Treanor, Wood Shine in Inaugural Game of Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse


Kayla Treanor scored four times in the very first Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse game.

BOYDS, Md. — Athletes Unlimited has delivered a new era of professional women’s lacrosse.

In the first pro women’s action since the 2019 WPLL championship game, Athletes Unlimited unveiled its player-centric model of lacrosse that showed promise for the future.

Playing on a shortened field with a 60-second shot clock, the athletes dazzled as they ran in transition, showed off their stick skills and relentlessly pursued balls on the Maureen Hendricks Field turf.

In the first of six games on opening weekend, the team captained by Kylie Ohlmiller leaned on a fantasy-like offense to best the team captained by Angie Benson 10-3.

“To play on this stage with the best of the best is just such a great experience,” said Marie McCool, a midfielder on Benson’s team.

Ohlmiller drafted an efficient, nonstop offense led by Kayla Treanor. The U.S. women’s national team stalwart and new Syracuse head coach scored four goals on an offense featuring other former Orange in Nicole Levy and Halle Majorana.

Majorana provided the newborn league’s first highlight, and it didn’t take long.

After Kayla Wood hauled in the game’s opening draw, she pushed the ball up the field and found Majorana in transition. Kicking the league off with a bang, Majorana went behind-the-back to score the first tally in AU Lacrosse history.

In a league with six U.S. women’s national team athletes and countless other All-Americans, it was Wood who shined brightest on opening night. The former North Carolina defender finished a strong senior season with UNC but didn’t garner the national recognition of others at her position.

But she was a spark plug Friday evening, earning MVP honors for Game 1 to earn her an additional 45 points and the No. 1 spot on the leaderboard after the game.

She was a nuisance for Team Benson, producing five draw controls, two caused turnovers, one assist and one ground ball.

“Kayla Wood is one of my new favorite people, and you can quote me on that,” Ohlmiller said. “She’s underappreciated coming out of college, and we’re going to put her on the circle. We’re going to have her on anybody else’s top offensive player.”

That’s the beauty of Athletes Unlimited. It’s an opportunity for players to continue participating in the game they love after college. Even Wood, someone who flew somewhat under the radar at UNC, can shine on the biggest stage.

“Hopefully I’m marked up with her every time on the same team instead of having to play against her,” Ohlmiller said. “She’s one of those.”

Players spoke glowingly of the Athletes Unlimited experience after the inaugural contest, applauding the league’s commitment to empowerment and equality.

“I think we’ve really got something special here,” Ohlmiller said.

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