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Devon Wills won three world championships with the U.S. women's national team.

Elite Goalie Devon Wills’ Path Leads to National Lacrosse Hall of Fame

January 4, 2024
Paul Ohanian
Dustin Snipes

Growing up in Denver, Devon Wills never imagined that a sport introduced to her by a childhood friend whose dad owned a sporting goods store would eventually help shape almost every step of her life for the next three decades.

“I feel so lucky that this sport that I picked up because my friend’s dad owned LAX World would turn into my whole life and career,” Wills said. “It was one of those cases of being in the right place at the right time.”

That fateful introduction led her from youth hockey into youth lacrosse, helped forge an all-star prep career at Colorado Academy and led to three All-America seasons as a goalie at Dartmouth. But the ride was far from over after she graduated in 2006 ranked second all-time on the Big Green’s career saves list with 538.

Wills joined the U.S. national team program in 2007 and added three world championships to her sparkling resume, starting with the gold medal at the 2009 FIL World Cup, when she was named the Player of the Match in the U.S. team’s 8-7 championship game victory over Australia.

Wills returned as a member of the U.S. squad that claimed two more world championships in 2013 and 2017, earning All-World honors both times. She also added another gold medal at the 2017 World Games.

Not to be overlooked, Wills was also a pioneer in both men’s and women’s professional lacrosse. In 2014, she became the first female ever drafted in Major League Lacrosse and spent the entire season on the New York Lizards roster.

Two years later, she was the second overall pick in the first-ever United Women’s Lacrosse League draft, eventually leading the Long Island Sound to the inaugural UWLX championship in 2016.

And now, widely regarded as one of the all-time elite goalies in women’s lacrosse history, Wills takes her place in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. She is one of eight members of the Class of 2023 that will be officially inducted on Saturday, January 6.

“You can’t go to a game without noticing Devon,” said Becca Block, a longtime teammate on the U.S. national team. “Her athleticism, her speed and the way she plays outside of the cage makes her really, really fun to watch.”

Wills was also pretty good throughout her career at stopping shots in the cage, the true hallmark of any goalie.

“I think she’s the best goalie to ever play the position,” Block said. “The best of the best.”

The same leadership skills that Wills always displayed on the field have now translated into a 15-year coaching career. After previous stints as an assistant coach at Dartmouth, Denver and USC, she is currently in her sixth year as the head coach of the Harvard women’s lacrosse team.

“Respected as one of the best players to ever play the game, Devon brings the same qualities to the sidelines that she did to the field; hard work, passion for the sport and a drive to be the best,” said Ricky Fried, head coach at Georgetown and for the 2013 and 2017 U.S. Women’s World Cup teams. “She’s a natural leader who has succeeded at every level.”