Nancy Chance (center) at the 2004 National Lacrosse Hall of Fame induction ceremony with Mary Semanik and Caroline Haussermann.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16 for Nancy Vadner Chance, a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame who passed away on Jan. 23. The service will be held at Towson (Md.) Methodist Church, beginning at 1 p.m.

Chance had a distinguished career as a player, coach and official, and was inducted into the Greater Baltimore Hall of Fame in 1997 and the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2002.

She was a standout athlete at Ursinus College, earning 14 varsity letters in field hockey, basketball, badminton, softball and tennis before beginning her lacrosse career in the club circuit. She earned All-America honors four times from the United States Women’s Lacrosse Association (USWLA) while playing for the Philadelphia and Baltimore Lacrosse Associations and was a member of the 1951 U.S. touring team. She went on to coach at Goucher and Swarthmore.

Never at a loss for words, Chance had a way of making people laugh and putting them at east, breaking the ice with a quick wit. She stopped by the old Lacrosse Hall of Fame on the campus of Johns Hopkins on several occasions to share stories of the mischief she and her U.S. women's touring team teammates got into while traveling on the RMS Queen Mary to England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales in 1951. On display at the new National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum is a sailor's cap signed by the crew of the Queen Mary and a make-shift lacrosse ball made by the crew out of rope after all the real lacrosse balls went overboard.

Chance served as treasurer for the United States Women’s Lacrosse Association, was chairman for two USWLA National Tournaments, and was a nationally-rated umpire for more than a decade. In 1994, the USWLA created the Nancy Chance Service Award to acknowledge significant service to the sport. It is presented at the US Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament.


National Lacrosse Hall of Fame

Initiated in 1957, the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame has annually inducted individuals based on outstanding lacrosse achievement and/or contribution.

Learn More