By Katie Morgan | The Moorestown Sun
Mary McCarthy-Stefano is a familiar face on the lacrosse fields in Moorestown. She has been a state champion, a national champion, and even a world champion, and in October, she will be inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Stefano grew up in Moorestown, and began playing field hockey and lacrosse in sixth grade.
“I chose lacrosse because I loved to run,” she said. “Lacrosse was the sport where I got to run a lot.”
Stefano attended Moorestown High School, where she played lacrosse all four years. As captain in her senior season, she led the team to victory in the state championship. Upon graduating in 1983, Stefano attended Penn State University, we she was an
All-American defensive wing 3 times in 4 years. Her senior year, the Penn State team won the College Lacrosse National Championship with a 17–2 record.
“I went to Penn State because they offered me a scholarship,” Stefano said. “They also had a really great lacrosse program.”
Stefano went on to play for the Philadelphia Club team, and was awarded the Beth Allen Award, presented to a standout player who represents her team and country positively at a national tournament.
Stefano played for the US National team from 1985 to 1993. During that time, she played in two World Cup Championships, carrying the team to victory both years.
“The traveling and touring was great,” she said. “But what I remember the most was hearing the national anthem and knowing that I was playing for the US team.”
After retiring from the US National team, Stefano took a decade off to start a family. In 2003, she reentered the Moorestown lacrosse scene, this time as a coach.
Stefano, who still lives in Moorestown with her husband and two daughters, continues to run the Moorestown Recreational Lacrosse League as a volunteer. In October, she will attend an induction ceremony at the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in Baltimore. Stefano will be the seventh Penn State women’s lacrosse player or coach to be inducted.
“It’s overwhelming,” she said. “I really can’t believe that it happened, it’s just phenomenal.”