Bayhawks and Brave set to make history
When the Bayhawks take the field against the defending league champion Machine on June 2, it will serve as the nightcap to a historic day in lacrosse. The first game in the history of the Women's Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL), featuring the Baltimore Brave and Philadelphia Fire will make up the first half a unique doubleheader with both women's and men's lacrosse at the highest level on the same field.
"The Bayhawks are excited for the WPLL as a league and are honored to host the Kick Off game between the Baltimore Brave and the Philadelphia Fire," said Chesapeake President Mark Burdett. "The Bayhawks have always felt it was our obligation and commitment to grow the great game of lacrosse for all willing participants. Hosting the women here in Annapolis speaks directly to our objective of providing a great family game day experience and an opportunity to showcase this new and exciting Women’s Professional Lacrosse League."
Touted as a league that is "for players, by players" the WPLL has already grabbed headlines with an up-tempo style of play which was on display in a showcase game this past fall. The fast-paced games can be credited to rules that include a shot clock and two-point goal, similar to MLL.
“There are lots of young girls who attend MLL games with their families,” said Michele DeJuliis, founder of the WPLL. “Our hope in partnering with the Bayhawks is to bring the world of women’s professional lacrosse directly to the large contingent of female fans, showing them that they too can play professionally one day. This game also gives our players an opportunity to play the game they love on the big stage.”
Before MLL stars like Tom Schreiber and Myles Jones take the field, the women's game will feature legendary players such as two-time Tewaaraton winner Katie Schwarzmann (Philadelphia) and former Maryland All-American Dana Dobbie (Baltimore). The Fire roster also features Casey Bocklet, the sister of Mike, Matt and Chris Bocklet.
The five-team WPLL will play 10 regular season games, two semi-final games and a championship game in 2018. Dates for all other games will be announced later this month.