Tickets for UWLX Inaugural Season
BALTIMORE - Three former Loyola University Maryland women's lacrosse players have been picked following draft camp to join the United Women's Lacrosse League for its inaugural season. Midfielder Meg Decker '11 was selected by the Philadelphia Force, goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff '12 was picked up by the Baltimore Ride and midfielder Taryn VanThof '15 will head to the Long Island Sound.
"I am so excited to see several Greyhounds earn roster spots on the teams throughout the league this inaugural year," said Loyola women's lacrosse head coach Jen Adams, who was also named head coach of the Baltimore Ride. "The UWLX is such an incredible opportunity to extend the self life of the best post-collegiate talent in the game. We are proud of our Hounds for helping make history and we look forward to the innovative brand of lacrosse that they will bring to the field this summer!"
Decker, a native of Catonsville, Maryland, transferred to Loyola after spending her freshman season Navy, where she played for the Midshipmen during their inaugural season. She earned LaxPower.com National Rookie of the Year honors for the Mids before transferring to Loyola. As a Greyhound, Decker earned All-BIG EAST honors and helped Loyola to its first of two-straight BIG EAST titles in 2011 and to a record-breaking season, in which the Greyhounds tied the school record for wins (17) and qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2004. Decker's 66 draw controls as a senior ranked third at the time of her graduation, while she concluded her collegiate career with 113 goals, 27 assists, 140 points and 154 draw controls.
Currently an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth University, Decker helped two Rams pick up Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team accolades following the program's inaugural season this year.
"I could not be any more excited about this opportunity," Decker sad. "Every angle I look at holds inspiration. As a player, I cannot wait to play with and against these amazing women, and to be coached by such talented lacrosse minds. As a coach, I love that young players will be able to pursue their passion beyond the collegiate field. As a lover of the game, I am so proud of my lacrosse community and the commitment that has been made to growing opportunities within our sport.
"There isn't a doubt in my mind that being a part of the Loyola lacrosse family made all of the difference in my love of the sport and where it has taken me. I'm so grateful to be a part of this first step with the United Women's Lacrosse League as a member of the Philadelphia Force!"
Stoothoff and head coach Jen Adams will be reunited for the first time since the duo led Loyola to back-to-back BIG EAST titles in 2011 and 2012. A two-time BIG EAST Tournament MVP from Blue Point, New York, Stoothoff played 3,497 minutes in goal and finished her career fifth on the program's all-times saves list with 528 saves. She was a two-time All-BIG EAST goalkeeper, an IWLCA All-Mid-Atlantic Region selection and a two-time Tewaaraton Award Watch List honoree.
Since graduating, Stoothoff has served as an assistant coach at Adelphi University, where she's helped the Panthers to back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championships in 2014 and 2015.
"It is an honor and thrill to be drafted in the first season of professional women's lacrosse," Stoothoff said. "This is an amazing opportunity that I never envisioned while playing collegiate lacrosse. It's an absolute dream come true!
"I am also beyond excited to be given another chance to play for my former head coach, and one of the best in the game, Jen Adams."
VanThof graduated as one of the most decorated midfielders to ever wear a Loyola uniform. A three-time IWLCA All-American and member of the US National Team, VanThof rewrote the program's draw controls records, as she currently owns the single game (15), season (122) and career (318) marks. The three-time all-conference selection helped the Greyhounds to three conference championships and to the NCAA Tournament each of her seasons at Loyola. The Livonia, New York, native concluded her career with 108 goals, 52 assists, 160 points and 127 ground balls.
Currently in her first season as an assistant coach at Rutgers, VanThof helped the program to the semifinals of the BIG 10 Championships, as the Scarlet Knights beat No. 19 Ohio State in the first round of the tournament.
"It's awesome to be a part of history and something so great for women's lacrosse," VanThof said. "I was fortunate that Loyola provided so many opportunities for me to play at the highest level of lacrosse in college and I'm extremely excited and thankful for the chance to continue to play and compete with the Long Island Sound.
"I look forward to playing in this league with and against these highly touted players and can't wait to reunite with a few former Team USA teammates, as well."
Launched by the United Women's Sports, LLC in collaboration with the Play It Forward Sport Foundation in Boston, UWLX is a female owned and operated company that was formed with the primary objective of establishing women's pro leagues for a variety of sports, thereby creating opportunities for women at all levels of professional sports. With the launch of UWLX, 100 such opportunities are being created from athletes to operations and executive management.
The inaugural UWLX season will kick off at the US Lacrosse National Tournament at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. To kick off the first season, the UWLX will feature a doubleheader on Saturday, May 28 with the inaugural game between the traditional lacrosse hotbeds Baltimore and Long Island at 3:15 p.m., followed by a tilt between Philadelphia and Boston at 5 p.m. The season will conclude with championship play on Saturday, July 30.