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This Week in Lacrosse History: Stephen Kelly and Taylor Quinn score first goals in PLL and WPLL

Taylor Quinn Nets First Goal in WPLL History | June 2, 2018

The WPLL kicked off the inaugural season on June 2, 2018 with four of the league’s five teams in action. The New York Fight and New England Command got the honors as the league’s first game as they kicked things off in Olney, Maryland. 

“It was just an exciting time to be a part of the first year of WPLL,” said the Fight’s Taylor Quinn. 

Just 0:47 seconds into the opening game Quinn wrote her name in the record books, becoming the first woman to score in WPLL history. 

“I honestly didn’t realize it on the field,” Quinn chuckled. “I didn’t know, I was just happy to be out there playing with all these girls and happy to be a part of the first inaugural league and to see how far women’s lacrosse has actually come.”

The goal itself was a simple one according to Quinn.

“A feed from someone behind the cage. It was just natural. I didn’t really think much about it. I didn’t expect it and I was just happy it went in the net.”

While the Fight struck first it was the Command who claimed the first victory in WPLL history, winning game one 13-10. 

Stephen Kelly scores the first goal in PLL history | June 1, 2019

Just over a year ago, the Premier Lacrosse League was preparing to take the field at Gillette Stadium to kick off its inaugural season. As the start of any sports league would hold there was talk around who would notch the first of many things, but one stood out. Who would score the first goal in league history?

The Archers and Chrome were the first game on the schedule, meaning someone from those two rosters would write their name in the record books, scoring goal number one.

“There was a lot of excitement. We’d seen the schedule and there was a couple month period of knowing that alright, we’re going to be the first game,” said Archers faceoff specialist Stephen Kelly. “I knew, if we’re the first game, hopefully I can stay healthy and earn my spot as the guy, that I could be taking the first faceoff and could have a chance to score the first goal. I jokingly told 30 or 40 people that, yeah if I win the first faceoff I’m going to take it to the rack.”

Week one arrived and Kelly did stay healthy and had secured his spot to take the first faceoff in PLL history. When that faceoff took place, Kelly quickly found an opportunity to do what he had joked about. He won the faceoff and took it right “to the rack.”

“You couldn’t have asked for a more scrappy faceoff for the first ever faceoff,” said Kelly. “We both scraped and the ball just kind of popped up in the middle. I just was able to find it and get through it. I ran around and like I said it was a slow break. [Drew] Simoneau was on me and Joel White was kind of trailing, and I think their close defense just didn’t think I was going to take it to the goal. I think they thought I was going to pull it out or look for an outlet pass or something. I just kind of kept running and went with the high bouncer, and the rest was history.”

History indeed as Kelly became the first player in PLL history to win a faceoff and score a goal, in less than ten seconds.

“Paul [Rabil] made sure he got the ball and I guess they showed it on the broadcast,” Kelly said. “He pulled me aside the next week at practice and gave it to me all taped up with first goal in PLL history. I have that now and so it’s pretty cool.”

Isaac Berky is a graduate of Adrian College and Syracuse University with degrees in Digital Media and Broadcast Journalism. Even though his playing career never took off, he's been able to cover the game on the collegiate level as a broadcaster, while also working around the sports industry before joining Pro Lacrosse Talk as a contributor.

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