Wills Eligible to Become First Woman in MLL
updated 12.10.2013 at 12.06 p.m.
Devon Wills has made herself eligible to become the first woman in Major League Lacrosse.
Wills, a two-time gold medalist goalie with the U.S. women's national team, is among nearly 500 MLL hopefuls available for selection in Wednesday's supplemental draft. The list, released by the league to media Monday, consists of players who were left unprotected on MLL rosters and a host of under-the-radar types angling for a professional lacrosse opportunity.
If selected, Wills could join Ginny Capicchioni, a former National Lacrosse League goalie with the New Jersey Storm, as the only women to break the gender barrier in pro lacrosse history. Capicchioni played in the Storm's 2003 season finale, making seven saves and allowing six goals in 11 minutes. Jen Adams was selected by the Washington Power in the 2001 NLL draft, but she never played in the league.
Wills' unique combination of stopping ability and athletic prowess outside of the cage has made her the preeminent goalie in the women's game. She also has experience playing field positions, most notably winning MVP honors as a field player at the 2009 Vail Lacrosse Shootout.
Wills, 29, is a Colorado native and an assistant coach at USC. It makes you wonder if the Denver Outlaws, the only MLL team west of the Mississippi, would make a play for her. They recently traded goalie Adam Fullerton to the Florida Launch, leaving just starter Jesse Schwartzman and backup Charlie Cipriano on the current roster. It might be worth it just for the public relations boost, and the Outlaws are the MLL's expert PR opportunists.
The MLL's supplemental draft will consist of 12 rounds and
teams can build their rosters from the current 23-player size to a
maximum of 40 players. Attackman Nick O'Reilly, who is no longer at
Virginia, and MLL veteran Chazz Woodson are among some of the
notables in the player pool.
Last year, National Lacrosse Hall of Famer Mark Millon went No. 1 overall in the supplemental draft to the Rochester Rattlers, but played in only three games during the 2013 season. Casey Powell was selected with the 32nd pick by the Chesapeake Bayhawks and helped the franchise win a league title after being lured out of MLL retirement.
Stay tuned to LaxMagazine.com for more on this developing story.