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10 Players to Watch ahead of the 2019 WPLL Spring Draft

By Jon Bird, 04/23/19, 8:30PM EDT


Meet Some of the Top Players on Our Radar

The 2019 WPLL Spring Draft is almost upon us! Before WPLL Fight hops on the draft board Thursday night at 8:00pm ET to select the number one pick, we take a look at some of the top seniors that are on the radar of several WPLL coaches. From a Tewaaraton Award to NCAA championships and All-American honors, these 10 players players have proven their value at the college and international levels. But do they have what it takes to turn pro? Find out on Thursday night at 8:00pm ET during the 2019 WPLL Spring Draft, broadcast live on social media.

The 2019 WPLL Spring Draft will stream across the WPLL's Facebook, YouTube, and IGTV accounts on Thursday, April 25th at 8:00pm ET. The 2019 WPLL Spring Draft will welcome 25 new players to the WPLL, with each WPLL team drafting five players to join their roster. Tune into the 2019 WPLL Spring Draft here: 

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As BC captain and Team USA member, Apuzzo is a force in the lacrosse world.

1) Sam Apuzzo, Attack, Boston College / Team USA

After a standout junior season which included Tewaaraton honors Boston College senior Sam Apuzzo continues to impress. The talented attacker, who recently was called up to represent Team USA, has only gotten better. Apuzzo leads the offensive charge at undefeated Boston College, recently eclipsing BC’s all-time points record of 309. Her playing style is aggressive, creative, fast-paced, and dominant. With her prowess at the draw Apuzzo truly has the ability to take over a game and will her team to win. She should be a top target for all coaches, especially WPLL Fight Head Coach Shannon Smith, who was Apuzzo’s club coach through high school. Could these two Long Island-native Tewaaraton-winners be set to team up at the professional level?

Whether she is owning the draw circle or running the midfield, Loyola's Taylor VanThof has had an impressive college career

2) Taylor VanThof, Midfield/Draw, Loyola

VanThof has been an impact player for nationally ranked Loyola since stepping foot on campus. Talented at the draw, VanThof is just the third Patriot League player to tally over 100 draws for multiple seasons, and is on pace to tally over 100 for a third time this spring.  But Loyola's single-game (21) and single season (146) school record holder for draw controls is more than just a threat in the circle. With 357 draw controls, 120 points, 63 ground balls, and 37 caused turnovers in her career, VanThof has established herself as a threat all over the field. And playing under WPLL Commissioner Jen Adams doesn’t hurt! 2018 All-American Taylor VanThof has the potential to join the pro level, where her older sister Taryn has won a WPLL Championship with the New England Command. Could we possibly see both of the VanThofs on WPLL rosters this summer?

Northwestern's all-time leader in goals, Selena Lasota has proven herself as an offensive powerhouse

3) Selena Lasota, Attack, Northwestern / Team Canada

Now, Northwestern has had some pretty talented attackers in their storied history, 2x Tewaaraton winner Hannah Nielsen, WPLL All-Stars Kara Mupo / Alyssa Leonard, and WPLL Fight attacker Katrina Dowd  just to name a few. But in her time at Northwestern Canadian attacker Selena Lasota has surpassed them all when it comes to scoring goals. The fearless attacker puts the team on her back, finding ways to score even when facing oppressive pressure from opposing team’s top defenders. Lasota’s list of accomplishments are impressive, the most goals in Northwestern history (256), a FIL Rathbones World Cup silver medal with Team Canada in 2017, and a U-19 World Cup gold medal with Team Canada in 2015. If Lasota’s successes are any indication, the attacker has the potential to become a major contributor in the WPLL. 

JMU senior defender Caroline Sdanowich regularly marks some of the best players in the game

4) Caroline Sdanowich, Defense, JMU

At the pro level JMU grads are known for their skills on offense, with 2018 graduates Kristen Gaudian, Elena Romesburg, and Haley Warden all taking on considerable scoring responsibilities for WPLL Brave and WPLL Pride. But it is JMU’s defensive intensity that has separated the program from the competition at the college level, with senior defensewoman Caroline Sdanowich leading the charge. A Preseason All-American in 2018, Sdanowich is in charge of matching up with some of the best players in the CAA and beyond, a responsibility she has mastered. Tallying career totals of 115 ground balls and 95 caused turnovers, Sdanowich was a crucial part of JMU’s NCAA Championship winning season in 2018. Can Sdanowich become the first defensive player in JMU’s history to go pro?

Two-way midfielder Dempsey Arsenault has secured herself as one of the best midfielders in the game

5) Dempsey Arsenault, Midfield, Boston College / Team USA

At times Arsenault’s contributions seem limitless. Whether it is controlling the tempo of the game in transition, hustling on the re-defend, or taking it right to the cage, BC’s Dempsey Arsenault contributes all over the field. An established leader that has increased her contributions and skills each season, Arsenault has made a name for herself as one of the most reliable and productive two-way midfielders in the game. During her All-American career Arsenault has become a leader in several categories, tallying 127 goals, 62 assists, 262 draws, 80 caused turnovers, and 153 ground balls all while playing stellar team and 1 v1 defense. Arsenault, who like BC teammate Apuzzo was recently called up to represent Team USA, would be a key addition fo any team looking to impact their midfield.

Yale's Izzy Nixion has gone from bench player to all-time Ivy League leader in draw controls

6) Izzy Nixon, Attack/Draw, Yale

Over the past two season’s Yale Senior Izzy Nixon has established herself as the top draw specialist in the country. After seeing limited time as a freshman, Nixon first mad a splash as a sophomore in 2017, corralling 87 draw controls while tallying 40 points. But during her junior and senior seasons Nixon has been golden, establishing herself as one of the best draw specialist in the nation. Nixon turned heads in 2018, winning 130 draw control as a junior and breaking the Ivy League record for draws in a season. And as a senior Nixon has won 149 draw controls so far , bringing her career total to 376, the most in Ivy League history. The NCAA’s leader in draw controls during the 2019 season, Nixon tallied a career high 19 draw controls against Hartford, 18 against Niagara, 14 against Connecticut, and 13 against Brown while also earning the record for most draw controls in Ivy League History. 5’9” Nixon has established herself as one of the best draw specialist in the game, but is there room for such a specialized player in the WPLL, and can she become the first Yale player to join the league?

Whether playing for Canisius, Maryland, or Team Canada, Erica Evans has proven that she can contribute at all levels

7) Erica Evans, Midfield, Maryland

After three seasons running the transition game and offense at Canisius, Evans transferred to powerhouse Maryland to play her last season after coming back from injury. And come back she has! Canisius’s all-time leading goal scorer after just three seasons (186 G), Evans continues to contribute to Maryland, tallying 35 goals and 9 assists while capitalizing on her speed and skill in the midfield. Evans is also a standout player for Team Canada, showing that she has international playing experience. Evans has shown that she is equally comfortable playing as the #1 option or as a cog in an experienced system, traits that bode well for her WPLL draft stock.

After taking off the 2018 season to focus on hockey, BC's Kenzie Kent has more than impressed during her first full season with the Eagles

8) Kenzie Kent, Attack, Boston College

After taking the 2018 season off to focus on ice hockey, BC wunderkind Kenzie Kent is back and better than ever. The crafty attacker who was named MVP of the 2017 NCAA women’s lacrosse championship after tallying 10 points in BC’s loss has made an incredible impact on the BC program while playing her first full season of lacrosse. After previously only being able to play in 8, 10, and 12 games during her first three seasons at BC, Kent has found her groove as a particularly talented assister for the Eagles, becoming the second leading assister in the nation. Kent’s creativity, her athleticism, and her vision for the game sets her apart from the pack. She has the potential to become a key contributor in the WPLL, whether that means taking it to the cage or finding innovative ways to setup her teammates.

A 4-year starter at Maryland, goalie Megan Taylor has the highest save percentage in the nation

9) Megan Taylor, Goalie, Maryland

In one word Maryland goalkeeper Megan Taylor is unstoppable. National Goalkeeper of the year in 2017, All-American in 2018 and 2017, Big Ten Goaltender of the Year in 2016, 2017, and 2018, 14x Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, Taylor has earned virtually every goalkeeping accolade in the game. With 672 career saves against some of the top programs in the NCAA, Taylor has collected the third most saves in Maryland history while leading the nation in save percentage (.589), oftentimes shining the most and coming up with clutch saves when facing ranked opponents. 2018 NCAA Champion Taylor has proven that she has the skills to lead from the cage, but with 11 goalies currently signed to WPLL rosters, is there room for another?

All-American defender Elizabeth Miller may be the best kept secret in BC lacrosse history

10) Elizabeth Miller, Defense, Boston College

While Apuzzo, Kent, and Arsenault may get a majority of the spotlight, BC senior defensewoman Elizabeth Miller is key to #1 ranked Boston College’s undefeated season. A workhorse for the Eagles, Miller is a 4-year starter who has tallied 110 ground balls, 70 caused turnovers, and 166 draw controls during her career while also playing lock-down 1v1 defense and preventing countless scoring opportunities. A lethal combination of leadership, skill, and speed, All-American Miller has established herself as one of the top defenders in the nation, always responsible for marking, and effectively shutting down, some of the best attackers in the game. Does Miller have what it takes to shut down players at the pro level?