May 14, 2011

Tewaaraton Trophy Finalists, Favorite, Surprise and Omission (Men)

by Matt DaSilva | LaxMagazine.com


Rob Pannell is by far the best player in the country, writes Matt DaSilva, but does he need to lead Cornell to another final four run to win the Tewaaraton Trophy?

The race for the Tewaaraton Trophy, presented annually to the top player nationally in collegiate men's and women's lacrosse, is down to five players in each gender.

The five men's finalists are Army senior attackman Jeremy Boltus, Syracuse senior goalkeeper John Galloway, Cornell junior attackman Rob Pannell, Virginia junior attackman Steele Stanwick and Syracuse long stick midfielder Joel White.

The five women's finalists are Loyola senior attacker Grace Gavin, Duke junior midfielder Emma Hamm, Maryland senior attacker Sarah Mollison, Maryland sophomore midfielder Katie Schwarzmann and Northwestern junior midfielder Shannon Smith.

All finalists will be honored, and the 11th-annual award presented. during a formal dinner and ceremony on Thursday, June 2, at the historic Warner Theatre in Washington D.C.

Here's a breakdown of the men's finalists, including a brief on each player and LM staff picks for the favorite to win, surprise finalist and surprise omission.

Tewaaraton Trophy Finalists

Jeremy Boltus, Army
One of the most prolific players in Army lacrosse history, Boltus is Army's first-ever finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy. It was fitting for Boltus to tally a career-high six assists in his final game in an Army uniform on May 6 at Michie Stadium, as he will be documented as one of the best feeders in Black Knight history. Boltus finished his career ranked second on Army's all-time points (214) and assists (124) lists. He is one of four players to reach 200 points and three players to reach 100 assists in Army's storied 94-year history. His 124 career assists rank second only to Pannell among the nation's active leaders.

John Galloway, Syracuse
Galloway is just the second goalie ever to be named a Tewaaraton finalist, joining Princeton’s Trevor Tierney (2001). Like White, Galloway was a unanimous 2011 All-BIG EAST First Team honoree. In addition, he was named the league’s best goalkeeper for the second straight year. Galloway ranks fifth nationally in goals-against average (6.95) this season. He has 129 saves and owns a .563 save percentage. Galloway will go down as one of the most successful goaltenders in college lacrosse history. He is the NCAA’s career leader in wins (59) and currently ranks second in NCAA history in minutes played (3,653). Galloway’s 7.41 career goals-against average is eighth all-time.

Rob Pannell, Cornell
The two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, Pannell becomes the Big Red's first Tewaaraton Trophy finalist since Max Seibald '09 was a two-time finalist in 2007 and 2009. The junior attackman is a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year and currently leads the nation in points per game (5.47) and ranks second overall in assists per game (3.0), and ninth overall in goals per game (2.47). He is also the first Big Red player since 2001 to lead Cornell in points, goals and assists in the same season. One of the premier players in the nation, Pannell already ranks second in Cornell history in career assists (138) and is third overall in career points (229). He owns the second longest point-scoring streak in the nation, having registered at least one point in each of his 50 career games, and he has the most career assists of any active player in Division I men's lacrosse.

Steele Stanwick, Virginia
Stanwick ranks No. 5 nationally with 2.0 assists per game and No. 8 nationally with 3.77 points per game. The Baltimore, Md., native has also won two games in overtime (Stony Brook and North Carolina) with goals and in April was named th ACC Player of the Year. Stanwick is the lone ACC player named to the list of finalists.

Joel White, Syracuse
This is the second consecutive season White has been selected as a Tewaaraton finalist. A unanimous 2011 All-BIG EAST First Team choice, White leads the Orange in ground balls (69) and ranks second on the team with 23 caused turnovers. Offensively, he’s contributed four goals and two assists. White’s career numbers are the best among the best in program history. He currently ranks third all-time at Syracuse in ground balls (273) and is the school’s career leader in points (28) and goals (18) by a defensive player.

Favorite

Rob Pannell, Cornell
Pannell has so clearly separated himself from the pack this season, although if the Big Red fails to make any significant NCAA tournament run (Cornell opens Saturday against Hartford) and one of the other candidates leads his team to Memorial Day, that could play a factor. Historically, the Tewaaraton committee has favored the best player from the best team, sometimes at the expense of the best player overall.

Surprise Finalist

Jeremy Boltus, Army
Boltus' numbers warrant him being in the discussion, but it's surprising if only because the Black Knights had a thoroughly uninspiring season. Besides an upset of Cornell, they really never made a push to be anything other than a fringe top-20 team. They were only the third-best team in their own conference, the Patriot League.

Surprise Omission

Kevin Crowley, Stony Brook
It's not surprising because he was Lacrosse Magazine's Preseason Player of the Year, or because he was a Tewaaraton finalist and the USILA Player of the Year last year, or even because he was No. 1 pick in January's Major League Lacrosse draft. No, it's surprising because if you ask any coach in the college or pro ranks, he will tell you Crowley is the best midfielder in the game since Paul Rabil. It was a down season, sure, but 30 goals and 26 assists are nothing to sneeze at. Not to say Crowley should win it, but he should have been in D.C. as part of the conversation.


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