Lacrosse is on the rise at all levels across the country and Athletes Unlimited Pro Lacrosse is no exception. The most competitive season yet paired with a back-to-back champion and exploding fan base all marked huge successes for the league.
Take a look back on 2023 and the biggest moments for AU Pro Lacrosse this year.
1. First-ever back-to-back champ
Taylor Moreno already made her mark in AU Pro Lacrosse history as the champion in 2022 but her repeated success makes her legendary across all four sports. The goalkeeper became the first repeat champion in all of AU history in 2023. She won the title in her rookie year and finished atop the leaderboard with 1,679 points.
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.
View this post on Instagram
2. Double-digit increases across key metrics
2023 was a wildly successful year for AU Pro Lacrosse, showing double-digit increases in viewership, attendance, merchandise sales, and social engagement. AU is the only professional women’s lacrosse league in the world and the shattered records seen in Season Three indicate the increasing popularity of the sport in the United States.
Average viewership for the live games on ESPN2 and ESPNU marked a +25% increase over comparable coverage in 2022 on the same networks, while merchandise sales were up +63%, attendance for the games at USA Lacrosse Headquarters grew by +41%,and social media engagement increased +22% over the previous season.
The numbers indicate not only the growth of AU but also the boom amongst current and new fans.
3. Testing changes at an experimental exhibition
For the first time, AU Pro Lax put the scoring system and rule changes to the test at an experimental exhibition game.
AU athletes competed in front of a huge crowd at the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Presidents Cup, one of the largest youth tournaments on the East Coast. Behind the scenes, league leadership used the game as an opportunity to test changes to rules and points involving fouls, shooting space, walling, and stat point values.
League leaders, athletes, and officials were all involved in the discussion process to address proposed changes. Putting the changes to the test allows the league to explore achieving goals like emphasizing safety, cleaning up the game visually, prioritizing elite skills and quality of play, and improving the flow of the game before the Championship Season in the summer of 2024.
View this post on Instagram
Savanna Collins is the Digital Media Reporter at Athletes Unlimited. You can follow her on Twitter @savannaecollins.
The Best Athletes Unlimited Photos of 2023
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
The Impact Series: A Conversation Around Mental Health with Sam Geiersbach
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Kait Devir
Three AU Pro Lacrosse Players nominated for 2023 Best of Lacrosse Awards
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023
Join the Unlimited Club
Unlock exclusive benefits with your FREE membership
- Follow Your Favorite Sports
- Enjoy Virtual Fan Events
- Chat on the Community Board
- Vote for Game MVP, Seasonal Awards
- Play in the AU Fantasy League