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- Block Repeats as GEICO Defensive Player of the Year -

- Moreno, Trenchard and Colson Join Block on Inaugural All-Defensive Team -

- Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse to Return in 2023 -

August 15, 2022, SPARKS, MD. – Rookie goalkeeper Taylor Moreno and attacker Sam Apuzzo battled back and forth at the top of the Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse leaderboard for most of the 2022 campaign, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the final determination for the league’s second champion needed some extra time to be decided.

For the first time in Athletes Unlimited’s three-year history, a season’s champion had to wait an extra day to claim the crown due to the final margin being too close to call. However, once the period for statistical appeals came to a close, it was the first-year-pro Moreno who stood atop the league 57-player standings with 1,798 points.

While Moreno secured the league’s title, defender Becca Block earned her second consecutive GEICO Defensive Player of the Year award in a vote of the league’s players and facilitators along with members of the Unlimited Club. Apuzzo, midfielder Ally Mastroianni and goalkeeper Britt Read rounded out the top four finishers, while defenders Emma Trenchard and Lizzie Colson joined Moreno and Block on the inaugural All-Defensive Team, as selected by the league’s players and facilitators. Athletes Unlimited also announced that it will continue with a third season of lacrosse in 2023. Details regarding timing and location will be announced at a later date.

Moreno enjoyed a record-setting first season in Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse after being one of 15 players selected in the league’s College Draft in late May. The former University of North Carolina netminder established a league record with 132 saves and held the top spot on the leaderboard after 8-of-12 game days this summer. Moreno, who authored double-digit saves in 10-of-12 outings, posted a pair of 14-save efforts against Team Apuzzo on July 30 and against Team Colson on Aug. 6. She was named as one of the three game MVPs four times, including a pair of MVP 1 selections.

*Check out our interview with lacrosse player, Kristen Carr*

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 Julia Gould, BFA Maryland Institute College

of Art, 2022. Currently living and working in Baltimore City, her work discusses corporeal

experiences, with the goal of investigating their metaphysical implications. Outside of her work,

Julia practices Judo and Jiu Jitsu, and has attained the rank of Ikkyu through Jason Morris Judo

Center and blue belt through Zenyo Jiu Jitsu. “Being crowned champion is an absolute honor, and I can’t express enough how grateful I am to be able to participate in Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse,'' said Moreno.

“The amazing coverage on ESPN and tremendous support by the fans just shows how much the sport is growing and how exciting the future is for lacrosse.”
- Taylor Moreno, AU Lacrosse Season 2 Champion

Block, meanwhile, was a strong force on the defensive side of the field again this summer. The

former Syracuse University standout ranked fifth in the circuit with 22 ground balls and 15

caused turnovers while starting all 12 games. She scored the first goal of her Athletes Unlimited

career in the season finale against Team Glynn, helping Team Johansen secure a 16-13 victory

in the highest-scoring game in league history.

“It’s such an honor to be named GEICO Defensive Player of the Year among such an elite group

of athletes who competed this season and I think everyone on the All-Defensive Team are

amazing players,” said Block. “Kudos to GEICO for supporting the defensive side of the game

which isn't always recognized and congrats to all the players on another successful season.”

“Congratulations to Taylor Moreno on becoming our 2022 Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse

Champion and Becca Block for winning the GEICO Defensive Player of the Year award. After

having to go to unprecedented lengths to crown a champion, this season will truly be talked

about for many years to come,” said Jon Patricof, CEO and Co-Founder of Athletes Unlimited.

“I want to thank all the amazing athletes, our partners at ESPN and everyone else who made

this season such a success. Lacrosse is truly a sport on the rise, and Athletes Unlimited is

proud to be the premiere women’s professional league in the world.”


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