Taylor's Takes: Thank You, Athletes Unlimited


Taylor Cummings (middle) poses with her championship gold medal surrounded by (from left to right) Becca Block, Caylee Waters, Kady Glynn and Sam Apuzzo.

Taylor Cummings is a three-time Tewaaraton winner, a member of Team USA and the head coach at McDonogh (Md.) . "Taylor's Takes" is presented by Gait Lacrosse. Be legendary.

The inaugural season of Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse is complete, and what a success it was for the entire league. There were hundreds of highlight-reel moments, fans new and old in the stands for the first time in years, and relationships formed between players and facilitators that will last a lifetime.

From the facilities to our uniforms to our wages and more, Athletes Unlimited raised the bar for professional women’s lacrosse. We were so fortunate to be the first to compete at this caliber of professionalism, and I know we will see that bar continue to rise as the years go on.

Not only did the experience of players grow exponentially, but so did the visibility of our game.  For five weeks straight, players, parents, coaches and more were able to watch high level lacrosse on television. They were actually able to turn on their TVs, find an AU game on FS1 or CBS Sports Network, and watch without having to have an app or an HDMI cord. This may seem like a small thing, but this has never happened before in the short history of women’s professional lacrosse and is a huge step forward for our game.

Had our Championship Sunday games not been on TV, fans would have missed the overtime victory Team Glynn had over Team Ohlmiller. They would not have seen captain Kady Glynn make a clutch 8-meter save in the final seconds of regulation or Alyssa Parrella score the game-winning goal in the same way. Fans would have gone without watching Sam Apuzzo take over the game Sunday night, scoring a two-pointer under pressure in the final seconds of the shot clock to take the lead. They would have also lost out on an opportunity to see Marie McCool take the ball hard to cage or Britt Read make her best and final save in the dwindling seconds of the match.

Both of Sunday’s games, as well as the other 28 games of our season, would have never had the opportunity to reach as many people as they did if not for the AU administration, the Player Execute Committee of Kayla Treanor, Michelle Tumolo, Katrina Dowd, Mira Shane and Amber McKenzie, our sponsors, and the networks that believed in us and what our game can do.

As I sit here writing my last article about the past five weeks of our season, I think the part I’m most excited and proud of are the steps forward this group was able to take for our sport. Even in a season in which there were everchanging teams and individual points, a team of a few dozen women and a great support staff took a leap of faith and helped propel the game of women’s lacrosse, specifically the professional side, to newer and brighter heights.

Thank you to Jon Patricof and Jonathan Soros for believing in the sport and believing in us. Thank you to our PEC for all the hours of work that went into shaping this league into something that was by and for the players. Thank you to the support staff and facilitators who made coming to practice and games every day not only possible, but easy and fun. Thank you to the families, friends and fans who came to games or watched us play on TV. Each and every one of you contributed to this season’s success.

And lastly, thank you to all of the players of Athletes Unlimited. It’s very rare to be the first to do something and to have done so alongside all of you was a true privilege. Every single one of you is genuine, authentic, competitive as anything, and an unstoppable woman who will continue to do incredible things for our sport and beyond. I will miss you all.

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