In the aftermath of the inaugural United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX) season, the Long Island Sound have emerged atop the pinnacle. Grabbing both the regular season and playoff championships, the Sound have set the gold standard for this exciting new chapter for women’s lacrosse in America.
During the regular season, the Sound posted a .750 winning percentage, featuring a balanced scoring attack anchored by Katrina Dowd, Alyssa Leonard and Hallie Majorana. As a side note, all three ranked among the league’s top 10 scorers.
Establishing herself as a key figure on the defensive unit, simultaneously staking her claim as one of the league’s most valuable players was prodigious goaltender Devon Wills, whose dream season only added to her formidable lacrosse legend. Capturing the inaugural goaltending championship, she would pace all UWLX goaltenders in wins, respectively.
Having first made a name for herself as the first woman to sign a contract with Major League Lacrosse, Wills quickly made an impression in UWLX. Also a member of the US national team, she would become the first draft pick in the history of the Sound. Her enduring passion for the sport would embody the drive of the ambitious UWLX, setting the tone for an exciting season to come.
The Sound would ride their streak of winning momentum into the postseason. After overcoming a 3-1 deficit to defeat the upstart Philadelphia Force in an 8-4 semifinal win, highlighted by a four point performance by Katrina Dowd and the game-winning tally by Alyssa Leonard, the Sound were looking to finish their season in victorious form.
Competing against the Boston Storm in the championships final at Johns Hopkins University on July 31, both teams took to the pitch at Homewood Field. Hilary Fratzke would make her mark on league history by scoring the first goal in UWLX championship game history.
Four-time All-American Kayla Treanor would provide Boston with its first lead of the game, scoring a pair of unanswered goals, becoming the first Storm player to score a finals goal. Despite Katrina Dowd tying the game at 2-each, Boston would enjoy a 5-3 lead, as Treanor scored the first hat trick in finals history.
Undeterred, Lindsay Scott’s two-goal effort and Katie Rowan’s marker placed the Sound in a 6-5 advantage at halftime. With newfound confidence, the Sound would build on their lead in the second half as Kelly McPartland, Katrina Dowd and Fratzke scored, signifying six straight goals by the Sound for a 9-5 lead.
Kristin Igoe would score Boston’s first goal in the second half trimming Long Island’s lead to just three goals. Following Igoe’s tally, Lauren Kahn and Treanor, scoring her game-best fourth goal put Boston within reach of tying the game.
Before Boston could mount another offensive attack, Dowd would score her third goal, becoming the first Sound player to register a hat trick in the finals. Afterwards, Becca Block, Taryn Van Thof and Alyssa Leonard each scored, as the scoreboard reflected a 13-8 lead in Long Island’s favor.
With the final score remaining 13–8 final against the Boston Storm, Fratzke’s goal stood as the game winning tally, another historic first in league lore. As head coach Shannon Smith enjoyed bragging rights, and Wills was recognized as playoff MVP, the Sound became more than just a charter team in UWLX, it was a cast of characters that triumphantly fused into a champion.
The Sound’s efforts this season was part of a combined victory for all involved in UWLX, as the league became a springboard towards and creating opportunities and gaining new admirers. Its tacit genius was embracing the love of sport, unifying sports fans of all ages and backgrounds, encompassing achievement and pride, as all involved were devoted towards an empowering trajectory that is poised to result in an even more exciting second season.