all the people who have come before us. Most importantly, we play for our country.


We all meet downstairs, excited to head to the locker room, but first, Coach reads us a letter from an alum. This happens before every game, and if we’re lucky, more than once a day. We have the most amazing support from all the players who paved the ground before us. This letter was my kind of pump up. Thanks Quinn Carney Burke!

Once in the locker room, DJ Kelly Rabil drops the beats for us all to sing and dance to while sweating our behinds off. Coach comes in and gives us another pregame speech that gets us all fired up to take the field. I stand next to my record-breaking legend of a teammate, Kayla Treanor, and march out.

Game 4. It’s on.

I blow my Mom and Dad a kiss (a pregame ritual) and take my position. The whistle blows and my stomach drops with nerves and excitement, the kind of nerves where I could possibly throw up but then don’t – Thank goodness.

Our team battles every single play from the start. There isn’t a ball that goes down without the red, white and blue around it. We create offense, make unbelievable stops on defense and play our stinkin’ hearts out. We beat Canada 17-3.

It was a full team effort win. I love this team so much. Everyone has each other’s backs every single second of the game.

And can I just say I love playing with my sharp-shooting Terps Alex [Aust] and Brooke, who are crushing it! They were once Kayla’s and my enemies [in college], now turned attack unit besties.

Once the game wrapped up, I got the pleasure to sign some autographs at the STX tent with Devon [Wills]. It has been an incredible experience meeting all of these people who are such big fans of lacrosse and Team USA. This goes along with the words “playing for something bigger than yourself.”

We play for the young people in the stands, who look at us as role models, who want to one day be in our shoes. We play for our families, our friends and all the people who have come before us. Most importantly, we play for our country. I can’t wait to pass the flag on to one of my teammates and I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and keep living one of my biggest dreams. 

– Michelle Tumolo
(Twitter: @mtumolo35, Instagram: @mtumolo35, Snapchat: @mltumolo)








Player Profile

MICHELLE TUMOLO

Nickname: Tumi
Years with the U.S. Program: 7
U.S. Senior World Cup Teams: 2017
Position: Attack
College: Syracuse 2013
Honors: Tewaaraton Finalist (2012), First Team All American
Hometown: Mullica Hill, N.J.
Current Residence: Eugene, Ore.
Current Career: Oregon Assistant

What does playing for Team USA mean to you?

It is the greatest honor. There is no better feeling than putting the USA jersey on.




PHOTO BY ADY KERRY

When Michelle Tumolo was signing autographs for fans after being named the Player of the Match in Team USA's win over Canada, she understood the meaning of player for something bigger than yourself.


What other sports did you play in high school?

Basketball and soccer. 

Who helped you the most to get you where you are today?

I would have to say Megan Conklin and Gary Gait. Conk was my high school coach. She pushed me ever single day from the moment I met her. She believed in me the day I picked up a lacrosse stick for the first time. She saw something in me, and made me great. She handed me off to the greatest player of all time in Gary Gait, which led to the best four years of my life. He pushed me to play the best lacrosse I could while having fun doing it. He told me to try out for Team USA after my freshman year at Syracuse and I thought he was joking. I am thankful for his confidence in me because I surely did not think I would make the team. I did and I am still here seven years later.

What is the best advice you've received from a coach?

"Reach for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll be among the stars." Coach Conk always said this quote.

What is your go-to pregame meal?

Fruit or a granola bar.

If you could have one song played after every time you score or make a big play, what would it be?

Anything by Beyone. We all know why. She's Queen B.

Was there ever a time when you doubted yourself?

Yes, of course. I do a lot of visualization to help believe in myself. It helps a lot to see myself doing something in my head over and over again to then have the confidence to do it on the field.

What one word do you think best describes yourself?

Goofy. I love to be myself and laugh all day every day.

What advice would you give young players who dream to reach your level?

Work your hardest every single day. If you have this dream, chase it. No matter how many fails you might have, don't quit. Believe in yourself and push yourself to the best of your ability.

What is one thing you can't live without?

My pup, Flanders. I am that obsessed dog Mom who acts like their dog is their child.

 

2026 defensive recruit..ruff player. Also may on the field. But #worththe$$ : @izzyp53

A post shared by Michelle Tumolo (@mtumolo35) on

Follow the U.S. women's national team as it competes for gold in the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse Women's World Cup in Guildford, England, and the 2017 IWGA World Games in Wroclaw, Poland. This "Mission Log" will continue throughout both events with each player providing insight on their journey.