Best of Lax 2022: Vote for Best Advocate

PHOTOS BY DELAWARE STATE, KARLEE SELL, PLL, NICK IERADI

From left to right: Sydney Anderson (Delaware State); Cailin Bracken (Vanderbilt); Lyle Thompson (Cannons LC); Taylor Cummings (USA)


Welcome to #BestOfLax2022. Help us celebrate the past year of lacrosse by voting in 15 polls spread over 15 weekdays in December. All voting will be conducted on Twitter (@usalacrossemag), and fans will have 24 hours to let their voices be heard.

For more information — including upcoming categories, rules and more — check out our introductory post to #BestOfLax2022.

There are special people in lacrosse whose goals are to make both the sport and the world a better place.

These people lead by the example of their character. They work for dreams larger than themselves and spend their own time and energy to enact change in communities our groups that need help. They raise significant awareness for causes that either get swept under the rug or are not given adequate resources.

Here are the nominees for Best Advocate. We thank them all for what they’ve done to make lacrosse better.

BEST ADVOCATE

For those who lead by the example of their character.

SYDNEY ANDERSON

Anderson and her Delaware State family were thrust into the national spotlight after their bus was pulled over and subjected to an unwarranted search and seizure in Georgia on the way home from a three-game road trip earlier this year. Anderson documented the incident in an article in Delaware State’s Official Hornet Newspaper, “The Stinging Truth.” The story quickly gained the attention of national media like The New York Times, CBS, NBC and CNN, which in turn led to a rally of support throughout the women’s lacrosse community and beyond. Anderson, who was honored by the IWLCA with the second annual Tina Sloan Green Award, and her teammates attended the Allen Sack National Symposium this summer, where they were honored for their bravery and courage during the traumatic experience.







CAILIN BRACKEN

The cover star of our December magazine, Bracken is in many ways the poster child for the way we should consider the mental health of student-athletes. Bracken penned a powerful first-person letter about her own mental health struggles and why leaders — at both the university and national levels — should be more aware of the daily pressures placed on student-athletes. Her letter, published first on The Mental Matchup by Morgan’s Message and later shared by USA Lacrosse Magazine, went viral, and she proceeded to share her message to millions of people while appearing on Good Morning America. If you haven’t yet, please read Matt Hamilton's cover story on Bracken and her motivations for being a change agent.

LYLE THOMPSON

Whether its via the 4 The Future Foundation or his never-ending goal of educating lacrosse players (and people in general) everywhere about the roots of the sport, Lyle Thompson is at the forefront of preserving the importance of lacrosse to native culture. On the “About” page of the 4 The Future Foundation website, Thompson described his goals: “One day we will be able to look back and say that we have helped shape our youth to become good future leaders of our communities. That will be a happy day for me. I know that one good leader can create a domino effect, an effect that will multiply.”

TAYLOR CUMMINGS

Cummings inspired thousands of young girls’ and women’s lacrosse players as a role model on the U.S. women’s national team that won a gold medal in Towson, Md., at the World Lacrosse Women’s Championship this summer. Cummings’ continued advocacy for women in sports, and more specifically, the coverage of women’s lacrosse, has led to changes in programming on major networks that carry the sport. Now as a retired athlete, Cummings’ voice remains significant in the lacrosse world.

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