The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame formally welcomed five new women’s members Saturday evening at The Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, Maryland during the 2018 induction ceremony, sponsored by RPS Bollinger Sports & Leisure and the Markel Insurance Company.

Leigh Buck Friedman, Alex Kahoe, and Tami Worley Kirby were inducted as ‘truly great players.” Phyllis Kilgour was inducted as a “truly great coach”, and Denise Wescott was inducted as a “truly great contributor.”

Friedman had a notable four-year varsity career at Friends School in Maryland, including undefeated teams in 1968 & 1969, before starting her collegiate career at Ithaca College. She played there for two seasons before transferring to Towson University. She was a two-sport athlete at Towson, also playing on the field hockey squad. 

Friedman was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team program for four years, and played on the 1975 U.S. Touring Team that finished undefeated in Great Britain. She finished as the U.S. Team’s leading scorer during that tour. Friedman is the granddaughter of 1965 Hall of Fame inductee Phillip Lamb.  

Hall of Famer Kathy Heinze was the coach of the 1975 Touring Team and served as Friedman’s presenter.

“She moved so effortlessly and intelligently that the defense had a difficult time knowing where she was, but when she got the ball, it was ‘sting like a bee,’”Heinze said. “She had elusive speed, deceptive footwork, and she was strong at all levels, on the ground and in the air. She didn’t play for many years, but in that time, she showed us what could be achieved in the game.”

Friedman noted that being on the 1975 squad was the pinnacle of her athletic career.

“The 1975 Touring Team was a defining time in my life. Playing for Kathy, playing with the most amazing teammates, and ultimately beating England and being undefeated was magical,” Friedman said. “It was because of the team effort of the 1975 Touring Team, who collectively raised everyone's skills and performance, that I am here tonight and so honored to join seven of my teammates in the Hall of Fame.” 

Kahoe was a three-time All-American at the University of Maryland and the ACC’s goalie of the year four times. She was also the national goalie of the year in both 1999 & 2000. Kahoe helped lead the Terps to four straight NCAA titles during her career, serving as team captain as a junior and senior. In recognition, she was selected to both the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team and the NCAA’s 25th Anniversary Team. She concluded her career as the ACC’s all-time saves leader with 968, and ranks second all-time in NCAA history in saves. 

Kahoe was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team Program from 1997-2005, and served as an alternate for the 2005 World Cup Team. 

Hall of Famer Cindy Timchal coached Kahoe at the University of Maryland and served as her presenter.

“Right from the very beginning when I saw her play, I knew she would fit in well at Maryland,” Timchal said. “What we saw in Alex was a player who was dedicated to being the best she could be, wanted to be part of a championship program, and wanted to step up big on the field. She had a lot of confidence and that allowed her to flourish as a goalie. What she accomplished in college is really a byproduct of her love for the game.”

Kahoe talked about her attraction to the goalie position. 

“For me, playing in the goal in lacrosse was a combination of the other sports that I played and combined being a part of a team with individuality. I loved the pressure of the position,” Kahoe said. “It was a dream to have the opportunity to play at Maryland. The whole time, it was amazing, and I was just in awe of what our team was accomplishing together.”

Kirby was a four-time All-American at the Penn State University and led PSU in scoring three times. She finished her career ranked third in both career points (289) and career goals (230). She also led the nation in scoring in 1989 with 78 goals. 

Kirby was the winner of the 1989 Hall Award as Penn State’s top senior athlete and played in the North-South All-Star Game that season. She helped lead PSU to four straight NCAA championship games, with the Lions winning the title in 1987 & 1989. She was named to the NCAA’s 25th Anniversary Team in 2006. Kirby was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team Program from 1987-1992, and played on the U.S. Touring Team in 1990.

MaryAnn Foley Schiller, Kirby’s high school and college teammate, served as her presenter.

“Tami was the kind of athlete that was always on, so whether it was practice or a game, she was always playing hard,” Schiller said. “She was tenacious and tough and unstoppable, and she had fun doing it. She was a great teammate and always consistent in her approach. She never wavered.  She played her hardest all of the time and was determined to play her best. She is the complete package.”

Kirby reflected fondly on her playing days at Penn State. 

“When I got to Penn State I just fell in love with it and I fit right in,” she said. “My teammates were unbelievable. Even the older ones took you right under their wing and made you feel so comfortable. Winning one national championship in four years is awesome; winning two is unbelievable. Those are moments you never forget.”

Kilgour was one of the most successful girls’ high school coaches ever, amassing a 574-75-7 record in 32 years at Radnor (Pa.) High School. She retired following the 2010 season with a career winning percentage of over 87 percent. Still going strong at the end of her tenure, her teams posted a 75-2 record during her final three seasons, going undefeated in 2008 and winning state titles in 2009 and 2010. 

In total, Kilgour’s teams captured seven Pennsylvania District I championships prior to state sanctioning of championships in 2009. Her Radnor squads then captured the first two PIAA state titles in 2009 & 2010. Kilgour was recognized as District I coach of the year three times, and was named the Philadelphia Lacrosse Coach of the Year in 2010. She produced 30 All-America players. 

Kim Jackson, friend and colleague, served as Kilgour’s presenter.

“Phyllis’ biggest attribute is her disciple. In practice, she would go over and over and over things. She probably had 40 or more offensive plays, and her kids knew every one because they did it a thousand times,” Jackson said. “It was very rare to ever see Phyllis outcoached. If an opposing team was doing something unexpected, she always had a knack for countering it and figuring it out. Phyllis never had a rebuilding year. She just reloaded. Her kids were proud to wear the Radnor uniform.”

Kilgour, who didn’t learn lacrosse until after college, acknowledged the assistance of others who helped shape her coaching career.

“I was very fortunate to have knowledgeable mentors, players, and coaches to emulate,” she said. “These people were always very generous to share their expertise and insights.  A large number of them are in the Hall of Fame. Never did I suspect that one day I would be lucky enough to join them. I was very fortunate to teach and coach at Radnor High School. I had numerous outstanding athletes who were willing to work hard and buy into the team concept.”

Wescott served as a coach, administrator and game developer. Her lengthy resume includes service at many different levels across four decades. Notably, Wescott served as president of the IWLCA (Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association) from 1999-2001 and as its treasurer for three years. She has been a member of the FIL’s (Federation of International Lacrosse) World Cup Committee since 2005, and served on the organization’s development committee for 14 years. 

Wescott served four terms on the NCAA Rules Committee, and was a US Lacrosse leadership volunteer for 10 years. Domestically, she amassed over 200 wins as a collegiate head coach. Internationally, she has conducted player and coach development clinics in 18 different countries, and served as head coach of the German National Team for 10 years. 

Liza Kelly, head coach at the University of Denver and one of Wescott’s former players, served as her presenter.

“Denise manages to lead without an ego, and I don’t think there are very many of us that really do that,” Kelly said. “She takes herself completely out of the equation and does what is best for the players and the sport. Truthfully, everything she does is to the benefit of the sport. She is one of those women who can’t sit still. There is not an idle bone in her body, and I think she uses every single hour of the day to its fullest. She just wants to continue to give back to the sport.”

Bringing lacrosse to the world has always been important to Wescott.

“It’s not just about your school and what’s going to make you better,” she said. “How can we make lacrosse grow and how can we make lacrosse better? We take care of each other.  It’s a small enough sport that we have to be more globally thinking. It has been a joy to wake up every day and coach a sport that I love with people I care about. For me it’s not about what you have done, but what you are going to do next that’s important.” 

The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, a program of US Lacrosse, was established in 1957 to honor men and women who by their deeds as players, coaches, officials and contributors, and by the example of their lives, personify the great contribution of lacrosse to our way of life. Over 400 lacrosse greats are honored in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame & Museum, located at US Lacrosse Headquarters in Sparks, Maryland.