By Danielle Chazen
One of the most prominent and accomplished people in the history of collegiate lacrosse has been inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Naval Academy women's lacrosse coach Cindy Timchal accepted the honor along with two of her former players from when she coached at the University of Maryland, Jen Adams and Kelly Amonte Hiller, on Oct. 20 at the Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley.
"It was such a special evening and an honor to be inducted with Jen Adams and Kelly," Timchal said. "It was everything I could ever wish for as a coach. They were two of the most outstanding players and went on to compete at the highest level. Having that Maryland connection at the ceremony made it very special for me."
Missy Meharg, a longtime friend and current coach of the University of Maryland field hockey team, introduced Timchal, who will enter her sixth season at Navy in 2013. Timchal was also one of eight Maryland alumni inducted into the University of Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 5.
Timchal holds a 412-108 career record during 30 seasons as a coach and has secured more victories than any other coach in both men's and women's NCAA lacrosse. Timchal won the NCAA national championship eight times during her tenure as the Terrapin coach, including seven consecutive titles from 1995-2001.
Timchal is the only women's lacrosse coach to take three different programs -- Northwestern, Maryland and Navy -- to the NCAA Division I tournament. Timchal planted the roots of Navy lacrosse, jumpstarting the program and serving as the only coach during its five-year history.
Timchal has led Navy to three straight Patriot League titles. During her five seasons at Navy, Timchal is 76-22 (77.6 percent win rate).
Timchal became the first college lacrosse coach to win 400 games last season, but her contribution has gone beyond her individual efforts. The training and wisdom she passed on to former players throughout the years has helped them become some of the best coaches in the lacrosse community.
This reality is evidenced by the simultaneous inductions of Adams, who is in her fourth year coaching at Loyola University, and Amonte Hiller, who will enter her 12th season as coach at Northwestern University. Former Timchal players Kathy Reese and Sonia LaMonica have also had success at the University of Maryland and Towson University, respectively.
Timchal continues to mentor her past players-turned-coaches, even though they are now fierce competitors, whenever they ask for her advice. At the induction ceremony, Timchal introduced Amonte Hiller, while Reese introduced Adams.
Adams played at Maryland under Timchal from 1998-2001, earning first-team All-America honors three times. Adams also won the Tewaaraton Award, given to the nation's top NCAA women's lacrosse player, during her senior year. As a Terp, Amonte Hiller was named ACC Female Athlete of the Year in 1996 and was a member of the U.S. women's national team three times.
"Lacrosse really is about the relationships you develop," Timchal said. "These relationships have resulted in great programs and outstanding coaches."
Timchal said she sensed similarities between the coaching styles of her two former players and her own, but said each former player's individuality had allowed her to develop and mature as a coach.
Timchal also said she was looking forward to playing against Adams' team in the future, as Loyola moves to join Navy in the Patriot League during the 2013-14 school year.
Former University of Maryland goaltender Brian "Doc" Dougherty was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dougherty is currently in his third season as coach of Division II Chestnut Hill and received NCAA tournament MVP honors when he played with the Terrapins in 1995.
Eight total players and coaches -- the remaining members being Ray Colsey, Missy Foote, Jesse Hubbard and Tim Nelson -- were formally inducted as the class of 2012.
Since 1957, when the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame was established, more than 350 lacrosse professionals and athletes have been honored. It is located in the Lacrosse Museum at the US Lacrosse national headquarters in Baltimore.
More Cheap Seats:
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• Former Bees Visit Life-changing Coach
• Mustangs' Freshmen Breaking New Ice
• Eight New Members Enter Lacrosse HOF
• Byron Knows His Way In JFK 50-Mile Race
• Shoes For Grades Targets Better Marks
Issue 179: November 2012