Athlete of the week: Carmel High School senior’s decision to concentrate on lacrosse pays off


Carmel High School senior midfielder Tori Tomalia took the advice of her club lacrosse coach to give up basketball and focus on one sport.

“She said, ‘Tori, if (you) want to play lacrosse at the level you want to play at, you have to stick to one sport,’” she said “Honestly, it was the best decision of my life.”

Tomalia gave up basketball after her sophomore  season.

Carmel High School senior midfielder Tori Tomalia leads the team with 66 goals. (Photo courtesy of Josh Miller)

“I realized I did not enjoy going to basketball practice as much as I did lacrosse practice,” she said.

Tomalia also realized how much more she wanted to play lacrosse in college.

“The second I switched over to playing lacrosse only, it opened a whole new world for me, and I just love the sport so much more,” she said.

Tomalia, who has signed to play for the University of Connecticut next season, plays club lacrosse for Major Force Lacrosse, which plays a national schedule.

“UConn has been my No. 1 school for a long time,” she said.

Greyhounds coach Josh Miller said Tomalia’s athleticism keeps improving.

“She’s a heck of an athlete up and down the field,” said Miller, who is in his eighth year with the program and has been head coach for four seasons. “Her work ethic is 100 percent all the time. She has a positive attitude that wears off on a lot of the other girls. She is the best player I’ve ever had as far as pure talent and athleticism. This is a team loaded with talent, and she’s leading us in every category.”

Tomalia was named the USA Lacrosse Player of the Week earlier this season.

Tomalia said her biggest improvement is her work on the draw, which is a 1-on-1 battle for possession at the start of each half and after goals.

“I’ve been working on doing a lot of different draws in high-pressure situations,” she said. “I think that’s been the most effective for us because we have a lot more possessions against some harder teams where we might have lost the draw last year.”

Tomalia, who has played lacrosse since third grade, said the team is hungry after losing to Guerin Catholic last year in the Indiana High School Lacrosse Association state championship.

“I’d say this is the most hard-working team and our most ambitious to win,” said Tomalia, who was on the Greyhounds’ state championship team in 2021.

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