Mary Clare McFadden remembers grade-school teachers expressing concern that her daughter did not say much.
Caitlyn McFadden was that shy and reserved.
“I remember going to a parent-teacher conference during fourth grade and the teacher said she wished Caitlyn would just run down the hall screaming,” said Mary Clare, who goes by her initials. “I don’t think Caitlyn’s pre-school teacher heard her voice until Easter. She’s always had that game face.”
Caitlyn McFadden preferred to do her talking in the athletic arena. From an early age, the Baltimore County native was a boss whenever it came to sports involving a ball. She excelled in soccer, basketball and lacrosse all the way through Notre Dame Prep before deciding to focus on the stick sport in college.
“I remember when Caitlyn was playing 9-10 lacrosse, a parent turned to me and said: ‘You’re not going to pay for college.’ That was kind of eye-opening because you don’t really think of those types of things when your kid is nine years old,” said MC McFadden, who coached her daughter throughout her days with the Lutherville-Timonium Recreation Council.
Caitlyn McFadden became a dominant player at the University of Maryland, reaching the pinnacle as a senior. Making a major impact on both ends as a two-way midfielder, McFadden led the Terrapins to the 2010 Division I national championship and was presented with the prestigious Tewaaraton Award as the best female player in college lacrosse.
There would be further glory on the international level as McFadden captured two gold medals as a member of the United States national team.
US Lacrosse recently placed Prince George’s County in the jurisdiction of the Chesapeake Chapter of US Lacrosse, which has become extremely active and expanded its reach since reorganizing about five years ago.
That designation puts the University of Maryland under the purview of the Chesapeake Chapter, which decided to recognize that relationship as part of its annual Hall of Fame.
Caitlyn McFadden Phipps, who is married to Chesapeake Bayhawks goalie Brian Phipps and resides in Annapolis, was a fitting choice to represent the Terrapins as a member of the 2020 Chesapeake Chapter of US Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
When McFadden Phipps is formally inducted during a banquet Thursday night in Annapolis, she will have bragging rights in the household for a while. Brian Phipps, an All-American at Maryland and four-time All-Star as a nine-year veteran of Major League Lacrosse, has a good chance of one day following Caitlyn into the Chesapeake Chapter shrine.
“My wife is far more accomplished and therefore much more deserving than me,” said Phipps, whose stellar play between the pipes helped the Bayhawks capture the MLL Championship this past season.
McFadden Phipps grew up in Phoenix, Maryland and was a two-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection at Notre Dame Prep. She comes from outstanding athletic bloodlines.
MC McFadden, the longtime girls’ lacrosse head coach at Maryvale Prep now in her 26th year as assistant athletic director and head coach of strength and conditioning, is a member of the Baltimore Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Mickey McFadden, who coached his daughter in recreation soccer, played lacrosse at Loyola-Blakefield and is a member of the William & Mary Athletic Hall of Fame.
In recognition of a decorated career at North County High, the Naval Academy and with the United States national team, Andy Ross will be inducted into the Chesapeake Chapter of US Lacrosse Hall of Fame this Thursday night.
MC McFadden saw first-hand while coaching her daughter for so many years an inner competitive fire to go along with extraordinary natural instincts.
“Caitlyn always had an innate sense for how to play the game. She is just very smart and savvy out on the field,” the mother said. “She could see the field in such a way to think one step ahead and that is what made her such an outstanding playmaker.”
McFadden was a standout midfielder for the University of Maryland from 2007 through 2010, earning first team All-American honors from the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association as a junior and senior. She was a two-time Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and was presented with the prestigious Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player in 2010.
“It’s definitely incredible and a little bit humbling to see your name alongside all those greats that have won the Tewaaraton,” said McFadden Phipps, who was a second team All-American as a sophomore. “I felt it should have been a team award because I was the beneficiary of a great season that culminated with a national championship.”
McFadden was a precocious freshman when Cathy Reese was in her first season as Maryland women’s lacrosse coach.
“I was amazed by Caitlyn from the start because she was so wildly talented. Just incredible stickwork, awesome game sense, great teammate,” Reese said. “It was fun over four years to watch her confidence grow, watch her leadership skills develop. Caitlyn was very quiet as a freshman and sophomore but became a really good leader as a junior and senior – much more vocal and encouraging.”
McFadden Phipps still ranks fifth all-time at Maryland with 110 career assists and is Top 15 with 259 points. She was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament after leading the Terrapins to the 2010 national championship, the program’s first since 2001.
Reese described McFadden as an outstanding one-versus-one defender, a force in transition due to her tremendous speed, a dangerous dodger and skilled shooter.
“I enjoyed seeing where Caitlyn took her own career to finish as a national champion and Tewaaraton winner. It’s a huge credit to her dedication, determination and hard work,” Reese said. “Caitlyn was truly the complete package, solid and strong on both ends of the field. I think that is why she was ultimately named the best player in women’s lacrosse.”
McFadden Phipps took pride in being named a two-year captain at Maryland.
“I’ve always been really shy. As a player, I was more of a lead-by-example type,” said McFadden Phipps, who has been an assistant coach for Reese at Maryland since 2012. “Cathy pushed me to speak out more and encourage my teammates. I learned how to be a good leader and communicate more on the field.”
McFadden Phipps was a longtime member of the United States national team, earning gold medals at the 2009 Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup in Prague, Czech Republic and the 2013 World Cup in Oshawa, Canada.
What: Chesapeake Chapter of US Lacrosse Hall of Fame Banquet
When: Thursday, 6 p.m.
Where: Annapolis Elks Lodge
Inductees: Dave Gehrdes, Caitlyn McFadden Phipps, Andy Ross, Stephy Samaras, Clay White