In the inaugural draft of the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League, four former Gators were selected alongside two current assistant coaches.
The league, which is set to debut in the summer of 2018, will feature five teams and had 100 women drafted on Wednesday.
Former Gators players will represent four of the five teams in the league, starting with defender Caroline Fitzgerald and midfielder Nicole Graziano, who will suit up for the New York Fight in 2018. The duo played together at UF from 2014 to 2016, where they went a combined 51-11 and led the Gators to an NCAA Tournament quarterfinals appearance in 2014.
Midfielder Lauren Lea, who graduated in 2016, was drafted by the Philadelphia Fire. Lea was a team captain in her senior year at Florida, where she finished her career with 55 goals and 50 assists.
“Very grateful for the opportunity to play for @Philly_Fire,” Lea said on Twitter. “It’s always an honor to represent the Gator Nation in the @prowomenslax league.”
After spending two seasons with the Long Island Sound in the United Women’s Lacrosse League, second-year assistant coach Taryn VanThof will play for the New England Command as a midfielder.
Attacker Mollie Stevens and newly-hired assistant coach Nadine Hadnagy round out the Florida draftees, as they will represent the Upstate Pride. Stevens came off a record-setting year where she recorded career-highs in goals (59), assists (16), points (75), ground balls (48), draw controls (106) and caused turnovers (23). Her draw control total is the highest in UF program history.
A league showcase game is scheduled for Sept. 30 and will feature a first glimpse of what the WPLL will look like.