Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Apr. 20, 2017 — New year, new-ish UWLX

United Women’s Lacrosse (UWLX), a semiprofessional women’s lacrosse league entering its second season, will have the same four teams, many of the same players, and one very important alteration.

There will be a lot more men in the league in various positions. Starting from league commissioner Gary Gait to Long Island head coach Regy Thorpe, to Boston GM Andrew Fink, there will be a lot more male input in the league than last year, when the mantra was very much “by women, for women.”

The league showed a bit more aggressiveness in the last few weeks, holding its draft last week, selecting players who still retained NCAA eligibility.

Long Island, the league’s defending champion, had the most to fill with goalie and league MVP Devon Wills choosing her duties with the U.S. national team over playing with her club side. The Sound added goalie Caylee Waters from North Carolina, as well as defender Nadine Hadnagy from Maryland, and UNC draw specialist Sammi Jo Tracy. In other words, the Sound got a whole lot louder.

The Baltimore Ride, which came on strong last year late but fell short of the title match, has remade a good portion of its roster. The team added Maryland graduates Brittany Poist, Zoe Stukenberg, and Caroline Wannen, as well as local favorite Sammi Burgess, who rejoins her high school teammate Taylor Cummings. The impact newcomer, however, may be Penn State’s Steph Lazo.

The Boston Storm, who came within 13 minutes of beating Long Island in the final, add Ohio State’s Jennifer Schmitt and Kaila Gottlick, but has made a major impact in adding postgraduate players who currently coach other players. Joining the team is St. Anselm head coach Caitlin Villareal, Brown assistant coach Bre Hudgens, and Mount Ida head coach Nicole Poli. Poli becomes the only NCAA Division III player on any UWLX roster.

For its part, the Philadelphia Force is having its own makeover because players like Michelle Tumolo are preparing for the World Cup. Boston College goalie Zoe Ochoa will give Bridget Bianco a tussle for the starting goalie position. Bryn Boucher comes in from the University of Maryland. And Olivia Hompe, a promising attacker from Princeton, was also drafted by the Force.

The league fixtures are a little different this time around, with the league starting play in Attleboro, Mass., the day between the national semifinals and finals. Attleboro is just 15 minutes down I-95 from Gillette Stadium.

As was the case last year, UWLX fixtures are scheduled to coincide with major youth tournaments. The final, for example, is to be held on Wednesday, Aug. 2, but it is in the midst of the Lake Placid Summit Classic.

Which means it should be a lot cooler for players and spectators alike.


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