Forward thinking: Lyon honored by Field Hockey Hall of Fame

Kathryn Tabor Lyon is a Stonington High School graduate who went on to play in two Final Fours for the UConn field hockey team.

Kathryn Tabor Lyon heads to the Connecticut Field Hockey Hall of Fame with both her alma maters, Stonington High School and UConn, as defending state and national champions in the sport, respectively. Not bad.

"It's pretty cool," said Lyon, who graduated from Stonington in 1996 and UConn in 2000. "I never won a state championship or a national championship. ... I was really fortunate I never missed a game through high school or college. Not a lot of people can say that. It's a big honor (to be elected to the Hall of Fame). I never thought about that when I was playing, but even still, to be voted upon, that's a nice honor to have."

Lyon, 36, who was inducted into the Stonington Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008, finished her career as field hockey's all-time leading scorer with 42 goals, a record that stood until broken by 2014 graduate Elizabeth Morrison (73). A forward known for her quickness, she was The Day's two-time All-Area Field Hockey Player of the Year. She was also a a member of Stonington's girls' basketball team which won a state championship in 1994 and graduated with several program records in track and field.

Lyon went on to play field hockey at UConn, which had a combined 79-14 record during her career, being ranked No. 1 in the country at times, winning four Big East Conference regular-season titles, three Big East tournaments and reaching the Final Four twice.

Now a physical education and health teacher at Ledyard High School, Lyon said she loved playing three sports in high school. And she played even more than that when she was younger, including pond hockey during the winter.

"I tried to be super well-rounded and that's what I'm trying to do with my kids, too," Lyon said. "I grew up playing tennis. I think Mr. Crouse (high school tennis coach) was irritated when I didn't play tennis. I played softball in Little League and for a travel team; I hit a home run out of Pawcatuck. I just did a little bit of everything. I loved whatever I was doing at the time."

Lyon has coached several sports at Stonington, Ledyard and at Eastern Connecticut State. She currently coaches in the Unified Sports program at Ledyard. She and her husband T.C. have three children: Tommy, 6; Hana 4, and Malcolm, 2.

"People always say, 'Oh, my gosh, your record got broken,'" Lyon said. "That's kind of the fun in setting them. It's kind of an honor to have them still talk about it. ... I still go to watch (Stonington). I think now that they have turf they're going to get better and better."

Lyon, being inducted as a high school player, will be honored along with Mo Minicus, high school coach; Meagan Velgersdyk, college player; Jackie Kane, college coach; Diane Derose, umpire; and Ann V. Fariss, honorary. The ceremony will be held Sunday, Sept. 21 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. Tickets are $50 each and be be obtained by calling Terri Ziemnicki at (860) 653-5127 or emailing hockeycoachtaz@cox.net by Sept. 7.

v.fulkerson@theday.com

twitter: @vickieattheday

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