May 17, 2011

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Tewaaraton Predictions by the Numbers

by Clare Lochary | LaxMagazine.com


Statistically speaking, Rob Pannell should win the Tewaaraton Trophy, and it's not just gaudy numbers on the field.

Are you a young player dreaming of winning a Tewaaraton Trophy? Ever done the actual math to calculate your odds?

I am a numbers geek and I like looking for patterns, so when this year's Tewaaraton finalists were announced, I perused it to see if I could predict this year's winner based on past years. This is more art than science, but crunching the numbers of both finalists and winners reveals some interesting facts about where the best college players hail from.

Some methodology notes: Fence-sitters who were listed in media guides as M/A, or in one case, M/D, are midfielders, in my opinion. Finalists data includes the 2011 candidates; winners' data goes only through 2010. People who were named finalists (or winners) more than once were counted more than once. Thus, while only two Northwestern alums (Hannah Nielsen and Kristen Kjellman) have won the Tewaaraton, the Wildcats count four winners because Nielsen and Kjellman each won it twice.

Position

If you want to be a Tewaaraton finalist, and especially if you want to win the trophy, you should play midfield or attack. Middies and attackers account for 89 percent of all finalists (98 of 110) and 95 percent of all winners (19 of 20). Attackers make up the lion's share of male finalists (28 of 55) and winners (six of 10). On the women's side, midfielders are more likely to have the edge. Seventy-one percent of female finalists (39 of 55) are middies, as are 60 percent (six of 10) of the winners.

The committee shows occasional respect to defenders -- five men and five women have each made the finalists' list, with just one (Rachael Becker, Princeton, 2003) winning it. John Galloway should practice his "just happy to be here" face for the awards ceremony; he's only the second goalie to ever be nominated (after Princeton's Trevor Tierney in 2001) and no goalkeeper has ever taken home the trophy. Female goalies can only hope to press their little faces against the front door of the University Club – no female goalie has even made the finalist list.

School


Shannon Smith would be Northwestern's fifth Tewaaraton Trophy winner.

I hope you look good in orange, especially if you are a dude.

Virginia produces the most combined finalists (17), but while Charlottesville has the most honorees, the trophy most often goes home with someone from Evanston. Northwestern has the most overall winners (four) of any school, and without a men's program to lean on. Maryland women have a slight edge (11) in nominations over the Wildcats (nine). For guys, go to Syracuse if you want to be nominated (10) and to win (three) -- the Orange ranks first in both categories. While the Wahoos have the most total number of finalists, they have produced only three winners: Matt Ward in 2006, Amy Appelt in 2004 and Chris Rotelli in 2003.

Hometown


Four of the five Tewaaraton Trophy men's finalists this year hail originally from New York, including Syracuse's Joel White.

Step 1 to winning a Tewaaraton Trophy: call a lacrosse hotbed your hometown. Sorry, but it's true.

Eighty-five percent of Tewaaraton finalists come from the East Coast. Maryland has the most combined men's and women's finalists with 37, trailed by New York with 34. Seventeen of the 110 finalists are not from the East Coast, but they're mostly Canadians and Australians. Ohio can be proud of being the non-East Coast state with the most finalists (Steve Dusseau, Georgetown, 2001 and 2002; Christy Finch, Northwestern, 2008). Duke's Caroline Cryer, a 2007 finalist, is the only Coloradan to make the short list.

The 2011 finalists hew to past trends -- nine Mid-Atlantic natives, plus one Australian (Sarah Mollison, Maryland).

With the exception of Aussie winners Hannah Nielsen and Jen Adams, no one from outside the Mid-Atlantic has ever won a Tewaaraton Trophy. This year's men's finalists are exceptionally geographically homogenous, with four New Yorkers on the list, the most any one state has ever had in a single class. The Empire State has the most male nominees (25 of 55) and the most winners (six of 10). On the women's side, it's a little more evenly distributed. The finalists most often come from Maryland (22), although in the winner's count, the Old Line State (two) trails Australia (three).

Championship Play


Zack Greer was the only finalist from a non-NCAA tournament contender before Jeremy Boltus made the short list this year.

A common criticism of the Tewaaraton Trophy is that it goes to the best player on the Division I championship team and not necessarily "the top female and male varsity collegiate lacrosse player in the United States," which is how the award is described on its website. Division II and Division III players are eligible for the award, and they frequently pop up on early watch lists, but none have broken through to the finalist round.

Also, the finalist list is announced after the NCAA tournament brackets come out, and 98 percent of the time, the finalists are in the NCAA tournament. Conceivably, the best individual player in the nation could be on a bad-to-middling team that doesn't make the tournament, but the Tewaaraton folks put a lot of emphasis on how a player can help his or her team to a title. In fairness, Army's 2011 finalist Jeremy Boltus is an exception to this rule, but he and Zack Greer (Bryant, 2009) are the only ones. No non-NCAA tournament player has ever won the trophy.

Winning an NCAA championship is helpful if you want to win the trophy, but not essential. Fifteen of the 20 winners have won a championship; three more at least made it to the championship game. Only two winners did not play in a championship game at all: Doug Shanahan, who carried Hofstra's men to the 2001 quarterfinals, and Katie Chrest, who led Duke's women to the 2005 semifinals.

Predictions

So...do any of these numbers hint at who might win the 2011 trophy? Taking a composite of the most likely winner from the four categories (position, school, hometown, championship play), the prototypical female Tewaaraton winner is a Northwestern midfielder from Australia on a championship team; on the men's side, it's a Syracuse attacker from New York on a championship team. Since there are no such candidates on either list, it's tough to make a prediction.

On the men's side, I'd lean towards Rob Pannell -- the two Syracuse candidates play positions that typically get ignored by the committee, and Boltus is an impossible choice because the Black Knights didn't make the postseason. Steele Stanwick is a distinct possibility, although Virginia finalists are 2-for-9.

On the women's side, Shannon Smith is the only player to hit two out of three demographic categories (she's a Northwestern midfielder), and her team's certainly in championship contention, so she's the odds-on pick for now.

Tewaaraton Trophy History

A complete list of Tewaaraton finalists, their schools and home states of origin. Winners in bold.

2011

A Jeremy Boltus, United States Military Academy (N.Y.)
G John Galloway, Syracuse (N.Y.)
A Rob Pannell, Cornell (N.Y.)
A Steele Stanwick, Virginia (Md.)
D Joel White, Syracuse (N.Y.)

M Grace Gavin Loyola (Md.)
M Emma Hamm Duke (Pa.)
A Sarah Mollison Maryland (Aus.)
M Katie Schwarzmann Maryland (Md.)
M Shannon Smith Northwestern (N.Y.)

2010

D Ken Clausen, Virginia (Pa.)
A Ned Crotty, Duke (N.J.)
M Kevin Crowley, Stony Brook (Can.)
A Curtis Dickson, Delaware (Can.)
D Joel White, Syracuse (N.Y.)

M Ali DeLuca, Penn (N.J.)
A Katrina Dowd, Northwestern (N.Y.)
M Brittany Kalkstein, Virginia (Md.)
M Caitlyn McFadden, Maryland (Md.)
M Jenn Russell, North Carolina (Mass.)

2009

M Matt Abbott, Syracuse (N.Y.)
A Ned Crotty, Duke (N.J.)
A Danny Glading, Virginia (Md.)
A Zack Greer, Bryant (Can.)
M Max Seibald, Cornell (N.Y.)

M Jillian Byers, Notre Dame (N.Y.)
M Carolyn Davis, Duke (N.Y.)
D Amber Falcone, North Carolina (Md.)
M Caitlyn McFadden, Maryland (Md.)
M Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern (Aus.)

2008

A Ben Rubeor, Virginia (Md.)
A Matt Danowski, Duke (N.Y.)
A Mike Leveille, Syracuse (N.Y.)
M Paul Rabil, Johns Hopkins (Md.)
M Zack Greer, Duke (Can.)

D Christy Finch, Northwestern (Ohio)
M Dana Dobbie, Maryland (Can.)
M Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern (Aus.)
A Katie Rowan, Syracuse (N.Y.)
M Kelly Kasper, Maryland (Md.)

2007

A Matt Danowski, Duke (N.Y.)
M Paul Rabil, Johns Hopkins (Md.)
A Frank Restarsis, Albany (N.Y.)
A Ben Rubeor, Virginia (Md.)
M Max Seibald, Cornell (N.Y.)

M Caroline Cryer, Duke (Colo.)
M Dana Dobbie, Maryland (Can.)
A Mary Key, Johns Hopkins (Md.)
M Kristen Kjellman, Northwestern (Mass.)
M Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern (Aus.)

2006

M Kyle Dixon, Virginia (Md.)
A Sean Morris, UMass (Mass.)
A Chris Unterstein, Hofstra (N.Y.)
A Joe Walters, Maryland (N.Y.)
A Matt Ward, Virginia (Md.)

A Katie Chrest, Duke (Md.)
M/A Crysti Foote, Notre Dame (N.Y)
M Kristen Kjellman, Northwestern (Mass.)
M Nikki Leib, Virginia (Pa.)
A Coco Stanwick, Georgetown (Md.)

 

2005

A Matt Danowski, Duke (N.Y.)
M Kyle Harrison, Johns Hopkins (Md.)
D Brodie Merrill, Georgetown (Can.)
A Sean Morris, UMass (Mass.)
A John Walker, Army (N.Y.)

M Amy Appelt, Virginia (N.Y.)
A Lindsey Biles, Princeton (Md.)
A Katie Chrest, Duke (Md.)
M Katieanne Christian, Dartmouth (Mass.)
M Kristen Kjellman, Northwestern (Mass.)

2004

A Ryan Boyle, Princeton (Md.)
M Kyle Harrison, Johns Hopkins (Md.)
D Brodie Merrill, Georgetown (Can.)
A Michael Powell, Syracuse (N.Y.)
A Jed Prossner, North Carolina (Md.)

M Amy Appelt, Virginia (N.Y.)
M Kelly Coppedge, Maryland (Md.)
M Gail Decker, James Madison (Md.)
D Michi Ellers, Georgetown (Pa.)
M Theresa Sherry, Princeton (Md.)

2003

M Kevin Cassesse, Duke (N.Y.)
M Adam Doneger, Johns Hopkins (N.Y.)
M Kyle Harrison, Johns Hopkins (Md.)
A Mikey Powell, Syracuse (N.Y.)
M Chris Rotelli, Virginia (R.I.)

M Lauren Aumiller, Virginia (Md.)
D Rachael Becker, Princeton (Pa.)
M Kelly Coppedge, Maryland (Md.)
A Suzanne Eyler, Loyola (Md.)
M Lisa Staedt, James Madison (Pa.)

2002

M Kevin Cassesse, Duke (N.Y.)
A Josh Coffman, Syracuse (N.Y.)
M Steve Dusseau, Georgetown (Ohio)
A Conor Gill, Virginia (Md.)
A Michael Powell, Syracuse (N.Y.)

D Rachael Becker, Princeton (Pa.)
A Erin Elbe, Georgetown (N.Y.)
M Christine McPike, North Carolina (N.Y.)
M Tiffany Schummer, Virginia (Md.)
M Lauren Aumiller, Virginia (Md.)

2001

A Josh Coffman, Syracuse (N.Y.)
M Steve Dusseau, Georgetown (Ohio)
A Tom Glatzel, Notre Dame (Md.)
M Doug Shanahan, Hofstra (N.Y.)
G Trevor Tierney, Princeton (N.J.)

A Jen Adams, Maryland (Aus.)
M Kate Kaiser, Duke (Md.)
M Sheehan Stanwick, Georgetown (Md.)
M Julie Shaner, Princeton (Pa.)
M Quinn Carney, Maryland (N.J.)

 

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