Adams, Geppi-Aikens, Heether, Morlang To Be Honored As WPLL Legends
Jen Adams, Diane Geppi-Aikens, Sue Heether and Stacey Morlang Sullivan of the Loyola University Maryland women’s lacrosse program are four of the 80 lacrosse legends that will be honored at the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League Legends’ Celebration and Legends’ Game at US Lacrosse Headquarters in Sparks, Maryland on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Part of the WPLL’s Exhibition Weekend, the Legends’ Celebration is an opportunity for the WPLL to pay homage to the many players and coaches that helped pave the way for women’s lacrosse. All individuals being honored are invited to participate in the 2017 Legends’ Game at 12:30 p.m., and then immediately following the Legends’ Game, the four Greyhounds drafted in the inaugural WPLL draft – assistant coach Dana Dobbie, Bailey Mathis ’17, Taryn VanThof ’15 and Molly Wolf ’16 – will take the field to play in the first-ever WPLL Exhibition Game.
“There are so many important trailblazers within the women’s game that deserve this recognition,” explains Adams, the WPLL Commissioner. “These are names that may never have the chance to play professional women’s lacrosse, but they are the reason that others have this opportunity today. As we continue to push forward, we are committed to looking back in order to honor and respect the amazing women of our sport. This event is just one of the many ways we plan to interweave the past, present and future into the fabric of the WPLL.”
Adams will be honored as a legendary player. A graduate of the University of Maryland, where she was a four-time National Champion after leading the Terrapins to two undefeated championship seasons, Adams was the inaugural recipient of the Tewaaraton Award. The All-World player also led the Australian National Team to a gold medal at the 2005 World Cup in Annapolis, Maryland. Since taking the reigns of Loyola’s women’s lacrosse program in 2009, Adams has led the Greyhounds to a 121-55 overall record, a 61-11 mark in conference games, five conference championships and six NCAA Tournament appearances.
Geppi-Aikens is among 20 legendary coaches that will be honored. Receiving the honor posthumously, Geppi-Aikens was an All-America goalkeeper for the Greyhounds, before serving as the program’s head coach from 1989-2003. Geppi-Aikens amassed a record of 197-71 throughout her coaching tenure, with her teams winning seven conference titles and advancing to 10 NCAA Tournaments in her 15 seasons, including making seven national semifinal and one title game appearance. Throughout her career, she produced 29 All-Americans and was selected as the IWLCA Division I Coach of the Year on three occasions.
Heether will be recognized as a legendary player, while she could be honored as a coach, as well. A three-sport athlete for the Greyhounds from 1986-90, Heether was an All-America goalkeeper and still holds the school’s record for saves in a season (312) and throughout a career (826). Heether was also a standout goalkeeper for the US National Team, winning three World Cup titles, before being appointed head coach of Team USA in 2005. The Loyola Hall of Famer and All-World player led the Americans to gold at the 2009 World Cup.
Morlang will also be recognized as a legendary player. A World Cup Champion and All-World performer for the Australian National Team, Morlang is one of Loyola’s most decorated women’s lacrosse players. A three-time All-American, Morlang started all 77 games throughout her career and led the Greyhounds to back-to-back NCAA semifinal appearances in 2000 and 2001. She was a Tewaaraton Award finalist and graduated as the school’s all-time leader in points (288) and goals (221), while she ranked third in assists (67).
Fans are welcome to join the festivities on September 30 at 11:45 a.m., when players will meet fans for autographs and photos. The Legends’ Game will start at 12:30 p.m., followed by the WPLL Exhibition at 2 p.m. All lacrosse fans are encouraged to attend WPLL Exhibition Weekend free of charge. US Lacrosse Headquarters is located at 2 Loveton Cir, Sparks Glencoe, Maryland, 21152.