BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland women’s lacrosse All-America defender Maddy Lesher ’16 was added to the Baltimore Ride roster and participated in the United Women’s Lacrosse League’s inaugural event this past weekend at Lehigh University. The Ride lost their debut event, 13-12, to the Long Island Storm.
Lesher, from Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, graduated this spring as the most decorated defender in Loyola women’s lacrosse history. The program’s eighth three-time All-American, and the first to accomplish the feat as a defender, will continue her playing career for Loyola head coach Jen Adams, who is also the head coach of Baltimore. She will also be teammates with Loyola assistant coach Dana Dobbie and former Greyhound goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff ’12, who were drafted by the Ride earlier this spring.
“As a senior, it was hard to imagine what my life was going to be like without lacrosse,” Lesher said. “I am so incredibly honored and excited to be a part of this first-ever women’s lacrosse semi-pro league.
“Jen and Dana have had such an impact on me throughout my four years at Loyola and have made me the player that I am today, that I owe this opportunity to them. I am so excited to continue to be coached by Jen and to be able to play alongside such innovative players like Dana. Although I won’t be in a Loyola jersey anymore, I’m so fortunate to continue my playing career with the Baltimore Ride.”
“I am so proud of all that Maddy accomplished as a player in a Loyola uniform,” Adams said. “I am excited to have the opportunity to continue coaching her in this next incredible chapter of her lacrosse career. I have no doubt that the same athleticism and competitive nature that made her a college lacrosse success will have the same effects in the professional game.”
Lesher, the Patriot League’s first-ever three-time Defensive Player of the Year, was a four-time all-conference honoree for the Greyhounds, picking up All-BIG EAST Second Team accolades as a freshman before being named to the All-Patriot League First Team the next three seasons. A four-year starter, Lesher also became the program’s fifth four-time All-Mid-Atlantic Region honoree, collecting her third-straight first-team accolade this year.
As a senior, Lesher led the Patriot League with 63 ground balls and 50 caused turnovers, totals that both rank among the best individual season performances at Loyola. Her 63 ground balls are tied for seventh in single-season history and rank fifth in the NCAA this year, while her 50 caused turnovers sit second at Loyola and just four shy of Kellye Gallagher’s school record of 54 from 2012. Her 2.63 caused turnovers per game average ranked sixth nationally.
Lesher concluded her career ranked fifth on the program’s all-time career record charts for ground balls and caused turnovers. Her 167 ground balls were the most for a Greyhound since Suzanne Eyler had 175 from 1999-2003, while her 109 caused turnovers helped her become one of just five Greyhounds in program history to reach 100 in each of those two statistical categories.
In addition, Lesher becomes the fourth Greyhound to be drafted into the league for its inaugural season. In addition to Stoothoff, Meg Decker ’10 was added to the Philadelphia Force roster and Taryn VanThof ’15 was picked up by the Long Island Sound.
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 kicked off at the US Lacrosse National Tournament at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania this past weekend. The season will conclude with championship play on Saturday, July 30.