11 is way better than 2..!! :)
- Apr 1, 2013
- Reaction Score
There was very little information in the tweet sent out by Breanna Stewart, two years ago, announcing defending National Champion UConn was looking for walk-on players. Missing from Stewie’s tweet was the reality of the offer. In exchange for vomit inducing workouts, endless plane & bus travel and relentless criticism from a perfectionist coach, takers would have minimal playing time, no social life and early morning philosophy exams after yet another flight delay. It was a deal with the devil that only two brave souls signed up for. Tierney Lawlor and Briana Pulido made that bargain, survived the entire season and shared in that magical 40-0 season & National Champion victory over previously undefeated Notre Dame. (Saying that never gets old..!)
By last summer, UConn had recruited four highly regarded guards and the roster seemed crowded, especially at that position. Many wondered if TLAW, who is not on scholarship, would come back out. There was nothing more to prove for the three sport star from Ansonia and little to improve upon after the perfect record & nationally televised beat down of the Irish. T, as her teammates call her, had played in 31 games, shot 42.1% from beyond the arc and swished a perfect 3 in Madison Square Garden against California. Why come back out & endure six more months of pain for what promised to be less playing time? Probably, for the same reason she ended up with a 2nd degree black belt in Martial Arts before turning 18.
Then Sadie Edwards transferred, Courtney Ekmark fractured her foot and Gabby Williams was moved to forward. The plethora of guards thinned out and Tierney saw action in 18 of UConn’s first 19 games. During one of UConn’s blowouts, as the announcers blathered on about the Huskies team, a bombshell was dropped. The humorous and often irreverent Geno Auriemma had confessed that the most improved player on this year’s team was….Tierney Lawlor. Not MoJeff, Saniya, Stokes or Tuck. It was TLAW.
Lawlor is on this team because of effort and heart. At 5’7”, she does not have the height to be a star. She is a grinder, skilled in many ways but not at the level of KML or MoJeff. Her gift is that invisible talent that comes from within, a perseverance that refuses to give up when logic and the odds point to failure. With Geno’s revelation, she earned something better than undefeated seasons or National Championships, the respect and admiration of the toughest coach to ever get a technical foul. Tierney is a “returning veteran from a National Champion team” and a sophomore who was acknowledged as “the most improved player” on a very talented team. High praise from the same man who used to yell at Diana Taurasi. Maybe Geno is just getting old & sentimental. Or maybe, TLAW has earned her spot on this team because she too is special, the kind of kid UConn is famous for producing…