30 in 30: Who are the Way Early Tewaaraton Candidates?
|Syracuse junior attacker Alyssa
Murray (right), and freshman Kayla Treanor, helped picked up the
slack when Michelle Tumolo went down with injury last season.
Murray and Treaner both figure prominently in this year's
© John Strohsacker
With both the fall ball season and LaxMagazine.com’s “30 in 30” series winding down, we’re shifting our focus from teams to individuals. With two-time Tewaaraton Award winner Katie Schwarzmann graduated from Maryland (and coaching at Mount St. Mary’s), the field is wide open for a new player to claim the prize. Here are our early predictions.
1. Alyssa Murray, Syracuse, Sr. A
Murray had 104 points last season, leading the Orange’s final four squad and earning her second consecutive IWLCA first-team All-American nod. The Big East Attacker of the Year has some great crease moves and may take some time to adjust to the new defender-in-the-crease rules if she wants to match last year’s 64 goals. On the other hand, she can always just pass it, because she’s a great feeder too. Murray dished out a team-high 40 assists last year. She’s not bad on the re-defend either; she was No. 2 on the team with caused turnovers (18). The senior has thrived in Gary Gait’s freewheeling system, and she could become the Orange’s first-ever female Tewaaraton winner and the first overall since Mikey Powell in 2004. Murray is the only 2013 Tewaaraton finalist who returns for the 2014 season.
2. Taylor Cummings, Maryland, So. M
The ACC Rookie of the Year took no prisoners in her freshman campaign, and the Terps came within one crazy triple-overtime game of a perfect season, a game in which Cummings had a hat trick. Her speed in the midfield greatly eases the pain of the loss of Schwarzmann for the Terps, and she’s excellent on the draw (94 DC). She ripped off 43 goals and 14 assists, too. Her similarity to Schwarzmann and the Tewaaraton committee’s historic preference for well-rounded midfielders over all other types of players could arguably give Cummings an edge for the award over Murray.
3. Barb Sullivan, Notre Dame, Jr., D
Sullivan is a rarity: a low defender who takes the draw. She does it very well, having set a new school record (67) for draw controls in a single season in 2013. When she’s not in the circle, she’s a lockdown defender (34 CT), usually tasked with marking the opponent’s top scorer. Her sophomore efforts earned her a first-team All-America nod, making her the youngest Irish player ever to be so honored. At 5-10 with red hair and slick stick skills, Sullivan is tough to miss on the field. New ACC opponents will have their eye on her, as will the Tewaaraton Committee.
4. Taylor Virden, Duke, Sr., D
Virden played the last six games of the 2013 season with a
broken foot, and she still had 13 draw controls, five ground balls
and even a goal. Overall, she had 32 GBs, 54 DCs, and 18 caused
turnovers. She had surgery over the summer and sat out much of fall
ball, but is expected to be healthy for the 2014 spring season.
Working in tandem with one of the best goalies in the game, Virden
helped keep the Blue Devils’ goals against average in single
digits (8.95), which is no small feat in the high-octane ACC.
5. Abbey Friend, North Carolina, Sr., A
2103 was a banner year for Fried: she helped both the Tar Heels and Team Canada to their best respective finishes ever. (UNC won the NCAA championship; Canada won the silver medal at the FIL Women’s World Cup.) The top returning scorer (47g) for the defending NCAA champs, Friend makes smart cuts and has a pinpoint shot when she gets the ball. The veteran attacker has started all 61 games of her career, and has been a member of the Canadian national team since 2009, when she was just a junior in high school. With a strong supporting cast and a dose of confidence from winning it all last year, Friend could rise to the top of the heap.
6. Taylor D’Amore, Johns Hopkins, Sr., A
D’Amore was the Blue Jays’ first All-American since 2007, and she earned the honor by leading the team in assists (49), points (78), draws (64) and ground balls (27). She spent much of the summer serving as an alternate on the U.S. national team, and likely picked up some new moves along the way. She’ll be chasing two school records in 2014 too; she’s 41 assists shy of tying the program’s career record of 149 and needs 26 draw controls to tie in that category. Still, it could be a tough path to the Tewaaraton for D’Amore regardless of her level of play. The award usually goes to a player on a final four team, and there has never been a female player on a non-tournament team who made the final five. (It’s happened twice on the men’s side – Bryant’s Zack Greer in 2009 and Army’s Jeremy Boltus in 2011.) The Blue Jays haven’t made the NCAA tournament since 2007.
7. Kayla Treanor, Syracuse, So., A
When Michelle Tumolo injured her knee last April, the lacrosse world clutched its pearls wondering what would happen to Syracuse’s high-flying attack without the crease-rolling, over-the-shoulder-shooting senior. What happened was this: Kayla Treanor. She slipped seamlessly into a starting role after Tumolo’s injury, and ended the season first on the team in goals (71) and second in points (95). It’s entirely possible that the Orange will have two Tewaaraton finalists on their hands this year.
8. Kelsey Duryea, Duke, So., G
Since Mikey Meagher broke the glass ceiling for goalie
Tewaaraton finalists last year, now we’re looking to see who
the first keeper Tewaaraton winner could be. For 2014, the best
candidate is Duryea. She was a second-team All-American as a
freshman, after earning the starting spot a few games into the
season. She posted a stellar .507 save percentage, putting her in
the top five in the country. That number may well climb as defense
figure out how to use the new crease rules to their advantage.
9. Shannon Gilroy, Florida, Jr., A
Florida graduated its first senior class, a group that included two Tewaaraton finalists (Brittany Dashiell and Meagher). But the cupboard is hardly bare with Gilroy still in Gainesville. After sitting out the he led the team in goals (52) and draw controls (59). She also had the most caused turnovers (14) outside of the defensive unit. Gilroy’s blistering .571 shot percentage will keep the Gators in the hunt for their first national championship.
10. Maggie McCormick, Penn State, Jr., A
Penn State is a dangerous team, and McCormick is a big reason why. The attacker led the team in goals (50) and assists (37). Her combined 87 points ranked in the top 10 in Division I. The Nittany Lions return most of their top scorers, and will be a threat to steal the conference title and perhaps break through to the final four after two consecutive quarterfinal finishes.
11. Lauren Kahn, Connecticut, Sr., M
12. Kelly Lechner, Penn State, Jr., M
13. Erin McMunn, Princeton, Jr., A
14. Marlee Paton, Loyola, Sr., M
15. Mikaela Rix, Boston College, Jr., M
16. Covie Stanwick, Boston College, Jr., A
17. Casey Bocklet, Virginia, Jr., A
18. Brittney Coppa, North Carolina, sr., M
19. Katie Ferris, Massachusetts, Jr., A
20. Taryn VanThof, Loyola, Jr., M
Who's your early Tewaaraton favorite for
2014? Did we miss any candidates? Leave a comment below or on our
Facebook page and tweet us @LacrosseMag.