Taylor's 10: The Positional Player of the Year Discussion


Maddie Jenner set the Division I career draws record earlier this spring.

Taylor Cummings is a three-time Tewaaraton Award winner, a two-time gold medalist with the U.S. women’s national team, the inaugural Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse champion and the head coach at McDonogh (Md.). “Taylor’s 10” is presented by Gait Lacrosse. Be legendary.

Time sure is flying this spring. We’re somehow already halfway through the regular season, so it’s only fitting that this week’s article is all about the players who are showing up and making strong arguments for earning a “Player of the Year” title.

The Tewaaraton top five is always a big focus every spring, but I want to take the time this week to take a deep dive into each position and recognize the two players from each one that are having spectacular seasons thus far. They have not only played pivotal roles in their respective teams’ successes but have inspired the next generation of players.

With that, here are my top contenders for player of the year at attack, midfield, defense, goalie and draw specialist.


Contenders: Izzy Scane (Northwestern) and Meaghan Tyrrell (Syracuse)

Argument for Scane: Scane is putting up video game numbers at the halfway point of season with 46 goals and 8 assists. She is the ultimate attacking threat thanks to her ability to score in such a variety of ways and has been the key to Northwestern’s success. Scane loves a good roll dodge, can snipe the top corner from distance and has a soft enough touch to put away any feeds in tight. If Scane can stay healthy and rolling, the ‘Cats could be hoisting the trophy come May and Scane could be bringing home multiple awards in the postseason.

Argument for Tyrrell: Similar to Scane’s numbers this season, Tyrrell has 51 points but is more balanced with those numbers, tallying 24 goals and 27 assists. The Mount Sinai, N.Y., native is the main facilitator for the Orange from X and is the leader of the most dangerous offense in the country. Tyrrell’s ability to get her teammates involved and share the wealth makes her the top dual threat in all of Division I right now. As long as Tyrrell keeps going at this pace, Cuse will continue to be in the national championship conversation.

Winner: These two are the top two contenders for the Tewaaraton, so it’s no surprise that they are the two top attackers in the country as well. If I had to pick right this second, I’d say Scane by the slimmest margin because her individual play has been so impactful to her team’s success.


Contenders: Belle Smith (Boston College) and Ellie Masera (Stony Brook)

Argument for Smith: Smith has been playing well her entire career, but since the graduation of Charlotte North, her importance to the Eagles’ success has tripled. With 22 goals, nine assists, 15 ground balls, seven caused turnovers and seven draw controls, Smith is a monster all over the field. I would also argue that she is one of the best defenders on the Boston College team, and her superb play on that end doesn’t always impact a statistical category. True two-way midfielders are starting to become few and far between, but BC has one of the best.

Argument for Masera: Masera is the spark plug for the Seawolves offense and has been a force on the offensive end. With 34 points in seven games, she is making her presence known with her killer speed, shifty footwork and a hard and accurate shot from distance. The area of her game where she is most impactful though is the draw circle. She’s secured 37 draws and helps Stony Brook keep momentum with a make-it-take-it feel.

Winner: Similar to Scane and Tyrrell, both Smith and Masera could be Tewaaraton finalists come May. I think Smith’s defensive prowess gives her the edge and will help her earn any of the postseason awards given to midfielders.


Contenders: Brooklyn Walker-Welch (North Carolina) and Sam Thacker (Denver)

Argument for Walker-Welch: Walker-Welch is not only one of the most fundamentally sound defenders in the game today, but she is also one of the smartest. She’s the mark-up defender the Heels always rely on to guard opposing teams’ top scoring threats while also being the main communicator through slides and exchanges. Walker-Welch’s stats aren’t flashy with eight ground balls and four caused turnovers, but those who watch her play understand just how talented she is. Her leadership and consistency are matched by few.

Argument for Thacker: Thacker’s instincts and lacrosse IQ are critical to not only her success, but Denver’s success as a defensive unit and as a team. She is the rover in Denver’s zone, which gives her ample opportunities to read opposing offenses and anticipate cuts and slides. Thacker is also an integral part of the Pios’ clearing game, as she is confident in transition and a spark on the offensive end. Her 17 ground balls, 18 caused turnovers and nine draw controls are a testament to her work this season.

Winner: Both players are incredibly talented and vital parts of their respective teams, but Walker-Welch’s technical abilities and communication skills combined with her leadership on the defensive end are unmatched right now.


Contenders: Alecia Nicholas (North Carolina) and Delaney Sweitzer (Syracuse)

Argument for Nicholas: Nicholas has been the backbone for a talented UNC defense all season and has a 55.8 save percentage on the season. Her ability to step up in tight games and play confidently against some of the nation’s best teams is special. Nicholas plays her angles well, tracks the ball consistently and gives up minimal rebounds. Only a sophomore, she’s making big waves this season.

Argument for Sweitzer: The difference between the play of Sweitzer in 2022 and 2023 is massive. She looks confident, she’s playing consistently and she’s been a key piece of Syracuse’s historic start. Sweitzer plays an aggressive style where she sits high in her crease, effectively cutting down shooters’ angles. She has a 53.7% save percentage and her play down the stretch will be critical for the Orange if they are to win it all come May.

Winner: I honestly cannot wait to see these two keepers head-to-head in a few weeks. Of the two, Nicholas is a more technically sound keeper and has my vote.


Contenders: Maddie Jenner (Duke) and Kate Mashewske (Syracuse)

Argument for Jenner: Jenner has been the NCAA draw queen for the past few years and broke the Division I career record this spring. Her height combined with her ability to place the ball a variety of places makes her such a difficult matchup for every team Duke faces. With 97 draws on the season, her play in the center circle is matched by few.

Argument for Mashewske: Mashewske has been the Orange’s’ go-to center for the past few seasons, and her confidence at the position has increased with every game. She’s a player who is so dedicated to her craft and has an arsenal of techniques and placements at her disposal. Although she is now injured and out for the season, Mashewske’s contributions are worth recognizing. With 70 draws before her injury, she will have secured more draws at the halfway point than most centers do through a full season.

Winner: Jenner’s ability to put up video game numbers at the center circle is downright impressive, and she has set the standard for the position the past few years.


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