McKone Finds Formula for Success in Professional Lacrosse League
Lindsey McKone ’16 is in a league of her own. The only Texan to be drafted by the new AU professional lacrosse league, McKone just finished a decorated collegiate career at Northwestern University. In her last season with the Wildcats, she received IWLCA Second Team All-American lacrosse honors in addition to First-Team All-Big Ten accolades. Her team finished the 2021 season as Big Ten Champs and NCAA semifinalists. McKone was also selected as Academic All-Big Ten along with teammates Carson Copeland ’17, and Kate Copeland ’17. All three were recognized with IWLCA Academic honors. Lindsey was also a nominee for the 2021 Tewaaraton Award.
She exited Northwestern with a treasure trove of awards that would mark the end of a brilliant lacrosse career for most college players, but McKone did not stop there. Earlier this summer, Lindsey was one of 36 invitees to the U.S. Women’s national team training camp held in Sparks, Maryland at the USA Lacrosse headquarters. The national team will be competing in several events leading up to the 2022 Women’s World Lacrosse Championships, and McKone hopes to make the final roster. Lindsey was subsequently drafted into the Athletes Unlimited professional lacrosse league which concludes in late August.
“The U.S. team tryout and training camps were before the AU professional season started, but it definitely helped me socially as I met most of the girls who are here before entering the bubble and on the field because I got a glimpse of their tendencies and how to play with all of them,” said McKone. “It has been an honor to wear the U.S. jersey and play with the greatest players of the world. There are other U.S. training camps in the fall, and we'll see how those go.”
The format of the AU league mixes 57 players into four new teams weekly. Players are re-drafted each week and must adapt to new rosters and develop team chemistry and competitiveness at a rapid pace.
“I think the new format has been so different from what we're used to from college,” said Lindsey. “We have learned that even though our team changes each week, the way to move up on the leaderboard is to create the best team chemistry above everything else. The team that is playing the best with each other—whether it's team offense, team defense, or on the draw—will always beat an incredible individual performance! I think this AU program forces you to understand your strengths and weaknesses under the umbrella of your team that week. For example, I bring knowledge of the two-man game from Northwestern, but if one of my teammates that week doesn't play as much two-man I have to know that and play to their strengths and clear out if that's what they prefer.”
Players receive points based on each team score by quarters and complete games in addition to points awarded for individual stats. With a shortened field, a shot clock, and shootouts, the pace is fast and ever-changing, week by week.
“The AU format has been so much fun to compete in and the leaderboard definitely brings excitement for the fans but doesn't change the integrity of the game which to me is teamwork and competing together. It has been such a cool opportunity to play with the girls we all grew up watching and to get to know them on and off the field. This summer has definitely been filled with such fun lacrosse!”