April 18, 2013

Syracuse's Tumolo Out for Season with Torn ACL

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Syracuse's Michelle Tumolo, a 2012 Tewaaraton Award finalist who was second in scoring for the Orange this year, tore her ACL on Tuesday against Cornell and will miss the rest of the season.
© Greg Wall

Syracuse senior attacker Michelle Tumolo suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee in the Orange's 16-4 victory against Cornell on Tuesday, the team announced Thursday morning. The injury will require surgery and Tumolo will miss the rest of the season.

Tumolo is second on the team in scoring this season with 46 points on 22 goals and a team-high 24 assists. She ranks third on Syracuse's all-time scoring list with 277 points and second on the career assists list with 136. Tumolo was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award and earned the IWLCA Attacker of the Year award last season after posting 95 points on 52 goals and 43 assists.

She also narrowly missed making the 2013 U.S. Women's World Cup team.

Her loss significantly changes the makeup of the Syracuse offense, which has run through Tumolo and forced defenses to faceguard her.

Tumolo was injured in the first half of Tuesday's game on a ride near the Syracuse bench. She spent the second half on the sideline, using crutches to move and with a brace on her left knee.

Orange coach Gary Gait opened Syracuse's post-game press conference on Tuesday by commenting on Tumolo's injury, a sign of the impact.

"I'll start by addressing the obvious," Gait said. "Michelle Tumolo went down in the first half. We'll see how it is, see what's up with her in the following days to come."

Sophomore attackers Kailah Kempney and Devon Collins, along with freshman attacker/midfielder Kayla Treanor will all see increased roles in Tumolo's absence. Treanor has 34 goals and nine assists this season, Kempney 14 goals and six assists and Collins 12 goals and three assists.

Collins finished with two goals and one assist on Tuesday, Kempney had two goals and three assists and Treanor had four goals. Treanor scored five goals in Syracuse's season-opener against Jacksonville, which was played without Tumolo, who sat out the game for receiving a red card in the 2012 national championship game.

Alyssa Murray currently leads the team in scoring with 40 goals and 20 assists for 60 points.

Tumolo was profiled in the March issue of Lacrosse Magazine by LM's Clare Lochary. In the story Tumolo, Gait and others spoke about Tumolo's impact on the field.

"She's one of the most exciting players in the women's game right now," said Katrina Dowd, the former Syracuse assistant coach and Tumolo's former sparring partner on the U.S. training team.

Tumolo's ability to influence a game was never more apparent than in the 2012 NCAA tournament. When Syracuse trailed North Carolina by two goals late in the quarterfinal, she scored twice, assisted on another goal and forced a crucial turnover in a late-game flurry that sparked a miraculous 17-16 comeback win over the Tar Heels at the Carrier Dome.

Her game-winner came with five seconds left. "It was just pure bliss," she said afterward.

A week later, Tumolo had five points and two caused turnovers in the Orange's double-overtime battle against Florida. Trailing by seven goals in the second half, Syracuse rallied to defeat the tournament's No. 1 seed. It was the second-biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history, the latest chapter in an emerging rivalry.

"It was unspoken. I knew we were going to win that semifinal," Tumolo said. "Down by seven, no matter what. Ask anyone on my team. They just knew it."

The fifth-ranked Orange returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday when it hosts No. 7 Notre Dame in the Carrier Dome.

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