Former Dartmouth College goalie Devon Wills became the first woman to sign with a Major League Lacrosse team.
The New York Lizards announced the addition yesterday in an e-mailed release. Wills, 29, will have a chance to earn a permanent roster spot during spring training next year.
“I’m really excited to see if I’m good enough to play at this level,” Wills said in the release. “If I’m good enough, that’s great, but if not, I’m still really grateful for the opportunity.”
Wills was a four-year starter for the Big Green, leading the team to the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship finals during her senior season. She graduated in 2006 as a three-time All-American.
She has played on Team USA since 2007, winning Women’s World Cup gold medals in 2009 and 2013, according to the release. She also coached lacrosse at Dartmouth, the University of Southern California and the University of Denver after leaving college.
“Lacrosse is already one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. and this will only further accelerate that growth,” Lizards owner Andrew Murstein, president of Medallion Financial Corp., said in the release. “Devon is a terrific young woman who is a great role model to female athletes everywhere.”
The Lizards play most of their home games at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, New York. The team was 4-10 last year in the MLL’s 13th season.
If she makes the team, Willis will not be the first woman to play in a North American professional men’s lacrosse league, according to the Baltimore Sun. Ginny Capicchioni played for the National Lacrosse League’s New Jersey Storm in 2003, the newspaper said.