Women’s Pro Player Is Huge Supporter Of Brooklin Lacrosse Club
By: Sam Laskaris
An American is one of the biggest supporters of the Brooklin Lacrosse Club.
And this individual also happens to be a professional lacrosse player. But you won’t find this athlete’s name on the roster of any National Lacrosse League (NLL), Major Lacrosse League or Premier Lacrosse League franchise.
That’s because the huge booster of the Brooklin squad is Tianna Wallpher, a 23-year-old field lacrosse player who suits up for the Brave, a Baltimore-based club that competes in the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL).
Wallpher’s interest in the Brooklin squad stems from the fact her boyfriend is Jake Fox, a forward who finished second in team scoring – 36 points (15 goals and 21 assists) in 18 games during the 2019 season.
Wallpher and Fox having been dating for almost two and a half years now. “Lacrosse is always a theme in our conversations because it’s a big part of our lives,” Wallpher said.
Like Wallpher, Fox is also a pro lacrosse player now. He’s a rookie with the NLL’s New York Riptide.
“I’m so jealous of Jake,” Wallpher said. “He has such great stick skills. That’s something I need to work on.”
Wallpher is gearing up for her third season with the Brave. The WPLL campaign usually runs throughout June and July.
The WPLL features five teams who play weekend tournaments at various venues, on the American east coast. In 2019 Wallpher was named the WPLL All-Star team as a defender as the Brave took home the league championship.
Wallpher’s schedule last year allowed her to travel to a couple of Fox’s home games with the Brooklin team. She also squeezed in trips to see the club play in Cobourg and Peterborough.
Wallpher said she also is able to follow the Brooklin team in action by tuning in online.
“That’s really neat they have that accessible stream,” she said of MSL broadcasts available at www.lacrosse-tv.com
Wallpher added she enjoys watching a variation of the sport. “I love watching box lacrosse,” she said. “It’s so different than the field game.”
Wallpher was a three-year starter for Towson after transferring from UMBC. In 2018 she finished second on the team and fourth in program history with 42 caused turnovers in a single season. The Ellicott City, Maryland native was named to the All-CAA First Team, IWLCA All-America Third Team, IWLCA All-Mid-Atlantic Region First Team and was an Inside Lacrosse All-American Honorable Mention.
Besides playing for the Brave, Wallpher is also a coach. Last year she was a volunteer coach for the women’s field lacrosse squad at her alma mater, Towson University in Maryland.
As for this season, Wallpher will serve as a volunteer coach with the women’s side at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, the NCAA Division 1 school where Fox played his college lacrosse.
The John Hopkins team will kick off its 2020 regular season this Saturday (Feb. 8) with a home contest versus Philadelphia’s Drexel University.
For the past year Wallpher has also been working as the associate director of operations for Capital Sports Group, based in Towson.
Though lacrosse is a frequent topic of conversation with Fox, Wallpher said she is the one who has benefitted the most.
“I don’t give advice to Jake,” she said. “It’s more like encouragement I give him. And I have him try to tell me more of his thoughts. He’s definitely upped my game. I don’t know if you’d say I’ve helped his game.”
Like she did last year, Wallpher plans to catch Fox and his Brooklin Lacrosse Club teammates in action at some points during the 2020 season, expected to begin in early June.
“I definitely plan on doing that,” she said. “I love coming to Canada and watching (Jake) play and having a bit of a vacation.”
Cover photo courtesy of WPLL | BDZ Sports