There’s a certain beauty to college athletics, and it’s not because Syracuse lacrosse star Michelle Tumolo is easy on the eyes. It’s because since athletes aren’t paid, they also can’t be fined for what they say. Which allows us a window into the minds of these players, either by Twitter or in front of a microphone. Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine refused to acknowledge the terrible officiating after the Ohio State loss in the Elite 8 at the podium. But at his locker, Dion Waiters openly discussed the Orange disadvantage playing 5-on-8. Tumolo comes from the Dion school of candidness.
“I really am angry.”
“I actually said to the girl covering me, ‘This is so boring. I cannot believe this. This is why no one wants to watch the game. This is bad, this is so bad.'”
“We weren’t really expecting a national championship team – that had been in the national championship for eight straight years – would be stalling on a team they had already beaten. You know, it was really just mind boggling to us because, I’m not gonna lie, they kinda seemed scared to play us. Because they saw what we did against Florida.”
Michelle also said that while the pace killed most of the fans, the officiating was what killed the Orange.
“It wasn’t what we expected. Every single call went towards Northwestern. I mean blatant fouls not called for us. I had a good check at the end of the game. It would have maybe led to a fast break and then a goal and it would have been a one goal game. It just makes me angry.”
“I really wish we could play like the boys, to be honest.”
“When I get shut off, I’ll run over there and he’ll tell me ‘we’re going to do this to get you away from her’ or the next play he wants to run. Or maybe calm me down. Sometimes I get a bit riled up.”
Tumolo credits Gait with the program’s growth. He’s killed it on the recruiting trail, resulting in a deep squad that could be the preseason #1 next year. Michelle says for the current players though, his belief in them is what matters the most. She says Gait and the coaching staff convinced themselves she was going to win the Tewaarton award while she thought it was a long shot (Maryland’s Katie Schwarzmann won it as Tumolo was one of five finalists).Listen to the FizzCast as Michelle discusses her experience with Team USA, her “texture problem” at the beach and her nerves on game day.