Taylor Moreno Repeats as Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse Champion
photo by Kait Devir
Goalkeeper Becomes First Repeat Winner in Athletes Unlimited History
Abby Bosco Named Defensive Player of the Year While Mira Shane Honored as Teammate of the Year by Fellow Players
Lizzie Colson, Caroline Wakefield and Courtney Taylor Join Bosco on All-Defensive Team
Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse to Return in 2024
SPARKS, Md. — Goalkeeper Taylor Moreno became the first player in any Athletes Unlimited sport to claim consecutive titles after edging attacker Sam Apuzzo to win the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse title after an exciting finish at USA Lacrosse Headquarters on Sunday afternoon.Moreno, who secured the championship as a rookie last summer, beat out Apuzzo for the second straight year to finish atop the 57-player leaderboard with 1,679 points. Apuzzo, who claimed her third straight medalist honor, followed with 1,667 points.
Goalkeeper Kady Glynn secured third place with 1,346 points while rookie defender Abby Bosco finished fourth with 1,301 points.
Bosco, the first defender in league history to earn a medal, was named as the Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Year, while goalkeeper Mira Shane earned the Teammate of the Year award in a vote of the league’s players. Defenders Lizzie Colson, Courtney Taylor and Caroline Wakefield joined Bosco as members of the league’s All-Defensive Team.
Athletes Unlimited also announced that it will continue with a fourth season of lacrosse in 2024. Details regarding timing and location will be announced at a later date.
After setting the league single-season saves record last summer, Moreno eclipsed her standard this season by pacing the league with 140 saves over 12 games, including eight outings with 10 or more saves. She also established a new single-game record with 17 saves against Team Apuzzo on July 30.To commemorate her victory, Moreno will receive a medal designed and hand-fabricated by Lisa Issenberg, founder of Kiitellä, inc. Kiitellä is a Finnish word meaning “to thank, applaud or praise,” and Issenberg creates awards that are innovative, mixed-media, non-traditional works of art, pieces that celebrate accomplishment, humanity, and philanthropy. Kiitellä is committed to being a responsible steward of our environment, with each step in the process, from design to fabrication to delivery, using minimal energy and material.
Athletes Unlimited will also commission a portrait of Moreno for its Champions Collection, which features emerging artists whose work and approach speaks to the mission and values of Athletes Unlimited. The portrait will be created by Graham Martini, a 2022 graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. The Charleston, South Carolina, native creates contemplative, fantastical, otherworldly and psychological pieces in the form of still lives, figurative and abstract works. His surreal still lives and figurative images reveal the sense that time and associative reasoning do not operate in a linear fashion. Martini depicts this idea through the representation of simultaneity through collage-like compositions as well as transmutational objects – entities that seemingly change form.
“I’m super grateful to have the opportunity to even come out here and win another [title], but it’s also a testament to my teammates and all of the support that I’ve had over the last two years,” Moreno said. “I am super grateful for that and can’t thank everyone enough for being so supportive.”
Bosco ranked third in the league with 19 caused turnovers, including a season-high three caused turnovers against Team Moreno on July 23 and August 12. The talented defender from the University of Maryland also finished the season with 41 draw controls, good for second in the circuit, while her 24 ground balls ranked fourth.
“It is such a big honor and so humbling,” said Bosco. “Lizzie, Caroline and Courtney are incredible players and I did not expect to win this award. It’s so much fun playing with the best players in the world and it was a great experience.
”Shane was named Teammate of the Year in a vote from her fellow players. The award recognizes the player who has exemplified great leadership skills, is of good character, and has been a positive influence on their teams regardless of personal performance.
“It’s super emotional for me,” Shane said of being named Teammate of the year. “I’m surrounded by wonderful people all season long and they make it so easy to cheer for on the sidelines wherever I am. It’s a true honor to be able to represent this league and give my ‘110% Mira Shane’ energy, but it’s such a privilege.”
“Congratulations to Taylor Moreno on becoming our 2023 Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse Champion, to Abby Bosco for winning the Defensive Player of the Year award and to Mira Shane for being named Teammate of the Year,” said Athletes Unlimited Director of Sport for Lacrosse Abi Jackson. “The enthusiasm from the fans – in person and through social media – will stay with me and all of our players forever. This season marked a significant step forward for women’s lacrosse, which continues to surge in popularity, and we can’t wait for next year.”