SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University women's lacrosse coaches Kelsea Donnelly and Maddison Lesher will be representing their hometowns this summer in the Women's Professional Lacrosse League.
Donnelly, a native of Edgewater, Md. and 2015 graduate of Towson, will be playing goalkeeper for the Baltimore Brave. She recorded an 8.56 goals-against average in her final season as a Tiger, leading them to a bid in the Colonial Athletic Association title game. She made eight saves for the Tigers in a semifinal upset of top-seeded Hofstra to earn them a semifinal victory.
"I'm very excited to be a part of the Baltimore Brave this summer," Donnelly said. "This is an amazing opportunity to be able to play with and against such a talented group of women. I am even more excited because I will be able to be on the same team as some of my former Towson Tigers teammates as well as a former high school teammate!"
Lesher, a Gladwyne, Pa. native and 2016 graduate of Loyola (Md.), will be playing defender for the Philadelphia Fire. A three-time defensive All-American, Lesher corralled 167 ground balls and caused 109 turnovers over her four years, leading her team to a Patriot League title in her senior season.
"I am very grateful for the opportunity to play in the WPLL and am honored to represent the Philadelphia Fire," Lesher said. "Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia makes it even more special for me. I am excited to compete on the field with such talented women athletes and hope to be a positive role model for our next generation."
The WPLL, which will play its first season this summer, is made up of five teams: the Baltimore Brave, New England Command, New York Fight, Philadelphia Fire, and Upstate Pride. Athletes in the league are some of the top players in the world of lacrosse, having earned 115 All-American Awards and 8 Tewaaraton trophies. 34 WPLL players have won NCAA championships and the league includes 9 current members of the US National Team that won the 2017 FIL Rathbones World Cup.
Before they hit the field for their respective teams, both will return to the Bulldog sidelines for their second season under head coach Jill Batcheller. The season opens play on February 24 when Bryant hosts Albany at the Bulldog Track and Turf Complex.