The University of Scranton will induct the four newest members into its athletics department Wall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 18, in a ceremony held between games of the men's and women's basketball doubleheader against Goucher in the John Long Center.
This year's class includes Erin (Michalisin) Beirne '03 (women's tennis), Marta (DeLong) Cookson '05 (women's volleyball), Kelly Herlihy '06 (women's lacrosse) and Phil Johnson '78 (men's basketball).
The Wall of Fame was founded in 1970 to honor student-athletes, administrators and those in the community who have been instrumental in the overall development of the University's athletics program. This year's class brings the Wall's membership to 248.
The ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 18, will take place at approximately 2:35 p.m. The women's basketball game begins at 1 p.m., and the ceremony will begin approximately five minutes following the conclusion of the game.
Erin (Michalisin) Beirne – Women's Tennis, 1999-2002
(Michalisin) Beirne had a standout career for The University of Scranton women's tennis team, earning all-Freedom Conference honors three times (2000, 2001, 2002) and taking home the Freedom Conference Player of the Year honor in 2001. And in her freshman season, she teamed with Danielle Schneider as the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) doubles champions (1999).
In four seasons, she posted 40 career singles victories and 34 career doubles wins, all while playing at the top of the lineup in both. Her 40 career singles wins are currently sixth in school history and her 34 doubles wins are tied for fourth in Royals history.
Her play at the top of the lineup helped Scranton win the MAC Freedom League and overall MAC championships in 1999. The Royals were also Freedom Conference tri-champions in 2002. Over her four seasons, the Royals finished with an overall record of 36-11 (.766), including an impressive 20-4 (.833) in conference play.
Marta (DeLong) Cookson – Women's Volleyball, 2001-04
(DeLong) Cookson is one of the most decorated women's volleyball players in Scranton history, earning all-conference honors four times. She was the Freedom Conference Rookie of the Year in 2001 and Player of the Year in 2004. In addition to earning first-team honors in both of those seasons, she was a second-team choice in 2002 and 2003.
Her name dots the Royals' record book, ranking in the top 10 in five career statistical categories – third in kills (1,510), fourth in service aces (204), seventh in attack percentage (.266) and digs (1,336) and eighth in total blocks (278).
The Royals won the 2001 and 2003 Freedom Conference championships with her in the lineup, advancing to the NCAA Tournament in each of those years. They won at least 20 matches in each of her four seasons and finished with an overall record of 88-51 (.633).
Fittingly, she capped her career by being named the 2005 Carlesimo Award recipient for academic and athletic excellence.
Kelly Herlihy – Women's Lacrosse, 2003-06
Herlihy is one of the most prolific scorers in University of Scranton women's lacrosse history, ranking third on the Royals' all-time career lists in four categories – points (278), goals (193), assists (85) and shot attempts (412). She is also ranked ninth in ground balls (160), 11th in caused turnovers (58) and 24th in draw controls (46).
A two-time first-team all-Middle Atlantic Conference selection (2004, 2005), she was also an all-Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference first-team choice in 2005 and second-team in 2004. She helped the Royals claim the Middle Atlantic Conference title and advance to the NCAA Tournament in 2003 and 2004, and reach the postseason in 2005 and 2006. In her four seasons, Scranton was 50-20 (.714) overall and 33-7 (.825) against conference foes.
She is one of only three players in Scranton women's lacrosse history to finish a single season with 80 or more points, doing it twice (99 in 2005, 91 in 2004). Her 70 goals in 2005 are the third-most in a single season in school history, and her nine goals against Moravian on April 20, 2005 are the second-most in a single season in program history.
It was no surprise when she was named the recipient of the O'Hara Award in 2006 as the outstanding female athlete in the senior class.
Phil Johnson – Men's Basketball, 1974-78
A standout on some of the best teams in Scranton men's basketball history, Johnson was a starter on the 1976 team that captured the first NCAA Division III championship in school history. He helped the Royals finished third in the nation the following season as well as win Middle Atlantic Conference titles in 1975, 1976 and 1978.
Johnson ranks second in Royals history in games played (120), tied for fourth in career assists (429), fifth in career field goal attempts (1,515), 10th in career field goals made (613) and 18th in career points (1,398). Remarkably, the player just ahead of him in career assists is Paul Miernicki (Wall of Fame Class of 1990), whom Johnson shared the backcourt with for his entire career.
A Middle Atlantic Conference Northern Division second-team selection in 1978, Johnson was also a Middle Eastern College Athletic Association second-team choice in 1975 and 1976. He was the John "Les" Dickman Award co-recipient in 1978 as the team's co-MVP. In his four seasons, the Royals were an impressive 93-29 (.762), including 39-7 (.848) against MAC Northern Division opponents.