Shonly Wallace will transition from Mud Dawg to Seawolf in September 2018 after she recently announced her commitment to play division one NCAA women’s lacrosse at Stony Brook University on New York’s Long Island.
The midfielder becomes the first-ever Mission lacrosse player to commit to a NCAA school for field lacrosse and will also be the first Canadian woman to join the lacrosse program.
“I can’t wait for the two years to be up so I can go and play,” Wallace said. “This is my NHL, this is my pro league.”
Wallace joins a Stony Brook team that finished this season ranked sixth and is led by pro lacrosse head coach and general manager Joe Spallina. But the way she got there wasn’t conventional in any way; a last-minute email led to a chance visit and, ultimately, the decision of a lifetime.
“I went to go see Albany and Vermont and I emailed them and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to be in New York’ and within an hour they called me back,” Wallace said. “I went on the Friday… and went back to commit on the Monday.”
Wallace feels she’s not just committing to a school, but to a new home. Long Island has long been considered a hotbed for field lacrosse, and Wallace considers one of her more inspirational moments to be when she saw that brand up close at the U15 Nationals in Denver, Colorado.
“I remember vividly saying to my dad, ‘I want to learn to play like that.’ ”
One of the first things Wallace noticed was a real competitive atmosphere and a true family bond, saying it didn’t take long for both parties to realize it was the right fit. She plans on studying health sciences with an eye towards working in physiotherapy as well as becoming a lacrosse coach herself.
“My top five were all there: the schooling, the people, the academic support, the facilities and the location,” she said, noting Spallina’s enthusiasm was “infectious.”
Wallace has played on numerous national teams and garnered interest from all over the United States, including traditional powerhouse Northwestern and the University of Southern California.
For now, Wallace will continue playing her trade with two club teams, the Mission Mud Dawgs and the Puget Sound Selects. But in two short years, she’ll make the coast-to-coast trip to live out her dreams.