Camaraderie, Friendship & Hard Work
By Mary Patalita
Special to GoHolyCross.com
For goalie Megan Orr (Class of 2007) and midfielder Patricia Sutton (Class of 2007), making the Patriot League 25th Anniversary Team is a credit to the accomplishments they achieved during their time at Holy Cross. As classmates, teammates and friends they won two Patriot League championships in 2006 and 2007, which earned them berths to the NCAA Tournament. By being named to the 25th Anniversary Team, Orr and Sutton are recognized by the league as two of the top 25 players to play women’s lacrosse in Patriot League history.
Orr was named Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year three times, while she was also a three-time selection to both the All-Patriot League first team and All-Northeast Region second team. She holds the all-time Patriot League record for career saves (867) and ranks fourth in ground balls (192). She led the Patriot League in save percentage all four years, in saves three times and in goals against average twice. At Holy Cross, she holds the program record for career saves and career victories.
Sutton was just inducted to the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame, the first women’s lacrosse player to hold this honor. She was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year in 2006, the Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2004 and the Patriot League Tournament MVP in 2007. She was selected as the 2007 Crusader of the Year. She was a four-time All-Patriot League selection and was named All-Northeast Region twice. Sutton ranks third all-time in Patriot League history in career goals, sixth in points, eighth in draw controls and 10th in assists. At Holy Cross, she holds the record for most goals and points in program history, and ranks second in draw controls and assists.
Playing together and against each other in practice for four years helped elevate both of their games. “Trish taught me that no amount of practice was ever enough and you have to keep challenging yourself and improving,” said Orr. “She taught me to never settle or hang my head. She was the type of teammate you wanted to work hard for because you saw how hard she was working and you knew she would never let you down. That girl was all heart and the most passionate player you could imagine.”
Similarly, Sutton accredits her accomplishments with playing alongside a goalie like Orr. “I would have never been the player I was without Megan,” said Sutton. “She made me become a better shooter and midfielder because of her strong play in the cage. To this day she is one of the most steady, athletic and quick goalkeepers I have ever seen. Being one of the best goalkeepers in the country, I knew if I could score on her I could score on almost anyone. She also was someone that had an amazing work ethic and was always putting in extra time so she and I really bonded and got better in the hours shooting after practice. Megan and I also became, and still are incredibly close friends. The bond we shared has translated into a lifelong friendship and for that I am forever grateful.”
The drive and competition they had in practice made them stronger players in games. Under the leadership of Orr and Sutton, the team was able to win back-to-back Patriot League titles their junior and senior years. There was no doubt this team had talent, but what made them special was their drive.
“I don’t think the 2006 and 2007 teams were the most talented teams to ever be at Holy Cross or in the Patriot League, but we believed and trusted in each other,” said Sutton. “When we took to the field we were playing for one another and we never wanted to let each other down. Our team chemistry was so strong and our work ethic so solid that it translated into wins. We had each other’s back.”
Similarly, Orr commented on the common goal the team shared. “I think our championship teams were unique because we all were in the same mental state,” said Orr. “No one wavered or questioned our mission. We trusted that the amount of work we put into each practice, lift, sprints, drills, etc. was going to translate onto the field. We were all 100 percent on the same page that we were going to do this and no one was going to get in our way.”
Working towards a common goal on the field helped Sutton translate the game of lacrosse into the real world. “There are so many lessons that I learned on the lacrosse field that apply to the outside world and life after college,” said Sutton. “Most importantly I learned how to work with others and what a strong work ethic entails. I learned that hard work, camaraderie on and off the field, and passion for a shared objective can lead to great outcomes. HC gave me so much as a student-athlete, I will always be indebted to the school and the lacrosse program.”
After spending three years as an assistant coach at Holy Cross, Sutton is now an assistant lacrosse coach at Harvard. Coaching at Holy Cross, Sutton was able to relate to the players because of her experience as a player herself. “I always knew I wanted to give back to the program and one day coach at HC,” said Sutton. “Coming back and being a coach was an honor and I hoped I could bring some of my passion as a player back to the program as a coach. My goal was always to be approachable, motivating and push the players to achieve their maximum potential.”
Now a coach at Harvard, Sutton enjoys the experience she has in the Ivy League. “Every school that I coach at offers different perspectives and styles to learn from so I try and take a little bit from all of them to form my own coaching philosophy.”
Orr now lives in Charlotte, N.C., and runs her own business called Moko and Company. Her company is family run and specializes in screen-printed fabrics, surface designs, welcome tote bags and handmade products.
What stands out to Orr about her experience at Holy Cross is the bits of motivation she has taken with her. “You’re going to make a mistake, it’s inevitable, we are human,” said Orr. “It’s what you do after the mistakes that matter. You have two options: hang your head or fix it. It's far more productive to go fix the mistake than let it weigh on you. One of our team mantras was ‘Don't talk about it, be about it’. We had this printed on our shirts and lived by it. Talk is cheap; prove it on the field, that's all you need.”
Both Sutton and Orr remain in contact with one another as well as other teammates. “We're all still very good friends,” said Orr. “A lot of the girls are in the Boston area so they see each other all the time. I'm a bit further away in North Carolina so I try to visit when I am in the area. Otherwise, we send emails and see each other at weddings and other fun events!” Sutton agreed. “When we are all together it is like we are right back in college; we always have a blast.”
Their combined achievements at Holy Cross are unparalleled. “Winning the PL Championship two years in a row and going to NCAAs were amazing experiences that I will never forget,” said Sutton. “The team worked so hard all year and to see that hard work pay off with two championships was very rewarding.”
Orr shares similar feelings. “We were able to host the Patriot League Tournament both years, which was even better because we had the support of the school and could play on our field,” said Orr. “Playing in the NCAA Tournament was definitely the experience of a lifetime. I still replay those games in my head.”
Their accomplishments make Orr and Sutton stand out in Patriot League history, however they attribute their triumphs to camaraderie, friendship and hard work. Playing alongside one another elevated both of their games. Sharing in a common goal and working towards it was their key to success. These shared experiences made up the ingredients necessary for great achievements.
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