When you see someone living the dream…it inspires you! A lot of young lacrosse players from Florida used to hit roadblocks in pursuit of their dreams. They would not even typically get looked at by college coaches and those closed doors were not easily opened. Yet the hard work and dedication of a handful of players from Florida has given Florida a hotbed lacrosse status. There are now hundreds of girls (and boys) playing at the next level. There are a lot of girl’s lacrosse players who have opened the doors around the country not only at top Division 1 programs, but also at Division 2 and Division 3 schools. These Florida girls are inspiring the next generation of little Florida lax girls.
(#30 Chloe Provenzano (Harvard);middle L-R Anna Palmisano (Denver), Sara Palmisano (Denver), Liz Harrison (Florida);top Jordan Remer (Cincinnati), Kylie Hazen (Georgetown), Caitlyn Wurzburger (UNC)
When you think of a lacrosse mecca for collegiate girls lacrosse, Maryland, Boston College, UNC, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Northwestern and other schools come to mind. When I think of who is inspiring girls while playing at a top program, Caitlyn Wurzburger (Delray Beach, Florida Select) immediately comes to mind. The high school record setter, top recruit of 2020, U19 USA standout, All-World Team, USA 6’s and the rising UNC sophomore who was also academic All ACC stands out in so many ways. Caitlyn really put Florida on the map with her skilled tough, smart, fast and creative play. Caitlin played in all 21 games at UNC. She had 54 points from her 36 goals and 17 assists. She scored the game-winning goal against Virginia. She did all this from a new role coming into a stacked team with 4 starters at attack (due to the Covid exemptions allowing NCAA 2019s-2017s to play for an extra year of eligibility). Caitlyn took her role and ran with it and was a vital part of the number one ranked team in the country. She is going to be exciting to watch this 2022 season.
Another incredible Floridian who as a freshman had an amazing year was Kylie Hazen (Coral Springs, Florida Select). Kylie was the Big East Freshman of the Year and the first player from Georgetown to ever earn that honor. Kylie led the Hoyas in goals with 33 and also was second on the team with 12 assists garnering 45 points in her frosh season. Kylie has grit and passion while playing. She finds the back of the net and little girls will enjoy watching Kylie play.
Kelly Denes (Jupiter, LaxManiax) as a freshman for the Fighting Irish scored the first goal of the season for Notre Dame in her season opener. Kelly was often vital on the draw or circle. She also played defense, mid and even some attack for the Irish. Kelly’s speed and grit make her a great player to watch. Little girls can learn how to be a true middie and team player from Kelly who was a stanout and captain at Cardinal Newman.
Anna Palmisano (Delray Beach, Florida Select) started in 17 of the Pioneers 18 games as a freshman at the 15th ranked University of Denver. She also epitimizes "team" by changing positions when asked from middie to low defense which she did with gusto. Playing on a talented defense, Anna played her role by scooping 20 ground balls and causing 11 forced turnovers (which are good turnovers).Her season high 3 ground balls came in the NCAA second round game against Northwestern.
Kaitlyn Michaud (Fort Lauderdale, Florida Select) made six starts in the 12 games she played for Elon. She ranked fourth on the team in draw controls with 10. She scored goals, made assists, scooped ground balls, caused turnover and helped on the draw. She was a true 2-way middie for the Phoenix.
Sara Palmisano (Delray Beach, Florida Select) started her freshman season injured and rehabed her way into the lineup for the Denver Pioneers. She played in 13 games scoring 4 goals. Sara is known for her stick and scored a Behind-the-Back (BTB) for her first collegiate goal and caught a BTB pass which she scored on and that play landed on SportsCenter’s top ten. It’s always fun to turn on sportscenter and see a florida girl making a cool play.The list continues on and on and that is just for the 2020 class:
Jordan Remer (Parkland, Florida Select) defender at the University of Cincinnati with 18 ground balls playing in 17 games.
Liz Harrison (Boynton Beach, Florida Select) midfielder and draw specialist at the University of Florida had 2 goals and 2 assists and played in 17 games. She had nine draw controls, two
grounds balls and one caused turnover.
[As a sidenote, when I opened the webpage: ohiostatebuckeyes.com/sports/w-lacros/roster/
three out of the four girls who immediately show up are from Florida.]
One is Regan Alexander (Orlando, Laxmaniax) who in only two games had five saves and a
ground ball. Riley Alexander (Orlando, Laxmaniax), Regan’s twin sister also plays for the
Caroline Stefans (Coral Springs, Florida Select) a midfielder midshipman at the US Naval
Academy played in three games and had a draw control.
The D1 list still isn’t complete! There are also a number of players at the D2 and D3 levels making an impact from Florida as well.
The class of 2021 who are current freshman getting prepared for their first collegiate season are sure to make an impact as well:
Olivia Adamson (Orlando, Laxmaniax) is sure to hit the ground running at NCAA runner-up
Syracuse when the season begins in February.
Helaia Harris (Miami, Laxmaniax )will make a challenge at Northwestern to protect between the pipes at goal.
Taylor McClain (Boca Raton, Florida Select) will make an impact at attack for Bucknell.
Ashley Thurston (Orlando, Laxmaniax) should get minutes as a draw specialist at Stanford.
Brooke Papenfuss (Jupiter, Florida Select) should earn her stripes at the Ohio State University.
The class of 2022 has the duo of Rachel Weiner (Parkland, Florida Select) and Carli Fleisher
(Weston, Florida Select) taking the Florida heat to Northwestern.
Calli Norris (Vero Beach, Florida Select) will rep the big blue at Michigan.
While Florida Select teammate Casey Roberts (Parkland, Florida Select) will join her state rival Kate Hanlon (Orlando, Laxmaniax) as Buckeye team mates and then will face Norris as a future Wolveriene rival when playing against Michigan for the Ohio State University.
Lane Calkins (Naples, Laxmaniax) will be a force at Princeton.
Payton Wainman (Delray Beach, Florida Select) will be making an impact between the 30s for
the Nittany Lions at Penn State.
The Florida players listed here are not exhaustive. There are still many, many more D1, D2 and D3 girls playing lacrosse from Florida in colleges all over the country. There are already approximately 30+ girls committed to play in college from the class of 2023.
The class of 2024 is going to make major waves with some talented girls coming up from that graduation year. Also, there are MANY girls from the high school classes of 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 all the way back to the year 2007 who were the beginning of getting doors opened for girls from Florida to play in college.Young girls now do not just have a few girls, they have multiple players from the Sunshine state to not just watch live out the dream, but to follow! Many of these players are not just seeing the field, but they are starting and making an impact at their position or even in new positions. It is exciting to see the talent that has come out of Florida. It’s even more thrilling to imagine what is yet to come!