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In The Crease: featuring Philly Force Attacker, Alyssa Murray

February 10, 2017

 How did you get introduced to lacrosse? 

I was introduced to lacrosse through my father, Ray. He played college lacrosse at Adelphi University and when our town started a girls lacrosse team he was recruited to be our coach. 

 

What’s the first 90 minutes of your day look like? 

The first 90 minutes start with one "snooze" cycle and then I will get up and take my dog, Oliver out and feed him.  I get dressed for work and get my work bag and workout bag together for the day. After that's all set I make breakfast and coffee and have some time to relax before I really start my day.  Once 8:15 hits I'm off to work! 

 

Growing up we're your a multi-sport athlete or focused strictly on lacrosse? 

Growing up I played a lot of sports. Soccer, basketball, volleyball and cross country were all sports that I had tried.  By the time I was a senior in high school I was playing basketball and lacrosse. 

 

What's your current stick setup? 

 

 My current stick set up is the STX CruxI with a traditionally strung pocket done by the one and only, Gary Gait. 

 

How do you tape your sticks? 

I put some tape on the middle of my stick and then about two fists width on the bottom.  I wear gloves so its not as much for grip as it is so I know where my hands are on my stick. 

 

What do you look for in your pockets? 

I look for a soft pocket with a lot of hold up at the throw strings.  Having a really broken in sweet spot allows the ball to sit up at the middle of the pocket so I am always ready to pass or shoot. 

 

Do you string your own sticks or do you have someone else? 

 

Ever since college I've had Gary string my sticks.  Prior to that, my dad would string them. I am pretty spoiled! 

 

What would we find in your gear bag?

You would probably find my STX gloves, Nike tiempo soccer cleats (I like how lightweight they are and they are sooo comfy), wireless PowerBeats, a quest bar and some gum, and my cell phone...my parents love to send me encouraging texts or emails before I play and I love to read them before I hit the field! 

 

How do you feel the recruiting process has changed since you have been recruited to Syracuse University? I think the recruiting process has changed drastically since I had committed to Syracuse.  I was a junior when I committed which was early at that time.  Now kids are getting recruited before they even get into high school.  I truly think recruiting needs to be changed to allow athletes to develop and work on their game because they love the sport while they are young instead of being stressed about college before they've even gotten to high school! 

 

What drove to to 'Cuse? Were there other offers in the mix? 

I ultimately chose Syracuse over UNC and Florida for a few reasons. 1- It was driving distance from Long Island and it was important to me that my parents were able to come watch my games (I can count on one hand how many total games they missed in 4 years!).  2- When I took my visit to Syracuse I got to meet the team and their culture and positive nature was contagious and made me want to be a part of it.  3- How do you say no to the opportunity to be coached by the all time best lacrosse player?! 

 

What does your weekly workout regimen consist of? 

It depends on how far out I am from playing for what I'm doing as a workout.  Right now since we have a training weekend coming up I will be working out pretty hard.  Right now it's been 4 running days, which is a mix of treadmill intervals, field sprints, and agility workouts and 2 lifting days each week.  

 

What’s a workout every athlete should be doing (but which few are)? 

Every athlete should be doing boxing.  It is such a fun workout which is generally pretty easy on your legs (unless it's a kickboxing class). Your arms feel the burn and it is a great cardio workout as well! 

 

What does your daily wall ball routine consist of? 

I start with a tennis ball and do one hand right and one hand left 50 times each. Then I put two hands on the stick and do 50x both side. Afterwards I use a lacrosse ball and repeat that pattern.  Following that I add in different fakes and incorporate footwork.  Always finish with some BTB's, twizzlers, and around the worlds. 

 

How often does the women's US Lacrosse Team practice? 

We practice 3-4 times a year usually. We will travel to a training weekend and have an intense weekend of practices and games.  

 

What was the toughest moment in your life? How’d it shape you?

Tearing my ACL was the toughest moment in my life. I was a senior and high school and never really experienced adversity before.  I was obviously devastated and nervous since I was not able to prove myself to my new teammates at Syracuse in fall ball that following year.  Once I was cleared and able to play I realized that the injury had a silver lining as I was able to learn that I could push myself a lot harder than I knew.  

 

Favorite pregame/post meal? 

My favorite pregame meal is some salad, grilled chicken, and pasta with marinara sauce.  Pretty simple and easy to digest.  Post game meal would have to be pizza! My guilty pleasure! 

 

What is your career outside of the sport?

I'm working at a school in Austin, TX in the athletic department of a private school called St. Stephen's Episcopal School. I also am a director of Iron Horse Lacrosse a lacrosse club that has just started the girls side of their program.

 

What's the best piece of advice you have ever received? 

The best advice I ever received was to always play with urgency but never panic.  In tight games it helps me to think about this advice so that I stay loose, focused and in control of the game. 

 

What's the best piece of advice you could give to a young Attacker looking to have success on the field? 

The best advice I would give is to never get satisfied with your skills.  To continue to excel it is crucial that you continue to work on the small things that are not always the most fun and glamorous parts of the game. It will pay off when you hit the game field! 

 

Most memorable play and/or goal throughout your career? 

The most memorable goal I've ever scored was my sophomore year in the Final Four against University of Florida.  We were down 7 goals at one point and were in the middle of a comeback when our coach called a timeout.  He drew up a play to bring us within one goal. Michelle Tumolo was to start with the ball and I was the target for a feed and shot.  When we got out there, within 10 seconds we ran it to perfection.  I remember being so excited and in that moment knowing that we would win.  

 

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of the sport? 

Outside of lacrosse, I love to do activities that are outside, play with my adorable dog Oliver, and watch sports! 

 

Are you superstitious?

I don't think I'm as bad as some other people with the number of superstitions that I have.  But I always wear my hair in games with a pony tail and braid or fishtail. Then I always have to find some quiet space for just a minute or two so I can close my eyes and visualize before going out on the field. 

 

Do you have any pregame rituals? 

Visualizing and getting a bunch of shots in so I'm confident! 

 

What's one personal and one overall team goal for the 2017 UWLX season with the Philly Force? 

One of my goals is to not finish 4th (haha)... and then personally I would say to develop chemistry with as many players on the offense as I can. It's somewhat difficult because we don't practice very much so you kind of just develop it as the season goes. 

 

Where do you see UWLX in the next ten years? 

I hope that in 10 years the UWLX is playing in front of huge crowds and being televised on ESPN like the men are.  The exposure would do great things for our sport! 

 

Growing up, who was your biggest inspiration? 

I was inspired by a lot of the girls who played before me.  I would go to Final Fours and end up going home with 3 more idols than I went there with.  My lacrosse inspiration was Kristin Kjellman from Northwestern.  I watched her play several times when she was in college and I wanted to be just like her. Other female athletes that I looked up to were the members of the 1999 USA Women's Soccer team.  I read a Julie Foudy book when I was in the 3rd grade and was hooked. 

 

We were excited to hear that you signed with Nike Lacrosse. What drove you to their products? I actually have been signed with Nike Lacrosse since I graduated Syracuse in 2014. I am so lucky to be a part of Nike Lacrosse and STX Lacrosse. Nike covers all of my footwear and clothing for lacrosse and STX covers my gear.  I feel like I am totally getting the best of the best apparel and equipment and it totally helps my performance while I train and play. 

 

What's one thing most people would be surprised to know about Alyssa Murray?

I'm born on St. Patrick's Day!

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