On The Yard


    A Day in the Life of a Navy Women’s Lacrosse Player

    By Bill the Goat on March 1, 2024

    A Day in the Life of a Navy Women’s Lacrosse Player

    Have you ever wondered what it’s like to step into the cleats of a varsity athlete at the U.S. Naval Academy? We recently sat down with Tori DiCarlo, a midshipman, Second Class (2/C) who’s also a junior attacker on the Division One Navy Women’s Lacrosse Team, currently ranked 17th. Here’s a sneak peak into a day in the life during her busy spring season. It’s time to play. Lace up!

    Starting Strong in 2024

    The new women’s lacrosse season kicked off with a win over Duke on February 9th at their home turf, the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, and DiCarlo kicked off her third season with the midshipmen. Hailing from Radnor High School outside of Philadelphia, she has played lacrosse since fifth grade. For about that long, she knew she wanted to go to a service academy. She smiles, “I always wanted to go to a service academy growing up, and I ended up choosing Navy because I loved the feel of the Yard, knowing I was surrounded by people who shared a common goal to serve and be part of that service after graduation. I’m surrounded by people who make me better each day and that’s what I wanted; I wanted to be pushed in that challenging way and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy—but I was going to be better for it.”


    Better indeed. Not only has she gained valuable military training experience, but her team is doing very well too. They finished last season ranked third in the Patriot League and have high hopes for this season. DiCarlo lists off their goals: “Our goal every year is to beat Army, win the Patriot League, and get to the NCAA tournament…. We are so excited because we have the capability and the mindset to achieve all of those goals this season.”


    Their training started in the middle of August, after she and many of her teammates returned from traveling around the world and the country for various training sessions. Once they’re back on the Yard, they need to quickly focus on lacrosse, she notes. “You come back and you’ve got to grind, get right back into it. People have been home all summer, practicing their stick skills while you were doing your military duties, so we are extra motivated when we come back to put the work in.” That work is constant, with practice nearly every day on the turf practice field. When the weather is bad, they train at Halsey Field House and lift in the Wesley Brown facility, and then get in practice before a game at the stadium.


    A Day of Work and Play

    A typical day during the season can be non-stop. It looks something like this:

    • Get up around 5:30 a.m. They may have morning workouts or facilitate training for underclass midshipmen; some players like to do recovery (training room) in the morning, or help out with the goalies.
    • Morning formation is at 7:00 a.m.
    • From there, they join their company in King Hall as the entire Brigade eats breakfast.
    • They attend four periods of classes, 50 minutes each.
    • Depending on their schedule, there is a lunch break. They’ll do three days of lifts. If they don’t lift, they can go to recovery for ice, heat, PT, massages, etc. They might also watch films.
    • They run over to Wesley Brown for lift or recovery.
    • 5th and 6th period (the latter is sometimes open for practices and games).
    • Practice for about two hours. If there’s a game at 4:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. they’ll play then.
    • Go back to their dorm rooms for a shower.
    • Get dinner.
    • 7:00-8:00 p.m. is open time for clubs or meetings.
    • 8:00-11:00 p.m. is study period, then lights out.


    A Special Bond

    DiCarlo knows it’s a busy schedule, but she is passionate about being on the team. Led by Head Coach Cindy Timchal, Associate Head Coaches Brooke Shriver and Gabby Capuzzi Solomon, and Assistant Coach Taylor Pinzone, it’s a hard-working team. “I love the culture we’re building every day. Our captains are really strong leaders. Katie Golbranson and Leelee Denton really care about every player as an individual. You don’t always find that; you find a lot of self-motivated players. Our team is different because we’re motivated by each other and by making each other better. It’s super tight-knit, our teammates are really close, no matter the grade….when you get on the field, you’re all on the same mission, the same rank. It’s really cool because we have this unique mission of being warfighters on and off the field, and I think that gives us a unified edge over our opponents who don’t have that same cohesiveness,” she explains. It’s a real connection.


    She goes deeper, “The amount of personal check-ins I get from my teammates on a daily basis is something I really wasn’t expecting; it’s one of the most positive things here—like when people ask you how your day’s going; it’s really easy to say, “good” and keep going but…those people know it's hard and that your days are long—and you know their days are long too—and you’re just there to listen to each other. It’s a really special bond we all have and it just makes our team and every team here different and better for that.” That bond is something you don’t find on every team.


    Recently, she went head-to-head with one of her toughest rivals—her best friend from childhood, a talented defensive midfielder who plays for Loyola University Maryland named Ellie Rinehart. It was surreal for DiCarlo, as they each knew each other's greatest strengths—and weaknesses. Paired up together, they were one-on-one in that game and “it was just awesome, a really cool full circle experience,” she says. Loyola may have walked away with that win, but DiCarlo says that’s going to change this season!


    Come Watch the Midshipmen Play!

    The team is excited to continue their strong season. Make sure to come out and support them at home and away. You can find their schedule here. And every time you come to the Yard, take a USNA tour, enjoy dining on the Yard or make a purchase here, you’re giving back to the midshipmen who give their all. These proceeds fund extracurricular activities like cultural arts, music, theater, USNA club sports, and more for the midshipmen. In fact, there is a men’s USNA club lacrosse team and women’s USNA club lacrosse team too! So grab some Navy lacrosse gear and come out to the fields. DiCarlo and her teammates can’t wait to show you how they play.


    Support the Team

    Bill the Goat
    Written by Bill the Goat | March 1, 2024


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