Each year, The Academy of the Holy Cross recognizes alumnae-athletes and coaches for their outstanding achievement in athletics.
- Jennifer Betts Liberto ’03, Kristen Coleman McDaniel ’07, Monica McNutt ’07, MJ Nogay Sorrow ’12 (Inducted 2022)
- Patricia Dillon ’68 and Mary Jane Walton (Inducted 2021)
- 2003 Field Hockey Team Inaugural WCAC Champions; Coach Lenore Reilly Martinez ’76; Debrah Brown (Inducted 2019)
- 2004 and 2005 Tennis Teams; Coach Ali Yagci; Coach Suzy Ornstein-Fleming (Inducted 2017)
- 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 Varsity Lacrosse Teams; Coach Jim Buchanan; Coach Fred Prince (Inducted 2016)
- 2001 Varsity Softball Team (Inducted 2015)
- 1984, 1985, 1986 Varsity Soccer Team (Inducted 2014)
- 1970s All-American Swimmers (Inducted 2013)
- 1976 - 1982 Varsity Basketball Teams (Inducted 2012)
Jennifer Betts Liberto ’03
From an early age, Jen was passionate about athletics. If she wasn’t playing organized sports, she was playing friendly games in the neighborhood. She played varsity lacrosse, soccer, and basketball at Holy Cross. She excelled in lacrosse, receiving numerous high school honors, including WCAC Player of the Year. Her love of the game lead her to Gettysburg College where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in business management. Jen played four years of lacrosse at Gettysburg College and helped the team advance to the program’s first two NCAA Final Four games and one NCAA national championship game.
Continuing with the athletics theme in her life, Jen sought a career that incorporated her love of sport. After graduation, she worked for the City of Rockville Department of Recreation Parks and became the supervisor of the sports division. After the birth of her second child, she decided to become a stay-at-home mother.
Jen lives in Rockville, MD with her husband TJ and three children Madeline, Trip and Livia.
Kristen Coleman McDaniel ’07
Kristen’s career at Holy Cross included four years on the varsity soccer and lacrosse teams and, in doing so, earning multiple awards and recognitions participating in seasons, and school records including being named USA Lacrosse All-American. She continued her success at Fairfield University where she was honored to be chosen as Fairfield Female Athlete of the Year as a freshman. In 2021 Kristen was inducted into the Fairfield University Athletic Hall of Fame and represented Fairfield on the MAAC 40th Anniversary Women’s Lacrosse Team. She earned her graduate degree in sports marketing and management from Georgetown, where she played on the women’s lacrosse team, and ended her lacrosse career as one of their leading scorers and as a member of the All Big East Academic Team.
In 2012 Kristen became head lacrosse coach at The Academy of the Holy Cross, and the team was recognized with a top 10 national ranking, and she was awarded the Montgomery County Gazette Coach of the Year. She then became varsity lacrosse head coach and the assistant athletic director at Stone Ridge. Kristen is proud that numerous student athletes at Holy Cross and Stone Ridge have gone on to play lacrosse in college. During her time at Stone Ridge, the lacrosse team has been nationally ranked and defeated conference rivals Visitation and St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes. Kristen was selected as the USA Lacrosse 2021 Coach of the Year in the Mid-Atlantic Area.
Kristen and her husband Warren live in Kensington, MD with their three children, Emery, Cole and Finley.
Monica McNutt ’07
As a student at The Academy of the Holy Cross, Monica was a champion basketball player and which helped the Tartans to win a WCAC and City Championship. She earned a bachelor’s degree and completed a career as a standout women’s basketball player at Georgetown University in 2011 and a master’s degree in journalism from The University of Maryland in 2013.
Monica is a sports reporter, host, and basketball analyst based in New York City. In 2021 she added host for the ESPN programs Sportscenter, Around the Horn,
Debatable, NBA Today and WNBA Studio to her roster of network assignments. She was a WNBA game analyst at the Connecticut Sun, is a studio analyst for the New York Knicks, and co-hosts MSG PM on MSG Networks. Her work has been seen on Fox Sports 1, CBS Sports Network,
Turner/NBA TV, and the NBC’s family of networks as she made her debut covering the Olympics during the summer of 2021. She is the co-host of “The Jr. NBA Coaches Corner” podcast as well as the forthcoming “SALA Series” podcast, a conversation with leaders across the industry. In February 2021 Monica was featured in The Washington Post. She has also worked on WJLA ABC7/News Channel 8 in Washington, D.C., The American Sports Network, BeIN Sports and NBC Sports Washington.
Monica is proud to be an example to the young women watching her and able to offer her perspective in daily sports commentary.
Mary Jordan “MJ” Nogay Sorrow ’12
MJ learned golf at the early age of three from her dad. She found a love for the game that has continued to this day. Throughout her youth, she twice competed as Maryland representative in US Kids tournaments as well as PGA and USGA tournaments. At Holy Cross, MJ played in the WCAC, where the team played match-play against mostly boys’ teams and co-ed schools. She was selected First Team All-WCAC and selected Honorable Mention All-Met by The Washington Post in 2012. She also participated in junior golf tournaments state and nationwide and won four tournaments in four different junior tours. She was selected for both the Maryland State girls’ team and the Maryland-Virginia girls’ team for interstate competitions.
MJ played Division 1 golf at Presbyterian College and continued her golf career post-graduation as a PGA Class A teaching professional. As an assistant golf professional at the Club at Brookstone and Greenville Country Club in Greenville, SC, she specialized in the development of youth programs and teaching and provided lessons to women and men of all ages.
MJ recently moved to Conway, SC with her husband Mitch. They enjoy their new home, the beach, and their dog Hogan.
Patricia Dillon ’68
Outstanding Contributor to Lacrosse
Pat and her four brothers were involved in CYO activities from an early age…basketball, softball, football, whatever was in season at the time! While attending Holy Cross, Pat played on the basketball team.
After graduation from Holy Cross, Pat continued her education at Towson State College (now University), continuing to play basketball and also taking up lacrosse. Her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education led to a short stretch in teaching, a time with the American Association of Museums running their professional meetings and clinics, and finally to a 43-year career at Costabile Associates Inc., a firm providing technical
assistance and cataloging for libraries.
But it is really her “second” career that brings Pat to the Athletic Hall of Fame. After seeing and playing lacrosse in Baltimore she returned to the Washington metropolitan area and has been involved with the sport as an official and as an administrator for the past 38 years. Pat officiated high school games in the Washington area and umpired collegiately across the country, including many NCAA championship games. She led the Washington Lacrosse Umpires Association for years, teaching and mentoring new officials, and continues to work with WLUA as their Treasurer. She’s also a long-time board member for the Potomac Chapter of US Lacrosse, also serving as their Treasurer. Nationally, Pat has served in a number of roles with USL as well as with the NCAA including the Rules Committee chair, National Umpiring Committee, Executive Committee member, and Board Chair. Pat has been inducted into the Potomac Chapter Hall of Fame (2004) as well as the US Lacrosse National Hall of Fame (2008).
Mary Jane Walton
Founder of the Holy Cross Tennis Program
The oldest of five children, Mary Jane was born and raised in Boston, MA. She graduated with honors from Archbishop Cushing Central High School and entered the School of Nursing at Boston College, from which she received her degree cum laude. While at Boston College, Mary Jane was elected President of the Student Government and President of the Massachusetts Student Nurses’ Association, of which there were 5,000 members.
A year after graduation, during which she taught Pediatric Nursing at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton, MA, she married her husband Don, and they raised five children. All were involved in sports every season from a young age and all lettered in varsity sports in high school and college. Their three girls were involved in swimming, diving, track and field, soccer, and tennis at The Academy of the Holy Cross, while their sons were involved in swimming, diving and softball at St. John’s High School and later dove at West Point. In 1980, Mary Jane was asked to start and coach a tennis team at Holy Cross. Since then, she has also substituted at Holy Cross as a nurse, teacher, and librarian. Mary Jane and her husband have been active for years at St. Patrick’s Church, Rockville, and Manor Country Club. Currently, she volunteers with the Gold Star Mothers of America and she and her husband participate in the Salute Military Golf Association, which works with the Wounded Warriors from Walter Reed NMMC, on weekends.
Mary Jane and her husband, Dr. Donald C. Walton, Jr. enjoy golf. This fall, Mary Jane and her husband will celebrate their 60th anniversary.
Lenore Reilly Martinez ’76
Coach of the Year
Lenore’s first experience with golf was at an early age, as her father (who was very good) and her four older brothers all played. Thus it was a given that she would take up the game. Lenore graduated from Catholic University in 1980 with a nursing degree.
While there, she played basketball and field hockey. In 1985 Lenore married her husband Michael Martinez, and they have two children, Andrew and Joanna ’07. In the early 1990s Lenore was appointed to the Maryland State Amateur Golf Association – Women’s Division for eight years and helped develop and run the Junior Girls program for the state. She also served on the Holy Cross Alumnae Board as President.
In 2003 Lenore’s daughter Joanna played on the newly-formed golf team and Lenore was proud to watch her daughter hit the first shot. In 2008 the Academy asked Lenore to run the program. She has worked over the last 11 years to organize and develop the golf program not only for the school but also for the WCAC. Several girls have gone on to play golf and Lenore believes that all of the players have learned an amazing game that they can play and use for life. Looking back, Lenore has found that her nursing background and the discipline it requires helped her to develop her skills as both a mother and coach.
Apart from coaching, Lenore plays golf regularly and, as a member of Columbia Country Club, she has won the Ladies Club Championship 18 times starting in 1993. In thinking about golf, Lenore likes to reflect on these words by the noted golf champion Bobby Jones: “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots—but you have to play the ball where it lies.”
Most Valuable Tartan
Debbie joined The Academy of the Holy Cross staff as Human Resources Director in 2001. In 2004 she started attending Holy Cross basketball games to show support for the girls. Debbie comes from an athletic family—her father, brothers, sons, nephews, nieces and grandchildren play or played a sport, and there are also several coaches in her family. It is not unusual to see her at Holy Cross athletic events. She has traveled with the basketball, soccer and lacrosse teams, though the members of the basketball teams are always closest to her heart.
After Debbie traveled with the basketball team to a Christmas basketball tournament in Florida, she soon began coordinating permission forms for travel, purchasing snacks for the bus rides, and on over-night trips, conducting bed checks. The players and coaches were excited to have Debbie join them and that was the beginning of her becoming an important part of the team’s administrative efforts. Always keeping a watchful eye on the girls and offering suggestions and support to the coaching staff, she says “I love being able to connect with the girls during the school day and before and after games to give them encouragement and positive feedback. Traveling with the teams gives me the opportunity to participate in team-building and their further development as student athletes and women of courage, compassion and scholarship.”
In 2017 Debbie was the recipient of a $1,000 grant from the Big 12 Conference, in partnership with the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers program. The award is given to recognize a teacher who has made a lasting impact. Alumna Lanay Montgomery ’12, who was one of the “Big 12 Champions for Life” student-athletes from West Virginia University, nominated Debbie for the award.
In her nomination, Lanay wrote, “She had a great impact on my high school transition. With the help of Ms. Brown, I grew to love and learn a lot about my alma mater!”
Debbie offers students guidance and support and that continues after they have left Holy Cross and through their college years.
2003 Field Hockey Team
Inaugural WCAC Champions
The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) started an official league for field hockey in 2003. Over 90 girls attended tryouts for the Holy Cross field hockey team that fall and 22 girls made the Varsity team. The founding teams in the league were Holy Cross, Good Counsel, Elizabeth Seton, St. Mary’s Ryken and St. John’s.
Every team played the others twice. The Holy Cross team won every regular season game except one against Good Counsel. Holy Cross played Good Counsel in the championship game. The game was tied after regulation and overtime play. It then came down to which team made the most out of five penalty strokes. Again the score was tied. In the second set of sudden-death penalty strokes, Holy Cross won, capturing the first ever WCAC Field Hockey Championship.
(L-R) Tina Pappas Cron '05, Brittany Bigelow '05, Angela Fuccillo '06, Maria Fuccillo '09, Courtney Radcliff '06, and Mary-Kate Rasa '05
The prestige of a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship is a mark of high honor, demonstrating a team’s distinct ability to compete at a superior level. The Academy of the Holy Cross’ 2004 and 2005 Tennis teams exhibited a mark of superiority with the WCAC Finalist and Championship titles. In the 2004 season the Tartans compiled a 9-2 record under coach Suzy Ornstein-Fleming and captured the second-place spot in the WCAC. Angela Fuccillo ’06 was named First Team All-Gazette in 2004 and Courtney Radcliff ’06 received All-Gazette Honorable Mention. In 2005 the team completed their season with a 14-0 record, winning six of nine matches in the championship finals. Angela and Maria Fuccillo ’09 were named First Team All-Gazette in 2005 in both the Singles and Doubles category.
Coach Ali Yagci was quoted in the Gazette of the Tartans, “We’re so proud of our record. We have some gifted tennis players. They’re like rocks. They’re unbelievable.”
2004 & 2005 Team Members:
|Brittany Bigelow '05||Colleen McNish '06|
|Melanie Concordia '07||Alicia Migliorini '06|
|Kelsey Daniels Glading '06||Lindsey Monroe '06|
|Grace Ellis '06||Tina Pappas Cron '05|
|Angela Fuccillo '06||Courtney Radcliff '06|
|Maria Fuccillo '09||Mary-Kate Rasa '05|
|Samantha Hopkins '09||Kathryn Sturm '08|
|Bridget Kerner '07||Carly Yoo '08|
The prestige of a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship is a mark of high honor, demonstrating a team’s distinct ability to compete at a superior level. To earn that record for five consecutive years is an accomplishment well beyond stellar. Under the leadership of Coach Jim Buchanan and Assistant Coach Fred Prince, these teams established a Lacrosse legacy at Holy Cross and also raised the expectation for a higher level of play within in the WCAC.
Varsity Lacrosse Coach Jim Buchanan
Coach Buchanan began coaching Lacrosse at Holy Cross in 1991, when women’s Lacrosse was still new to the area. With the establishment of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) in 1994, Holy Cross began competing in a formalized program. Coach Buchanan credits the success of the program to “the dedication, discipline and athleticism of the young women who made up our teams.” He says he was “blessed by the number of good athletes who attended the Academy.” In 1999 Coach Buchanan received the WCAC Coach of the Year award. He says of his experience, “These young women here tonight and those who played on those teams gave me the great pleasure of having a singular and wonderfully unexpected mid-life opportunity.”
Assistant Varsity Lacrosse Coach Fred Prince
Coach Prince had a wealth of coaching experience in the Archdiocese of Washington before joining the Lacrosse program in 1996. He coached Freshman Football at Archbishop Carroll High School and CYO Basketball at Blessed Sacrament. He later coached Freshman Basketball at Holy Cross. “What a pleasure it was to be associated with such a talented and focused young women. It was easy coaching with Doc and those champions!”
The Academy of the Holy Cross inducted the 2001 Varsity Softball team players and coaches into the Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, May 8. Holy Cross welcomed back 14 of the 17 players and the two assistant coaches for the evening reception and ceremony. Many of the players had members of their families attend including spouses, children, siblings, and parents.
The 2001 Varsity Softball team won the WCAC Championship with a 15-11 record. They entered the tournament as the fourth seed and beat Good Counsel and Bishop O’Connell in the quarterfinal and semifinal. The then beat St. John’s 1-0 in the championship game. To date, they are the only Holy Cross Softball team to win a WCAC Championship.
The ceremony included words of welcome and opening prayer from President Katy Prebble. Alumnae Relations Director Megan Hendon Harbold ’00 gave the origin of the Holy Cross Athletic Hall of Fame, now in its fourth year. Kim McCall ’01 spoke on behalf of her father Coach Terry McCall who was unable to be present. Coaches Tom Horrigan and Terry Wisniewski also shared their memories and appreciation for the accomplishments of the 2001 team. As Athletic Director Lisa Schrader read the names of the inductees, Sister Grace Shonk, CSC presented the awards. To conclude the evening, Katy Prebble shared news of the upcoming plans for a new turf field, which will include a softball diamond with the attendees.
In previous years, the Academy has inducted the 1984-1986 Varsity Soccer team (2014), four All-American Swimmers from the 1970s (2013), and the 1976-1982 Varsity Basketball teams (2012) to the Athletic Hall of Fame.
2014 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees
On Friday, May 9, members of the Holy Cross 1984, 1985 and 1986 Varsity Soccer teams, including coaches and assistant coachers, were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. Family and friends, including the parents of several of the players, joined in the celebration saluting the team members. Former Faculty member and Soccer Coach Sandy Young also attended the event and spoke about the teams’ accomplishments.
The ceremony included background about the Hall of Fame, inaugurated in 2012, and the Accomplishments of the Inductees. Athletic Director Lisa Schrader spoke about the Academy’s Soccer program, which Coach Young started in 1978. “Coach and her girls always had winning seasons, but Elizabeth Seton was our main rival,” she said. “In 1984, we shared the conference title with Seton. But, in 1985, Holy Cross beat O’Connell to capture the Catholic Girls Athletic Association Championship.” The 1985 team had a perfect 15-0 season. Again in 1986 the team won the championship with a four-year record of 59 wins, 3 losses and 3 ties. Ms. Schrader concluded her remarks saying, “Thank you to Coach Young, her assistant coaches and players for starting The Academy of the Holy Cross dynasty, and showing everyone how to do it the Holy Cross way!”
Sandy Young also spoke of her experience with the honorees. She noted how important it was for the athletes to play as a team in her program. She also shared about the spirit of the teams and the great attitude they had working together. The honorees were thrilled to have Coach Young with them to celebrate their honor.
Each of the honorees in attendance received an engraved frame with team photos presented by Sister Grace Shonk, CSC.
To be considered for the Athletic Hall of Fame, nominees must have demonstrated outstanding performance within The Academy of the Holy Cross’ athletic program. Alumnae nominees must have graduated from the Academy at least 10 years prior to the year the athlete is nominated. Alumnae candidates must have received a diploma from Holy Cross if nominated for individual recognition. Coaches, members of the athletic department, or other athletic supporters who have provided exceptional service and commitment to The Academy of the Holy Cross’ athletic program may also be eligible. In addition, accomplishments after graduation are also considered. The nominee must uphold the mission of the Academy, by being an individual of courage, compassion, and scholarship.
On Friday, May 3, AHC honored the 2013 inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame. The celebration was originally scheduled in January, but was postponed because of the weather. This year, the Academy honored five alumnae, Patricia Marks Briscoe ’80, Elizabeth Cuddeback Glasgow ’80, Sharon Flaherty Jarosz ’77, Jane Triau McDonald ’79 and Sheila Flaherty Stepek ’79, who during their time at Holy Cross were named All-American swimmers. The ceremony took place at a school day assembly with students, faculty and staff. Family, friends and former classmates of the nominees also attended along with former swim coach (and former Faculty member) Barbara Hanrahan.
In 1973, the Holy Cross swim team was officially recognized as a member of the Washington Metropolitan Swim League. The team participated in six dual meets with 12 swimmers competing. By the 1978 season, under the leadership of Coach Hanrahan, the team had 14 girls who qualified for Metros. This Swim Team swam to the Catholic League Championship with an undefeated season. That year they also placed 7th out of 71 teams at the East Carolina Invitational.
Championships continued to accumulate. Records were set and held for many years in medley and freestyle relays, 100 butterfly, 200 IM, 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Some have yet to be broken.
By the 1980 season, an article in the Washington Star stated, “Holy Cross team records usually are synonymous with Metro records and All-American qualifications.” The article continues, “Holy Cross long known for high quality swimmers, Patty Marks and Beth Cuddeback came onto a team as freshmen that boasted such nationally ranked talent as Sharon and Sheila Flaherty and Jane Triau.”
To be named an All-American swimmer is an outstanding accomplishment deserving of the highest honor. Swimmers from every high school in the United States are considered for this prestigious award. The Hall of Fame recipients knew one another before high school because they competed in the summer at their neighborhood swimming pools. Together they decided that it would be fun to swim on the same school team and chose The Academy of the Holy Cross.
The Academy of the Holy Cross Varsity Basketball Program celebrated an incredible era during the years of 1975-1982 bringing unparalleled success to The Academy. During this time, Holy Cross captured six consecutive IAABO (International Association of Approved Basketball Officials) Championship Titles, five consecutive Catholic League Titles, and 115 consecutive game wins, a streak that we celebrate today! Those honored as the inaugural Hall of Fame inductees have brought significant recognition not only to The Academy, but to our entire athletic program.
The 1975 - 1976 team established our winning tradition under the direction of Coach Bill Sheahan, posting a record-breaking 13-2 season. The following year’s team took the program to the next level with a 27-0 record, winning the IAABO and the CGAA (Catholic Girls Athletic Association) Championships. At that time, the IAABO Championship was the premier tournament in the Washington Metropolitan area, hosting top teams from both public and private schools.
The 1977 - 1978 team was the beginning of an era that would ultimately bring national attention to The Academy. The unbelievable 115-game winning streak would include five teams, three All-Americans, and numerous All-Met and All-Catholic conference players. The team remained ranked first in The Washington Post for the duration of the streak.
The Sheahan Era is one of incredible distinction and will never be forgotten. Coach Sheahan joined the Holy Cross community in 1975 and immediately established himself as a coaching force in the metropolitan area. Coach Sheahan was truly a visionary-pushing the girls’ game to new heights. On the heels of the enactment of Title IX, Coach Sheahan led our athletes into unchartered territory. During his tenure, Coach traveled with the teams to Europe to play basketball games in Belgium, England and the Netherlands. In addition, he was recognized by Parade magazine and accompanied athletes to Annapolis for recognition by the Maryland State Legislature. Coach Sheahan was instrumental in obtaining basketball scholarships for his players, a legacy that continues today.
Congratulations to all team members--the inaugural Hall of Fame class! The Academy is thankful for your commitment to the game, for your outstanding accomplishments, and for your continued support of the mission of The Academy of the Holy Cross.