Congratulations to Colorado Academy 2002 alumna Devon Wills, who has signed with the New York Lizards, making her the first female to be selected by a Major League Lacrosse franchise.
In a statement from Boston, the league announced the move: “Major League Lacrosse announced on December 16, 2013 that two-time FIL Women’s World Cup gold medalist Devon Wills was claimed off the Player Pool by the New York Lizards, making her the first woman to be selected by an MLL Team.”
“This is a huge honor,” says Wills. “It was an honor to be considered, and I have a lot of respect for all the guys in the supplemental draft. Now comes the time for me to compete and take my chance to fight for a spot on the first team.”
Wills begins this April at Lizards training camp, vying for a spot on the roster. Already, she has a long list of accomplishments: After playing for Colorado Academy, she became a three-time NCAA All-American honoree at Dartmouth from 2004 to 2006. She was named to the All-Ivy First Team three times and an All-American three times as well. As a senior in 2006, she led the Big Green to its first NCAA title game, where they fell short 7-4 against Northwestern University.
She helped Team USA win gold medals in 2009 and 2013 in the women’s World Cup. In her first World Cup, Wills was named the Player of the Match in the championship game, helping the US beat Australia while making eight saves in the game.
The MLL started its first season of play in 2001 and is now comprised of eight teams across the U.S. and Canada. The Boston Cannons, Chesapeake Bayhawks (formerly Baltimore and Washington), New York Lizards (formally Long Island) and Rochester Rattlers are original teams starting in 2001. The Denver Outlaws began play in 2006 as part of the League’s western expansion.
The league has never had a female player reach the level Wills has now attained. She is currently assistant coach and defensive coordinator at the University of Southern California.