Alisha Mosley

Alisha Mosley (File photo / February 1, 2012)

The Howard County Women's Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1997. Tara Everly, Joan Lovelace, Erica McCauley, Alisha Mosley and Elise Ray join the 59 men and women who have previously been inducted.

Everly was a three-sport athlete at Oakland Mills, and, in college, scored the penalty stroke that gave the University of Maryland the 1993 field hockey national championship.

Lovelace, a Howard High graduate, was the first girl in the county to play golf on a high school boys team. She's now head professional and general manager of the Hobbit's Glen and Fairway Hills golf clubs.

McCauley and Mosley were both point guards at Mt. Hebron where their careers overlapped. "I considered Alisha my little sister," McCauley said. Both were record-setters and each is a two-time Player of the Year in girls basketball.

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Wilde Lake's Ray was an international-caliber gymnast. She was a member of the 2000 United States Olympic team which eventually received bronze medals for the team all-around competition at the Sydney Olympics.

The induction ceremony will be held Saturday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. at Mt. Hebron High School. An alumnae basketball game starts at 4:45 p.m. and a high school girls varsity game (River Hill vs. Mt. Hebron) follows at 7. Admission will be charged.

Tara Everly

Growing up, it was never a question of if, only what.

Those close to Tara Everly, who had watched her excel as a multi-sport athlete since she was eight years old, knew the opportunities to excel in high school and beyond were going to be there.

The fact that it would be field hockey in which she'd make the biggest name for herself, though, that was a little harder to predict.

Prior to reaching Oakland Mills in 1986, Everly had never picked up a field hockey stick and had spent the previous six fall seasons on the soccer field. But, after some serious contemplation, she made a decision that changed the rest of her life.

"I remember before my freshman year it was thrown out there and I was like, 'Why not, let's try it,' " Everly said. "Back then there wasn't really anywhere to play (field hockey) before high school, so almost everyone was starting from scratch."

With her raw athleticism, Everly picked things up quickly and made the Scorpions' varsity team that first season. From that point on, the sky was the limit.

She developed into one of the county and state's best players over the next four years, winning county Player of the Year honors as a senior after leading the Scorpions to the program's only state championship game.

"As great of a player as she became, she was just as strong as a leader," said Chris Marsiglia, who coached Everly on varsity her final two years at Oakland Mills. "She inspired all of the girls around her with the way she played and carried herself."

Everly's efforts helped her earn high school All-American honors and a scholarship to the University of Maryland, where as a senior in 1993 she helped the Terrapins win the program's second NCAA Championship. To put a cherry on top, Everly was responsible for the game-winning penalty stroke in overtime in the title contest against North Carolina.

"Tara was the kind of natural athlete that you don't see very often and that really allowed her to excel in a number of different roles for us," said Maryland coach Missy Meharg, who has guided the Terrapin program to seven national titles in her 24 years at the school. "That was a special group (that won the championship) and Tara was a big part of it."

Getting to that point on a national stage was the result of years of work, building from that moment she first started playing SAC soccer for the Stevens Forest nieghborhood team when she was eight. With her older brother, David, already playing and excelling in multiple sports at the time, it seemed almost inevitable that she would follow suit.

"I was a very shy kid and I remember I really didn't want to play, but it was one of those things where my dad always said I had to try something before I decided I didn't like it," Everly said.

It turns out Everly's father, Fred, was right. She enjoyed that initial season of soccer, then signed up for basketball in the winter and softball the following spring. Over the following few years, playing the trio of sports became routine.