folded earlier this month, and although the league played just two seasons, it leaves a lasting legacy thanks to both on-field excellence and off-field programs.

At its peak, the WPLL gave the platform for 125 women’s lacrosse players to continue playing lacrosse after college, and many of the world’s best players took to fields across the country to grow the game.

"> The Best Moments in WPLL History | US Lacrosse Magazine

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER

The Best Moments in WPLL History


The Women’s Professional Lacrosse League folded earlier this month, and although the league played just two seasons, it leaves a lasting legacy thanks to both on-field excellence and off-field programs.

At its peak, the WPLL gave the platform for 125 women’s lacrosse players to continue playing lacrosse after college, and many of the world’s best players took to fields across the country to grow the game.

As we look back on the WPLL, here are some of the best moments in the league’s history, in no particular order.

Sellout Semifinals

WPLL founder and CEO Michele DeJuliis spoke fondly about the 2019 league semifinals, which featured two sellout crowds at Yale’s Reese Stadium.

“We sold out Yale,” she said. “Those were two awesome games in conjunction with our Futures program.”

The atmosphere was loud and exciting. The Fight topped the Command 13-10 and the Brave beat the Pride 15-10, setting up a thrilling championship game on July 28.

Kayla Treanor’s 7-Goal Championship Game

Speaking of that championship game, Fight attacker Kayla Treanor was a force in the 2019 championship game, held at US Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md. Her seven goals kept the Fight alive, but the Brave battled back for a 13-12 win.

The last of Treanor's seven goals was a behind-the-back highlight that proved no one would deny her that day.

You can read the full game story from the 2019 title game here.


“We sold out Yale.” — Michele DeJuliis


The First Championship Game

In 2018, the New England Commands topped the Baltimore Brave 12-11 at US Lacrosse headquarters in the first-ever WPLL championship game. The Brave entered play as the undefeated top seed.

The game-winner was courtesy of Aly Messinger with 19.5 seconds left. Amber McKenzie capitalized on a defensive stand, dishing the ball to Taryn Van Thof at midfield, who found Messinger for the win.

Revisit the game here.

Partnership with ESPN

In 2019, the WPLL was shown across ESPN’s family of networks in a groundbreaking partnership for professional women’s lacrosse.

The 10-game regular season aired on ESPN 3 and the ESPN App. The semifinals were featured on ESPN3, and the championship game was aired on ESPNU.

Growing the Game Abroad

The WPLL twice went to Japan and once to England to help continue growing the sport internationally.

In 2018, Pride midfielder Lauren Murray wrote a first-person essay for US Lacrosse Magazine detailing her experiences in Japan. From the exposure to a new culture to the exchanges between communities, her story about the World Crosse games in Tokyo is a must-read

In May 2019, a team of 12 WPLL stars headed to Aldershot, England, for three exhibition games against England’s national team ahead of its participation in the European Championships. US Lacrosse partnered with the league on this trip, as several WPLL players were in the 2021 U.S. national team player pool.

Finally, one year after going to Japan, the WPLL returned — this time with the Premier Lacrosse League — to again participate in World Crosse.








Legends’ Celebration and Legends’ Game at USL

Before an official game was even played, the WPLL held an Exhibition Weekend at US Lacrosse headquarters that connected the game’s future to its past.

On Sept. 30, 2017, the WPLL Legends’ Celebration and Legends’ Game paid homage to the many players and coaches who helped pave the way for women’s lacrosse. The long list of legends included Jess Wilk, Betsy Dougherty, Devon Wills and many more.

Check out the full list of participants here

The WPLL Futures Program

The WPLL Futures program is one of the most successful initiatives put forth by the league and could still exist even with the league’s closure, DeJuliis said.

The Futures program connected young athletes with WPLL pros to work on more than just skills. The goal was to provide recruiting exposure and to use lacrosse to build player confidence, leadership and growth.

This program also paved the way for a partnership with US Lacrosse and the National Teams Development Program.




PHOTO BY KEITH LUCAS


WPLL vs. U.S. National Team

At the 2019 IWLCA Presidents Cup in West Palm Beach, Fla., the WPLL played an exhibition game against the U.S. national team with Olympic trial rules. The atmosphere was almost indescribable.

There wasn’t an empty seat to be found, and high school girls’ players lined the sidelines with the equivalent of court-side seats to get as close to the action as possible.

The U.S. national team won in a high-scoring 19-16 affair.

Kylie Ohlmiller’s #SCTop10 BTB

On a Sunday last June, Kylie Ohlmiller dropped five goals on six shots at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field. Her behind-the-back snipe made the rounds on social media and was featured as the No. 8 play on that night’s SportsCenter Top 10.

#LiveLikeAPro

The WPLL had a strong presence on Instagram, and its #LiveLikeAPro series is a perfect example of that.

The series highlighted the healthy habits and fun lifestyles of the league’s athletes, including workouts from Taylor Cummings, smoothies with Amanda Johansen and relieving stress in muscles with Megan Douty.

You can #LiveLikeAPro here.