This evening’s United Women’s Lacrosse League draft offered the four inaugural teams — Baltimore, Long Island, Philadelphia, and Boston — a chance to begin assembling their rosters with players who graduated from college last year and earlier. Half of the rosters were selected with this draft; the other half will be determined by a combine to be held in a couple of weeks, as well as what could be an awesome collegiate draft.
The 250 players in the available player pool included 17 members of the U.S. national team. Not surprisingly, all 17 were selected in the 10-round initial draft. So, what did the four teams manage to accomplish with their draft picks? Let’s look at the four teams.
General manager: Colleen Shearer. Head coach: Jen Adams.
Picks (in order): Katie Schwartzmann, Alex Aust, Kristen Carr, Brooke Griffin, Ally Carey, Morgan Stephens, Courtney Swan, Dana Dobbie, Beth Glaros, Samantha Farrell.
The skinny: The Ride’s logo is purple and black, but it may as well be red, black, and gold. Jen Adams has picked five Maryland alumnae, predominantly on the attack end. Dana Dobbie is one of the best draw-control specialists of all time, Katie Schwartzmann is a two-time Tewaaraton award-winner. Jen Adams, the greatest woman lacrosse player who ever lived, is building an attack-minded team, but there are going to be some interesting choices in terms of defense and goalkeeping; the Ride was the only team not to use a draft choice on a goalie. I also think there is going to have to be more speed and endurance in the midfield when it comes to future choices. The 9-on-9 format is going to place a premium on athleticism, especially in transition.
General manager: Caitlin Jackson. Head coach: Missy Doherty. Assistant coaches: Meredith Black, Amy Altig, Alex Kahoe.
Picks (in order): Michelle Tumolo, Alyssa Murray, Kara Mupo, Bridget Bianco, Becky Lynch, Casey Pepperman, Demmieanne Cook, Katie Hertsch, Emily Garrity, Samantha Sermack.
The skinny: This might be the team that is best suited for the new UWLX rules package. Tumolo, Mupo, and Cook can run all day long, covering a lot of ground very quickly. Cook is the only one of the 40 draft picks with a background outside of NCAA Division I; she won championships at Division II Adelphi before transitioning with head coach Joe Spallina to Stony Brook for her senior season. Tumolo (Mullica View Clearview Regional, N.J.) and Bianco (Moorestown, N.J.) have ties to the greater Philadelphia area.
LONG ISLAND SOUND
General manager: Danielle Gallagher. Head coach: Shannon Smith. Assistant coaches: Alex Frank, Brooke Matthews.
Picks (in order): Devon Wills, Alyssa Leonard, Shannon Gilroy, Becca Block, Megan Douty, Sloane Serpe, Nora Barry, Katrina Dowd, Katie Rowan, Kelly McPartland.
The skinny: Long Island made a number of sound (pardon the pun) decisions in building the first half of its roster. They took the starting U.S. national team goalie, and a number of excellent defenders (Block, Douty, Serpe) before making, I think, their most important picks late — shades of what the Pittsburgh Steelers did in building their defenses of the 1970s, often with important late-round draft choices. Northwestern graduate Katrina Dowd is an awesome talent who scored maybe the greatest goal in the history of the NCAA Final Four. Katie Rowan will pair with former Northwestern star Alyssa Leonard in the attacking third and will create all sorts of matchup problems. With future choices, the Sound are going to need more speed and depth in the midfield.
General manager: Bowen Holden. Head coach: Amy Patton. Assistant coach: Kate Livesay.
Picks (in order): Liz Hogan, Jenn Russell, Sarah Bullard, Kara Cannizzaro, Erin Slifer, Holly (McGarvie) Reilly, Danielle Etrasco, Kailah Kempney, Kristin Igoe, Colleen Magarity.
The skinny: Boston is doing a nice job of building from the goal out. Indeed, I think the 10 players the Storm brass picked could win right now in a 10-v-10 match against the other draftees. Russell, Bullard, and Reilly are tremendous defenders, and Cannizzaro, Igoe, and Etrasco can run all day in the midfield. Kempney, who was sometimes overshadowed by her teammates at Syracuse, could be absolutely tremendous in the new format of play. The Storm, with shrewd selections, might have the makings of the inaugural league champion.