Mission Log: Sarah Bullard's Sendoff, as Team USA Departs for England

Tomorrow, July 5, we will meet to fly across the pond together as a team to officially begin our title defense at the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Women's World Cup.


Packing lists have been made and checked twice. Taylor Cummings wins the award for most organized and most likely to overpack. Outfits have been discussed and bags have been filled with supplies for the next month together. Essential items, outside of all of our amazing Nike gear, include hair dryers, pillows, blankets and a lot of snacks. I may have cleaned out all of the Lara Bars and Justin's Almond Butter packets at my local Whole Foods when I went shopping for this trip.

Movies and TV shows have been downloaded for our long plane and bus rides ahead. I am most looking forward to getting caught up on the last two seasons of “House of Cards,” the latest season of “Silicon Valley,” and watching “Love and Basketball,”  my favorite movie, for the hundredth time.

As I finished my last days of training solo in San Francisco this week, all I could think about was how ready I am to play with my teammates. The past few months of workouts have included combining volume running – think intervals, fartlek runs, five-minute period runs to mirror our middie shifts – with speed and agility work, like ladders and hill sprints, and strength work. 

Shoutout to Jay, also known as JayBayBay, Dyer for being the incredible resource he is, designing our workout packets and tailoring them to us individually and positionally, and helping us recover and take care of our bodies.

Today, on July 4, I am incredibly humbled and grateful that we will have the opportunity to represent our country for the next month playing the sport we love.

The work and preparation we put in is hard and it is what no one but our team sees or knows about. 

Doing run tests alone until failure is not fun for anyone – don't get me wrong. But even when apart, we are in touch and encouraging each other, and keeping our lofty goals in our minds and hearts. We spend so much of our time training apart from each other that when we are finally together there is an elevated level of excitement and focus on what we are working for. That will continue to build over the next eight days as we complete our training camp in England and then head down to the University of Surrey for our first game.

I could not be more excited about the group that makes up the 2017 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team. The team is comprised of a great balance of young guns or World Cup first-timers who bring an incredible level of energy, passion and talent, and seasoned veterans who bring experience, leadership and an ability to stay calm in the pocket through the inevitable ups and downs of a 10-day tournament with a grueling schedule.

The level of competition we will face from other countries has only increased over the past four years. Several countries have added top talent to their team, and everyone we play will be gunning to take us down. But I am confident we will be ready to go. 

One of the things I am most proud of on the current team is how we have embraced the idea that we can’t rely on the program's past success. We know that we can't show up and expect to win simply because our jerseys say “USA.” We need to earn everything we get and we can’t wait to do so.

Today, on July 4, I am incredibly humbled and grateful that we will have the opportunity to represent our country for the next month playing the sport we love.  Our team would like to wish all of our family, friends and fans out there a very happy Fourth of July! 

Be sure to follow us on social media @USLacrosse and @USLacrosseMag.

To England we go!

– Sarah Bullard 
(Twitter: @sbb51, Instagram: @Sbulldawg)

Player Profile

Co-captain with Devon Wills

Nickname: Bull
Years with the U.S. Program: 10
U.S. Senior World Cup Teams: 2009 (Gold), 2013 (Gold), 2017
U.S. U19 World Championship Teams: 2007 (Gold, Captain)
Position: Midfield
College: Duke 2011
Honors: All-American (2009, 2010), All-ACC (2009, 2010), Duke Athletics Most Valuable Athlete (2010)  
Hometown: Needham, Mass.
Current Residence: San Francisco
Current Career: MBA Candidate at Harvard University

What does playing for Team USA mean to you?

It's hard to do it justice in words. First, it's an honor of a lifetime to have the opportunity representing our country playing the sport I love. Second, it is incredibly humbling to be able to call my teammates, teammates. The level of not only talent, but work ethic, selflessness and character by this group is remarkable. Third, we have the unique and very special opportunity to not only pursue winning at the highest level, but really setting the standard for the sport. We consider it part of our mission as a team to strive to play the best lacrosse ever played. Pretty fun!


What was your youth lacrosse experience like?

I was hesitant to start playing, but my mom went ahead and signed me up which turned out to be a great decision! I had a really fun experience playing youth lacrosse in Needham. At the time, the Needham High School team was in an incredible stretch of winning multiple state championships, so there was a great local team to watch and older girls to look up to. A lot of my teammates and friends from youth soccer also picked up lacrosse at the same time so our teams were always athletic. We had positive coaches who helped us pick up the fundamental skills to complement our athleticism. Although Massachusetts is now thought of as a hotbed lacrosse area, it was not necessarily considered to be at the time when I began playing, so it was fun to play during the time when that legacy was being built.

Who is your favorite lacrosse player?

Ironically, I have never actually seen her play lacrosse, but I always come back to (U.S. assistant) Jess Wilk. I have been fortunate to have Jess coach me at every stage of my U.S. career, and I so admire what she achieved as a player, and how she has been able to transition that into being a coach and leader for the current U.S. system. She is a quiet but fierce and passionate leader and someone who I strive to emulate.

What is the best advice you received from a coach?

"You are enough." This was said and reinforced to me by one of my mentors, Mark Tribus. I tend to put a great deal of pressure on myself and trying to embrace this philosophy while striving to do and be my best has been very impactful.

What advice would you give young players who dream to reach your level?

Two things. The first would be expect nothing and earn everything. The second would be to embrace any challenge as an opportunity.

If you could have one song played after every time you score or make a big play, what would it be?

"Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder. He's my favorite artist and the title seems appropriate after a goal has been scored!

What's your go-to pregame meal?

Oatmeal and fruit.

What's the most adventurous thing you've ever done?

I traveled to Uganda alone for a month after I graduated from college to coach lacrosse through Fields of Growth.

What other sports did you play in high school?

Ice hockey and soccer.

What is something that most people don't know about you?

I took a few singing lessons in college. I am still a terrible singer.

Follow the U.S. women's national team as it competes for gold in the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse Women's World Cup in Guildford, England, and the 2017 IWGA World Games in Wroclaw, Poland. This "Mission Log" will continue throughout both events with each player providing insight on their journey.