About Time Women’s Lacrosse!

Week 7: The 411 w/ Halle Majorana.

This week I caught up with one of my former high school teammates and current lacrosse superstar Halle Majorana. Halle graduated from Syracuse University this past year. She was an offensive powerhouse in the ACC this year and was selected to the IWLCA All-American Team, the ACC All-American Team, and was an ACC All-Tournament Team selection. She finished this season with 45 goals and 34 assists, making her ranked fifth nationally in points. Halle currently plays for the Long Island Sound.

What was your first thought when you heard about the league and when did you decide you wanted to get involved?

When I first heard about the pro league I was very excited. I wasn’t ready to finish my career and to hear that I wouldn’t have to end it right away was amazing. The pro league is the change we need for women’s sports and it’s awesome to see them trying to turn the game professionally like they did with the guys game.

What was the transition like between playing for Syracuse, one of the best collegiate teams in the country, to playing for the Long Island Sound, ranked number one professionally?

The pro level is being played at such a fast pace so it definitely took a little bit of time to get used to the 90 second shot clock, but after a couple plays I really started getting used to it and really enjoyed playing at the quicker pace.

WOMENS LACROSSEFavorite pregame meal.

Does Iced Coffee count?

Favorite pump-up song.

All the Way Up

Favorite new rule.

Moving on the whistle!

 

 

What is it like playing with and against some of the lacrosse legends you grew up watching like Katrina Dowd?

It’s amazing getting to play against people that I grew up idolizing. Lining up on attack alongside Katrina Dowd is just insane. It’s crazy to think I grew up watching her play in college, idolizing her every move, and now get to play with her. I’m so lucky with where the game of lacrosse has taken me and the friendships it has given me along the way!

Check back weekly to read more about UWLX!


 

Week 6: The Inside Scoop.

This week I had the pleasure to interview some of the professional players themselves on their drive down to Virginia. Colleen Magarity and Kasey Mock of the Boston Storm gave me the inside scoop on the UWLX!

Do you have any go to pregame rituals/meals?

When I was in college we always had pregame meals as a team, but now in the professional league it’s not as structured because people are traveling from all over. Oatmeal is my game day morning meal! And chugging water! Always!!

-Colleen

Do you have any pump up songs?

We’ve been listening to some great pump up songs on our drive down. Justin Beiber is always pretty great and Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling is one of my current favorites. I always listen to music before my games. We have to pick goal songs, which is kind of high pressure, and I chose Fortunate Son by Creedance Clearwater Revival.

-Colleen

I went with Missy Eliiot’s Gossip Folk even though it’s pretty rare that you’ll hear it since I’m a defender.

-Kasey

 

How do you feel about the new rules?

It makes it more fun to watch and play because it’s so much faster. Defenders are a lot to play much more physical. As defenders it allows us to be able to do a lot more and not have to worry about constant whistles. The shot clock is awesome and the clear clock is great too to keep the pace quick. The hardest part about transitioning from college to the pro league is learning the new rules because we’re so used to playing and coaching with the other rules for so many years.

-Colleen

I definitely like being able to move on the whistle. Moving on the whistle and not having to stand anymore creates a lot more new opportunities that you don’t get to see in college.

-Kasey

Did you ever think this would be a reality? How did this become a reality for you?

No, I was shocked. I thought this was something that was coming much further down the line, I didn’t realize they were turning this into a reality so quickly. I was drafted to the Boston Storm initially so I didn’t have to go to Draft Day.

-Colleen

It was really cool being at Draft Day because there were players from all the divisions playing together. We also got to play with all the new rules, giving us a preview of what the league could be like. The tryout was definitely challening but a ton of fun.

-Kasey

How did you train- physically and mentally?

I basically stopped sprinting when I retired from college lacrosse. Since I’ve graduated I have done some triathlons and marathons, but when I decided about doing this I started doing a ton of sprints and would run 300s with my team to get in game shape. Game shape is being okay with becoming uncomfortable and being able to push yourself to your fullest potential while training. Interval type training is super important, you can’t just go on a three mile jog. You need to be able to sprint for a minute or two and then break for ten seconds and do it again. Mentally, this is more about the growth of the game and having fun in comparison to college where it was about winning a national championship.

-Colleen

As defenders its unavoidable for people to score in this league, a lot more so than in college. You could be guarding someone like Dana Dobbie and have great body positioning and great stick positioning, but she could still get an amazing shot off that goes in between the legs or over your head. Goals are going to be scored but it’s okay because the point of the league is to be fun, competitive, and fast paced.

-Kasey

What do you hope the league looks like five years from now?

Five more cities. It would be really fun if every year the league added another city, which is probably a little too hopeful, but expanding with at least a team or two would be cool. It would be awesome if the teams were from Chicago or LA to help expand the game across the country and help it grow nationally.

-Colleen & Kasey

Check back weekly to read more about UWLX!


 

Week 5: Rules are meant to be followed.

Sadly, no games were played this past weekend, but understandably so because of the big holiday weekend. Instead of looking at point leaders or talking about individual players who really shined during competition, I think it’s about time for me to break down some of the different rules that the professionals are playing with.

First and foremost, they only play with 9 players on the field + the goalieThat’s two less players than everyone is used to playing with. The pros only have three defenders and three attackers versus the previous four and four.

The restraining line is now the midfield line. Ever since I was a little girl, playing defense, I knew I could rarely cross the restraining line at the 30 yd line, and that if I did, someone would have to hold back for me. Now, the pros get to stop about 20 yds earlier if they play defense or attack and only ride/clear to the fifty.

They can move before the whistleUnlike boys lacrosse, girls always had to stop moving when the ref blew their whistle. At times, the game appeared like freeze tag because of how often play would stop and start depending on foul calls, but now that is not the case.

In addition to moving before the whistle, there are also a lot less fouls being calledI can tell you from my experience witnessing one of the games firsthand, that some stuff the players were doing would have immediately been called in college but the refs just let the pros play on.

There is such a thing as a two point goalSimilar to basketball, if a player makes a shot from further away, they get rewarded. There is a two point line on the field indicating where players can score these exceptional shots from and score two points.

Shot clock and clear clockThe shot clock is coming to DI and DII next season, to the joy of many, and DIII does not need to implement the shot clock until the 2017-18 season. The pros, however, have already been using the 90 second shot clock and built into that 90 seconds is a 20 second clear clock (that I discuss further below in Week 4).

The game seems to be much more fast paced and aggressive, making it seem not only more enjoyable to play but also more enjoyable to watch. The collegiate, high school, and elementary games play out like freeze tag and I can say, personally, that I much rather the way the pros do it. Is it just because these pro teams are star studded or is it because of the rule changes? I guess we’ll see if and when these rules get implemented into the younger divisions what the cause for excitement truly is.

Check back weekly to read more about UWLX!


 

Week 4: Goalie Girl

Teams’ point leaders….

This week I actually had the opportunity to attend a game. I saw the Long Island Sound beat the Baltimore Ride on Saturday night to remain undefeated. The game was fast paced and exciting. There were so many all-stars, of different lacrosse generations, and it was obvious how much fun they had playing with and against one another. But, they are competitors through and through and the players fought hard with some yellow cards thrown and some tough defense played.

The Sound is clearly dominating the league, much to the delight of Head Coach Shannon Smith (c. at Hofstra) and General Manager Danielle Gallagher. Part of the Sound’s great success could definitely be attributed to their goalie, Devon Willis. Willis played at Dartmouth and is currently regarded as one of the best goalies in the world. She has been the goalie for the US National Team since 2007.The league plays with the shot clock that is being introduced to DI and DII next season. 20 seconds of the 90 second shot clock are allotted to clearing the ball over the midfield line; however, there is no reward for clearing it earlier, the shot clock continues to run. BUT, if a team fails to clear the ball in the allotted time, it’s a turnover. Willis was extremely active in the clear, even going over the midfield restraining line multiple times and taking a shot on the opposing team’s goalie, much to the delight of the crowd.

Check back weekly to read more about UWLX!


 

Week 3: Live.Love.Lax.

This week’s team point leaders are…

The LI Sound becomes the only team to remain undefeated this past weekend!! The LI Sound defeated the previously undefeated Boston Storm 12-9. Halle Majorana and Taryn VanThof (Loyola) led the Sound offense with three and two goals respectively, but seven other players notched goals also. The Storm was led by Danielle Etrasco and Kayla Treanor offensively.

The Baltimore Ride earned its first win after defeating the Philadelphia Force on Saturday, with a score of 15-11. Mupo scored the fastest hat trick of this inaugural season in only eight minutes of play, and later added three more tallies.

Check back weekly to read more about UWLX!


 

Week 2: Some Endings are New Beginnings…

After championship weekend, many senior athletes must finally acknowledge the end of an era. Historically, there was never a serious place for female lacrosse players to play the game they dedicated most of their college life to once they graduated. But now, there is. The United Women’s Lacrosse League is made up of former college superstars and with the start of the first season underway, former college players can now enter the league right after graduation. This allows them to not only keep playing the game they love, but play it professionally while continuing to inspire young girls nationwide.

Thirteen recent graduates have been added to the ranks of the UWLX. Seven of these players were added prior to opening weekend since their seasons had already come to a close, while the other six were added just this past week after the NCAA Championship Weekend came to a close. These new additions include Taylor Cummings (Maryland, Baltimore Ride), Amanda Johansen (USC, Baltimore Ride), Halle Majorana (Syracuse, Long Island Sound), Kayla Treanor (Syracuse, Boston Storm), Barbara Sullivan (Notre Dame, Philadelphia Force), and many more.

The inaugural season picked up where it left off this past weekend with the late arrivals showing extremely well during the two contests. The Boston Storm narrowly defeated the Baltimore Ride with a score of 17-16. Kayla Treanor led the Boston Storm offense with five tallies, including the game winner. The Long Island Sound defeated the Philadelphia Force with a score of 14-8. Both the Long Island Sound and the Boston Storm are undefeated, but the two will meet on Saturday, June 18th.

Check back weekly to read more about UWLX!


 

Week 1: About Time Women’s Lacrosse!

Lacrosse is the fastest growing youth sport in the United States so it is about time that there was a semi-professional women’s league. The United Women’s Lacrosse League, or the UWLX, is female owned and operated, and partnered with the Play It Forward Foundation. The league had a draft back in April in preparation of its first season with each team’s head coach and general manager taking part.

The MLL, also known as the Men’s Lacrosse League, has been around for some time. However, there has never been a female equivalent until now. The UWLX, had its inaugural games Memorial Day Weekend back to back. The UWLX only consists of four teams presently, but will most likely grow as the league finds success. The four teams are the Baltimore Ride, Boston Storm, Philadelphia Force, and my personal favorite, the Long Island Sound. After the first two games, the Boston Storm and obviously the Long Island Sound were victorious.

Several of the upcoming game locations coincide with girls’ summer tournaments in order for girls to have a chance to watch the games live, which I find super smart. Tournament weekends have a lot of downtime and this not only gives the girls something fun to do, but a way to watch the best women players in the country play the game they love so much. I know I’m definitely going to try to catch a game while coaching this summer!

Find the complete summer schedule here!

Check back weekly to read more about UWLX!

Riley Garcia is from Manhasset, NY and will be a junior at Washington and Lee University this fall, where she is on the Women’s Lacrosse team. She has played lacrosse since first grade, has gone through the recruiting process, coaches club lacrosse, and plays at the DIII collegiate level.

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