Blogs and Commentary

 
posted 04.18.2012 at 4.09 p.m. by Matt Forman

Men's Tewaaraton Award Tracker Update

The names are similar but the order and dynamics have shifted since we last broke down the Tewaaraton Award race. But the question from earlier in the year still stands: Who ya got? Steele Stanwick or the field?

Worth noting: Six final additions were made to the Tewaaraton Watch list, from which the winner will be selected. The final list can be found here.

1. Steele Stanwick, Virginia
With all eyes — of fans, opposing coaches and the Tewaaraton Committee — on Stanwick, all he has done is exceed expectations, quarterbacking Virginia to a 10-2 record. Fourth in the nation with 4.75 points per game (18 goals, 39 assists), Stanwick has turned in a mix of highlight-reel and heady plays while performing in big games. He's three points away from tying Doug Knight on the Cavaliers' all-time points list (249) and ranks 40th in men's Division I history in that category. As long as the Cavaliers keep winning, the Tewaaraton is his to lose.

2. Mike Sawyer, Loyola
Arguably the best step-down shooter in the country, Sawyer has led top-ranked Loyola to its best start since 1999 (11-0) by averaging 3.27 goals per game — good for fourth nationally. Sawyer headlines the Greyhounds' dynamic offense, which has scored double-digit goals in all but two games. If Loyola plays in Memorial Day weekend, and/or Virginia doesn't, Sawyer might be the next man up. Or it could be...

3. Will Manny, UMass
Manny being Manny? Scoring 2.91 goals and dishing out 2.09 assists per game. The result? The Minutemen are 11-0. Speed, quickness and agility make Manny difficult to defend, and he's one of the nation's best finishers, converting 58.2 percent of his shots into goals.

4. John Kemp, Notre Dame
The final line of Notre Dame's vaunted defensive unit that leads the nation in scoring defense, Kemp leads all goalies in save percentage (.683) and goals against average (5.85). Kemp doing what Kemp does yields W's for the Fighting Irish, who are 9-1. No defensive player or goalie has won the Tewaaraton, so it might be tough to pull off. But if anyone could break the trend, it would be Kemp. Then again, it might be...

5. CJ Costabile, Duke
Stats hardly tell the story of Costabile's season, as the long-stick midfielder impacts the game in ways that don't always appear in a box score. He ranks seventh nationally with 6.64 ground balls per game, but has been on a terror recently, scooping up nine against Virginia and 11 against Marist. Costabile has won 54.4 percent of faceoffs, wreaks havoc between the stripes and kick-starts the Blue Devils' transition game. Costabile has been Duke's MVP in the absence of a bonafide 70-point scorer like they've been accustomed to in recent years.

6. Peter Baum, Colgate
There's no guaranteeing Colgate will make the NCAA tournament — could two or three Patriot League teams qualify? — but Baum is sure making a case for the Radiers, who have won three straight conference games. The nation's leading scorer (48 goals, 16 assists) would have more hype with more TV time, which could come during postseason play, but there's no doubting his ability.

7. Billy Eisenreich, Bucknell
Bucknell might be the best five-loss team in the country, having dropped those games by a total of six goals. No joke: 11-10 to Delaware, 11-9 to UMass, 13-12 to Villanova, 6-5 to Army and 9-8 to Lehigh, the first three of which came at the start of the season. Without midfield running mate Charlie Streep — out with a knee injury — Eisenriech bumped down to attack, where he has flourished, totaling 30 goals and 31 assists (4.36 points per game, 5th nationally) thus far.

8. Tucker Durkin, Johns Hopkins
Durkin has drawn all the big defensive assignments for Johns Hopkins and handled them with poise; for example, holding Tommy Palasek, Steele Stanwick and Joe Cummings to a combined two goals and four assists. He has caused 15 turnovers and picked up 21 ground balls. With Zach Palmer, Brandon Benn, Wells Stanwick, Rob Guida, John Ranagan sharing the load offensively, and with Chris Boland missing a seven-game stretch, Durkin has captained the Blue Jays' defense. Goalie Pierce Bassett (6.91 GAA, .560 save percentage) also might garner consideration.

9. Marcus Holman, North Carolina
Though there have been many moving pieces to North Carolina's puzzle this season, Holman has been the Tar Heels' most consistent performer, scoring 23 goals and handing out 26 helpers. Holman has jumped between midfield to attack, but has settled in down low in as the glue that makes Carolina go. Would it surprise anyone to see Holman and the Heels make a Memorial Day run?

10. Mark Matthews, Denver
When Rob Pannell went down indefinitely with an apparent foot injury, Matthews had the most to gain. That still might be the case, but at 7-4 Denver's season hasn't panned out the way some expected, and the Pioneers currently sit on the NCAA tournament bubble. Matthews, tied for 10th nationally in points per game (4.0), has a chance to reintroduce himself with upcoming games against Fairfield and Duke.

Honorable Mention

(Listed alphabetically)
Niko Amato, Maryland
Dante Fantoni, Lehigh
Thomas Schreiber, Princeton
Logan Schuss, Ohio State
Garret Thul, Army