Last Saturday evening, the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame formally inducted nine men and women as a part of the 2015 class. Established in 1957, over 400 lacrosse legends have been welcomed into the US Lacrosse National Hall of Fame in Baltimore, MD, including the latest nine to join the prestigious ranks.
- Jake Curran
- Dom Fin
- Diane Geppi-Aikens (posthumous)
- Bob Hartranft
- Julie Hull Elicker
- Charlie Lockwood
- Sarah Nelson
- Maggie Vaughan
- Brian Voelker
Each of the nine honorees were introduced with through the playing of a short video which included their legacies on and off the field along with commentary from legends in the lacrosse community. Fin, Elicker, Lockwood, Nelson, Vaughan and Voelker earned their recognition as ‘truly great players’, Geppi-Aikens and Hartranft both were recognized as ‘truly great coaches’, and the lone official Curran was honored as a ‘truly great contributor.’
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Editor’s Note: Hall of Fame bios and videos provided by US Lacrosse.
Curran was recognized as one of the top officials in boys’ and men’s lacrosse for a period of 40 years. He served as a high school and college official from 1964-2004, and worked five NCAA men’s championship games. Curran also officiated on the international level for 30 years, working in numerous World Championships, Canadian Championships and European Championships.
Fellow official Steve Miller served as Curran’s presenter.
“With Jake, it was all about mechanics. If you know the mechanics, then you’re going to be in the right position to make the right call. He was a stickler on that all through his career,” Miller said. “He was also the one who laid the foundation so that hundreds of officials would have the opportunity to officiate world championships.”
Fin followed an outstanding prep career at Yorktown (N.Y.) High School by becoming a three-time first team All-American as a midfielder at Syracuse University. He was selected as the winner of the USILA’s McLaughlin Award as the national midfielder of the year as a senior in 1994, and was also named MVP of the USILA’s North-South All-Star Game that season. Fin helped lead Syracuse to the 1993 NCAA title.
Paul Carcaterra, Fin’s teammate at Syracuse, served as his presenter.
“People expected huge things from him early in his career, and he delivered,” Carcaterra said. “When you asked him to create offense on his own, there wasn’t a defender in college lacrosse that could match his instincts, his body control and his quickness. And he packed a massive punch as one of the strongest guys on our team. He was like a whirling dervish. He was all over the field.”
Still active, Hartranft completed his 47th season as head coach at Farmingdale (N.Y.) High School in 2015, and with 694 wins, he ranks third all-time among boys’ high school coaches. Hartranft led Farmingdale to the New York state championship in 2011, and also finished as state runner-up in 1978 and 2003. His teams have captured 13 Nassau County championships and made 41 consecutive playoff appearances. In addition, Hartranft served as head coach of the U.S. Men’s Under-19 National Team in 1992 and led Team USA to the world championship.
Hall of Fame member John DeTommaso, who played for Hartranft at Farmingdale, served as his presenter.
“I will say that he is probably the most horrific lacrosse player you have ever seen in your life. When coach picked up a stick, we were all running for the hills because nobody knew where the ball would go,” DeTommaso said. “But knew lacrosse, and he knew defense. He absolutely took everything he knew from basketball and translated it to lacrosse. As a coach, he had the ability to adjust with different kids, different teams, and different styles of play. “A good man, a great coach, a great teacher and a wonderful educator is now in a place he deserves to be,” DeTommaso said.
Geppi-Aikens served as head coach at her alma mater, Loyola University Maryland (formerly Loyola College) from 1989-2003, where she amassed a record of 197-71, with 10 NCAA Tournament appearances. Geppi-Aikens was selected as the IWLCA’s Division I coach of the year three times, winning the honor in 1996, 1997 and 2003. She also produced 29 All-American players during her tenure. She passed away in 2003.
Longtime women’s game official Sue Diffenderffer served as Geppi-Aikens’ presenter.
“Almost every year, I’d see her team and think ‘oh, this is a rebuilding year, they’re not going to do anything this year’ and inevitably, they would be in the playoffs because she was that good of a coach,” Diffenderffer said. Janine Tucker, head coach at Johns Hopkins University, played for Geppi-Aikens at Loyola and later served as her assistant coach. “Those years were transformational for me,” Tucker said. “She taught me to be strong as a coach. You have to project strength for your players and for your team, especially when things are going wrong. I pulled that from Diane – how to be strong in the face of adversity.”
Julie Hull Elicker
After a four-year career at James Madison University, Hull Elicker became a member of the U.S. National Team program from 1980-86. Her international experience began with a touring team visit to Australia for a series of matches in 1980. She also competed as a member of Team USA at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups, helping to capture the gold medal in 1982.
Hall of Fame member Josie Harper, an assistant coach on Team USA during Elicker’s tenure, served as her presenter.
“There are very few who were as fast or tenacious or as persistent as Julie,” Harper said. “She was an incredible competitor and an incredible teammate. She was a game changer, not just on the field, but a game changer and team changer off the field.”
Lockwood was a high school All-American who won a state championship at West Genesee (N.Y.) High School in 1990 before becoming a four-time collegiate All-American as a midfielder at Syracuse University. He was selected to the All-NCAA Tournament team in both 1992 and 1993, and helped lead Syracuse to the 1993 NCAA title. Lockwood was a two-time member of the U.S. Men’s National Team and helped lead Team USA to the gold medal at the 1994 and 1998 world championships.
Hall of Fame member Mike Messere, who coached Lockwood at West Genesee High School, served as his presenter.
“Everything he has touched he has turned to gold,” Messere said. “He’s been an exceptional player who has done exceptional things. He does all the right things. He’s very responsible and dependable. You can’t ask for too much more.”
Nelson was a two-time collegiate All-American as a midfielder at Harvard University and helped to lead the Crimson to the Ivy League championship in both 1991 and 1992. She received All-Ivy League recognition in 1992 and 1994, and was also selected for the North-South All-Star Game following her senior season in 1994. After college, Nelson became a three-time member of the U.S. World Cup Team, helping Team USA to capture the world championship in both 1997 and 2001, and place second in 2005.
Hall of Fame member Bonnie Rosen, a teammate from their time together on the U.S. National Team, served as her presenter.
“The first thing you noticed about Sarah was her speed,” Rosen said. “She was an offensive power and she had the unique ability to score goals but to do it in a team manner. She tried to make the team better in any way she could.”
Vaughan enjoyed an All-American career as a collegiate player at Harvard University. A two-time All-American as a defender, Vaughan helped lead Harvard to its first NCAA title in 1990 as the Crimson defeated Maryland in the national championship game. In addition to earning All-Ivy League honors four times, she was the Ivy League’s rookie of the year as a freshman in 1987 and the Ivy League’s player of the year as a senior in 1990. She was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team program for seven years, and helped lead Team USA to the gold medal as a member of the World Cup team in both 1993 and 1997.
Carole Kleinfelder, Vaughan’s coach at Harvard, served as her presenter.
“She is probably the most competitive person I have ever met,” Kleinfelder said. “She was a vital part of that championship team in 1990, and we were lucky to have her on that field. Her intensity was really quite impressive to watch. But she was also like a chess player in that she always saw seven moves ahead. It was like having a second coach on the field.”
Voelker, a native of Baltimore, was a three-time All-American as a defenseman at Johns Hopkins University, and selected to play in the North-South All-Star Game in 1991. Voelker then helped the U.S. National Team to the gold medal in both 1994 and 1998. He was selected to the 1998 All-World Team and also chosen as the World’s Best Defenseman following the 1998 World Games. His professional resume included seven indoor seasons with the Philadelphia Wings and two seasons in Major League Lacrosse. Voelker has served as head coach at Drexel University since 2009.
Rob Shek, who competed against Voelker in college and played as a teammate on the ’94 and ’98 U.S. National Team, served as his presenter.
“Brian was always one of the best athletes on the field and always in great position,” Shek said. “He was strong and fast, and you always knew where he was on the field so that you could try to get the ball as far away from him as possible. He could play good defense against the best, pick-up the ground ball and go down the field and score. It was fun to watch him play.”