Inaugural Winners Named for Team of Distinction Award

By Paul Ohanian

Team of Distinction Award

US Lacrosse Archives

US Lacrosse has named the 1950 Johns Hopkins University men’s lacrosse team and the 1969 U.S. Women’s Touring Team as the first winners of its new Team of Distinction Award, recognizing outstanding contributions and impact to lacrosse made by an entire team during a specific era of participation. Both teams will be officially honored on Friday, January 22 at the 2016 US Lacrosse Convention in Baltimore.

The 1950 Blue Jays captured a fourth straight USILA national championship and are routinely mentioned as one of the most dominant collegiate teams from any era. The famed senior class never lost a game to a collegiate opponent during their career. Kelso Morrill, a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, served as coach for the 1950 team. Ten of the team’s 25 players earned All-America status that year, and many of them went on to very successful coaching careers, including a sophomore named Bob Scott who eventually became JHU’s all-time leader in coaching victories.

“This was a truly great team,” said Thomas Keigler, chair of the US Lacrosse Men’s Game Hall of Fame Subcommittee, which made the selection. “We had quite a few candidates to consider and whittled our short list down to four teams, but it made sense to start with this team.”

The 1969 U.S. Women’s Touring Team embarked on a two-month globetrotting trip to help promote women’s lacrosse worldwide. The team’s 30,000-mile trip included stops in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Amsterdam and London. The U.S. team toured with players from England, and in some places, the American and English players combined on one team to play against a local host team, and in other places, the U.S. played against England in an exhibition game. The players also hosted clinics for local players and officials.

Team of Distinction 1969 U.S. Women

US Lacrosse Archives

Members of the 1969 touring team were: Sandra Boehringer, Karen Burke, Jan Demars, Vonnie Gros, Alison Hersey Risch, Sue Honeysett McKinny, Jackie Pitts, Enid Russell, Tina Sloan Green, Judy Smiley Wolstenholme, Janet Smith, Nathalie Smith, Linda Swartz Roth, Priscilla Taylor, Miki Waldman Debaise. Mary Conklin was manager/umpire.

“We selected the 1969 Touring Team in recognition of all that this team did to promote the game of women’s lacrosse internationally,” said Chris Sailer of the US Lacrosse Women’s Game Hall of Fame Subcommittee. “Together with the Brits, they did more in their eight-week tour to grow the game internationally than anything that had been done before, or arguably, since.”

Primary criteria for the Team of Distinction Award include the following:

  • Impact and contribution to the game of lacrosse.
  • An extraordinary winning streak.
  • National or World Championships won.

The US Lacrosse Men’s and Women’s Game Hall of Fame Subcommittees make the selections for the award, although selection does not constitute election into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Selections are approved by the organization’s Board of Directors.

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