Trip to Baltimore, Washington strengthens team chemistry

first_imgSuper Bowl champion head coach John Harbaugh stood on the sidelines, not coaching, but watching his daughter.“He was playing father,” Syracuse assistant coach Regy Thorpe said. “His daughter was there, he gave a couple of  ‘Go ‘Cuse’ fist-pumps. But he was there watching and supporting his daughter.”He watched as she learned the fundamentals of women’s lacrosse from SU players, but a few years ago, the Baltimore Ravens head coach may not have known about the Syracuse lacrosse program.An emphasis on team chemistry from head coach Gary Gait has helped catapult Syracuse into the national spotlight. In the six years prior to Gait taking over, the Orange went 63-36. Since then, SU is 80-29.After Syracuse made its first trip to the NCAA championship game, the rest of the country is taking note of the Orange, inviting the team to appearances at various fundraisers and youth clinics.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDuring Spring Break, the team took Notre Dame Preparatory School up on its offer.The team traveled to the One Love clinic at Notre Dame Prep after a 10-3 victory over No. 16 Towson. The One Love clinic is a foundation established in 2010 in honor of UVA lacrosse player Yeardley Love, who was strangled to death by her ex-boyfriend.Syracuse attack Michelle Tumolo said she was honored to be asked to participate in the clinic, in which all of the proceeds went to the foundation.“It was a breathtaking moment to step on that field,” Tumolo said. “It was just awesome to be on the field and that they dedicated to her.”During Tumolo’s freshman year, she played against Love.Not letting the sadness of the story overwhelm her, Tumolo and her teammates coached about 125 girls. Harbaugh, Love’s mother and coach Thorpe watched the Orange run the girls through drills.After taking pictures with Harbaugh, team members traded their jerseys and face paint for heels and dresses to tour the Pentagon. The tour was largely set up with the help of SU junior Liz Harbeson’s father, who works there.Alyssa Costantino, a political science major, appreciated the access they received during that portion of the trip. Costantino relished what she called the most memorable part of the trip, as she sees herself working as a lawyer upon graduating.“We went to the house of Congress and Senate and we got to sit in and listen to them talk,” Costantino said.  “It was really fun to see how the government works.”In awe of the Sept. 11 memorial at the Pentagon, the girls signed their names in the Book of Remembrance.Leaving behind pieces of Syracuse in D.C., they also left with deeper team chemistry.“I think this will help us keep close,” Costantino said. “Team chemistry is a huge part of lacrosse. Being so close and working with each other, that kind of situation will help us in the long run.”After the Orange returned to Syracuse for its first home game in almost a month, the degree of team bonding was evident as Syracuse plastered Connecticut for 30 minutes of play in a statement-making 18-7 victory.“Defense was amazing, attack got there, everything was flowing and it was definitely a game where we could find our chemistry with each other,” Costantino said.Moving forward in SU’s last season in the Big East, coach Thorpe hopes to have more clinics and community service activities in store, as he and Gait believe giving back reaps positive benefits, especially on the field.Said Thorpe: “Whenever you give, it just feels like you get it back tenfold.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 26, 2013 at 12:45 am Contact Melissa: [email protected]last_img

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