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| Feb 23, 2024

WCLA Provides Women With Leadership Opportunities

By Paul Ohanian | Photo by Lance Wendt

In 2022, Katie Silbermann helped lead her Virginia Club team to the national semifinals of the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) national tournament. That experience, in part, helped shape her future path in lacrosse. 

Now graduated, Silbermann has become part of the WCLA’s volunteer leadership structure and is committed to helping create more championship opportunities and experiences for collegiate women’s club players. She serves as president of the Atlantic Women’s Lacrosse League, one of nine leagues that help comprise the full WCLA ranks.

“The most rewarding aspect of serving on the WCLA board is that I get to see women across the country enjoy the opportunities that lacrosse has to offer,” Silbermann said. “I feel lucky to be a part of an organization that provides these college students with an amazing and competitive scene to play this sport.”

Nearly 150 non-varsity collegiate teams and over 2,000 players comprise the WCLA and compete under the USA Lacrosse umbrella. The annual Division I and Division II National Championships showcase the WCLA’s premier teams, featuring 16 Division I clubs and 16 Division II teams vying for titles.

Another former player, Annaliese Hernandez, also welcomed the opportunity to give back to the game after she concluded her club playing career. She now serves as president of the Rocky Mountain Women's Lacrosse League.

“I love being able to continue my involvement in lacrosse after college and serving as a resource for the players in the WCLA,” Hernandez said. “I want to help make the experience enjoyable for the players in my league and set them up for the best success possible.”

The fact that young women are so active in national leadership roles should come as no surprise to those familiar with the WCLA. After all, the very structure of the organization, which emphasizes student-led team leadership rather than the coach-led, top-down model of varsity teams, helps prepare and empower young women for these leadership positions. Their passion is authentic.

“The people on the board are insanely committed and helpful and only want the best for all the teams, so you can’t go wrong by getting involved,” Silbermann said.

A key aspect of the WCLA structure is the wide avenue for allowing players’ voices to be heard and incorporated. One of the best examples of that democratic forum may be the selection of Wichita, Kansas as site of the 2024 national championship tournament (May 7-10), an outgrowth of player requests for a more centralized championship location.

“The WCLA offers so many opportunities for players to express their opinions and their values, ensuring the organization remains true to its purpose,” said Ali Moulton, a senior player and club president for two-time defending Division I champion Boston College Club. “The players have invaluable insights into what the WCLA should strive to be, and the WCLA truly values those opinions.”

Moulton’s positive club experience has also led her to take on additional duties on the national level this spring. She is the only current student-athlete on the WCLA’s 12-person leadership committee.

“I love the opportunity to both support and represent the athletes and teams in my league,” Moulton said. “As a WCLA leader, I am able to foster growth and maintain competitive excellence and good sportsmanship within the lacrosse community. This experience has been rewarding on many levels.”

Hernandez loves seeing the athletes actively engaged in shaping the direction of the organization.

“It's great to see when students are excited about getting more involved in the WCLA and how they want to spread the joy they feel by being part of the organization,” she said. “So many of us love this sport and want to see it get better and more accessible for everyone.”

Silbermann encourages all players to remain as connected as possible with the organization.

“I have truly enjoyed all the people I have met and the connections I have made,” she said. “My life has always been influenced by lacrosse, so the WCLA was another avenue for me to incorporate it into my life.”   

2024 WCLA Leadership TeamAffiliation
Liz Holmes (Chair)Texas Women’s Lacrosse League
Robert BrackenCentral Plains Women's Lacrosse League
Krista BusbyNorthwest Women's Lacrosse League
Ben ChurbaSoutheastern Women's Lacrosse League
Maurice GibsonSoutheastern Women's Lacrosse League
Tara GoldhirschMidwest Women's Lacrosse League
Annaliese HernandezRocky Mountain Women's Lacrosse League
Tyrone Koen(Officials Liaison)
Ali MoultonNortheast Women's Lacrosse League
Elizabeth OrschelnTexas Women’s Lacrosse League
Katie SilbermannAtlantic Women’s Lacrosse League
David WoodsonWestern Women's Lacrosse League