HOF Class of 2020
Front row (l-r), Laura Harmon Schuman, Amy Appelt Slade, Ericka Leslie, Lisa Griswold Lindley. Back row, Rob Bordley, Roy Condon, Joe Seivold. (Not pictured: John Desko).
(October 2, 2021) -- Eight lacrosse greats were formally inducted as the newest members of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame Saturday evening at The Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, Maryland.
The fact that these inductees, officially considered the Class of 2020, had to wait an extra year to be recognized due to the pandemic-induced postponement of last year’s ceremony did little to dampen the festive mood or celebratory spirit of the evening.
Three inductees - Laura Harmon Schuman, Joe Seivold, and Amy Appelt Slade - were officially welcomed as truly great players, while three others - Rob Bordley, John Desko, and Lisa Griswold Lindley - were inducted as truly great coaches, and two inductees - Roy Condon and Ericka Leslie – were honored as truly great officials.
● Hall of Fame Ceremony Video
Schuman, Seivold, and Slade were all either three- or four-year college All-Americans, and all three captured NCAA championships during their collegiate careers.
Schuman, who won NCAA titles at Maryland in 1992 and 1995 and also played on the 1997 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team that captured the gold medal, noted the importance of teammates and coaches in achieving that level of success.
“I’m so thankful for all the incredible players that I played with at Maryland and on the U.S. Team, and the Hall of Fame coaches,” she said. “I was so fortunate for all the people that I played with and played for. They all really created the best version of me on the lacrosse field.”
Slade echoed similar appreciation for those that surrounded her at Virginia. The Cavaliers made three straight appearances in the NCAA final during her career in Charlottesville, including winning the title in 2004 while Slade earned that season’s Tewaaraton Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding player.
“It’s really a testament to the relationships that we had, not only on the field but off the field,” Slade said. “We trusted our coaches and what they said to us and what game plan they put forward. We never batted an eyelash. We just went out and did it to the best of our ability.”
Originally from Parkton, Md., Seivold was a four-time All-American at North Carolina who was known as much for his strong lacrosse IQ and his outstanding skills as a two-way midfielder. Despite becoming a two-time all-ACC player and the winner of the ACC’s Scholar-Athlete Award in 1986, he noted that the initial adjustment to collegiate lacrosse was a bit of a shock to his system.
“I thought we played fast in Baltimore and we played fast at Gilman, but we didn’t play as fast as we played in the Fall of ’82 on the turf field at Carolina,” Seivold said. “Fall practices were right away a wake-up call. Hard work, competing, and being as good as I could be were going to be the measures of whether I was going to get on the field.”
Bordley spent 44 seasons coaching the boys’ varsity team at Landon School in Bethesda, Md., and concluded his career as one of just five coaches to surpass the 600-win milestone. He piloted his teams to 32 league championships and won over 84-percent of the games before retiring in 2018.
“Kids have changed, and they haven’t changed,” said Bordley, supported by a sizeable and enthusiastic Landon contingent at the ceremony. “They still want to be a part of something that’s bigger than themselves. My philosophy as a coach was always to keep it simple. Don’t overcoach kids. If they are ready to play, emotionally and mentally, and if they play hard and play together, you are going to win your share of games.”
Still active as a coach, Lisa Griswold Lindley continues to add to the outstanding resume she has built through 28 seasons at Darien High School in Connecticut. Lindley has a 448-84 career record, with 17 state championships and 18 league titles, and at one point, led Darien to 107 consecutive wins against in-state opponents over a six-year span. She shared a story from her first state championship in 1995.
“We were losing by eight goals at halftime of that championship game, and I was ready to give a Bobby Knight speech to my team,” Lindley told the audience. “Somehow, the girls crawled their way back in the second half and sent the game into O.T. We then had several chances but couldn't score. Finally, I called a time out, brought the girls together, and asked, ‘can anyone here score a goal?’ One freshman who hadn’t played at all in the game raised her hand, so I put her in. And sure enough, she scored the game-winning goal in overtime. That was how it all started.”
Desko, who was unable to attend the ceremony, also claimed his share of championships during 22 seasons as head coach at Syracuse. He compiled a 258-86 record and won NCAA titles in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2009. He retired following the 2021 season with a career winning percentage (.750) that was the best among active NCAA Division I coaches.
As a women’s official, Leslie is also no stranger to NCAA championship play, having earned her way to the Division I finals weekend for 13 straight years. She is universally recognized as one of the elite officials of the past 20 years and has become one of the most respected officials among both colleagues and coaches. That respect was on display Saturday evening as nearly two dozen of her fellow “zebras” were in attendance to celebrate her induction.
“Officiating, for me, is about remaining to be involved in a game that I love,” Leslie said. “I love watching the progress that the game has made and watching what the women in the game today are able to do. I just think it’s amazing, and I love being a part of that group that still gets to participate on the field.”
Condon began serving as a men’s official in 1971 and officiated from the high school level to the international stage during a career that spanned five decades. He officiated in 13 NCAA semifinal or championship games and served on the professional level in both National Lacrosse League (1989-2011) and Major League Lacrosse (2000-2015). He was also chosen as an official for the 1990 World Championships in Perth, Australia.
“Lacrosse was always a carrot, and a great carrot to chase,” Condon said. “I never felt like I had to go to a game. I always looked forward to it and always looked forward to my next game. It’s a great ticket that puts you in the middle of the action.”
The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, a program of USA Lacrosse, was established in 1957 to honor men and women who by their deeds as players, coaches, officials and/or contributors, and by the example of their lives, personify the great contribution of lacrosse to our way of life. Since its inception, 450 lacrosse greats have been recognized in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame & Museum, which is located at USA Lacrosse Headquarters in Sparks, Maryland.