Taylor's 10: The Tewaaraton Award Debate


Taylor Cummings thinks Meghan Ball of Rutgers has a shot at being named a Tewaaraton Award finalist.

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.

The Tewaaraton Award is one of the most prestigious honors one can win in lacrosse. It is awarded annually to the top male and female player in the country and has been won by some of the greatest players of all time, including Jen Adams, Katie Schwarzmann (Haus), Charlotte North, Hannah Nielsen, Sam Apuzzo and more.

Every spring, there are debates about who should be awarded the Tewaaraton after Memorial Day Weekend, who should be in the top five, who the front runners are and who the snubs are. As we enter the final week of the regular season, I think it’s the perfect time to dive headfirst into the debate.

The favorites are clear — Izzy Scane and Meaghan Tyrrell — with Scane, in my opinion, having the slightest lead.

Scane’s 72 goals and 19 assists have her leading the nation in both total points and goals. Her exceptional play has also helped Northwestern have the top scoring offense with 18.14 goals per game. Scane is truly a one-of-a-kind player. With her ability to dissect defenses and score in so many ways, she is the nation’s deadliest scoring threat. She encompasses the terms “power” and “finesse” with her powerful downhill dodging and ability to hit pinpoint quick-stick shots off the cut. Scane has been my frontrunner since February and her play has only improved since.

Tyrrell isn’t far behind Scane in this Tewaaraton race, and with important conference play left, she could easily jump ahead before the NCAA tournament even begins. The Syracuse star is more balanced than Scane statistically at this point, with a cool 45 goals and 44 assists to her name. Her play against North Carolina this weekend not only showed her skill as both a dodger and a feeder, but her toughness to play through big hits and physical play, too. Tyrell is one of many incredible attackers on the Cuse offense but is the true quarterback that they all rely on.

Beyond the clear standouts of Scane and Tyrrell, the remaining pool gets murkier, and many talented players could find themselves at the ceremony. If the decisions were announced tomorrow, my remaining picks would be Belle Smith, Emma Ward and Meghan Ball. 

Boston College’s Smith is the best two-way midfielder in the game right now. In fifteen games, she’s totaled 39 goals, 25 assists, 26 ground balls, 11 caused turnovers and 23 draw controls. Her impact is felt all over the field, and she is the emotional leader for the Eagles. Two-way midfielders are a rarity these days in the women’s game, but Smith shows that this position can still be played at the highest level. A big performance in the ACC tournament may be all Smith needs to get into the frontrunner category with Scane and Tyrrell.

Syracuse’s Ward is also having an exceptional spring after sitting out the 2022 season with an injury. With 28 goals and 50 assists, Ward has embraced the facilitator role and helped her team earn its first 15-0 start ever. That streak was stopped by Boston College on Thursday. Ward’s feeding ability has improved drastically since her freshman year, and her knack for hitting cutters from X while under pressure is impressive. The Orange offense is all hers next year once Tyrell graduates, and she will be more than capable of leading them once that happens (even more so than she already does now).

My last pick for the Tewaaraton top five would be Rutgers’ Ball. She leads the country in caused turnovers with 3.79 per game and has totaled 53 on the year. In addition to her prowess at taking the ball away, she’s also been an integral part of the Scarlet Knights’ draw team and has 87 draw controls. Against ranked opponents, the Rutgers defender has not only been tasked with shutting down top threats but has managed to cause 28 turnovers in the process. Her grit and determination all over the field is palpable, and her ability to impact the game in so many areas is impressive.

In addition to Scane, Tyrrell, Smith, Ward and Ball, I think there are a few other players making their cases. Those include Boston College’s Jenn Medjid, Syracuse’s Delaney Sweitzer, James Madison’s Isabella Peterson, Loyola’s Jillian Wilson and Northwestern’s Erin Coykendall.

Medjid is currently fourth in the nation in points (83) and leads the Eagles with 64 goals and 19 assists. Her play from both behind the cage and up top as a dodger, combined with her cutting and finishing ability, makes her a nightmare matchup. She will need a big ACC tournament performance to continue being in the Tewaaraton discussions.

Sweitzer is one of the nation’s top goalies in terms of save percentage at 53.2 percent. She anchors a young but talented Orange zone defense and has had a breakout year after a rollercoaster 2022. She plays high in her crease, cuts down angles well and has quick hands that help her save over half the shots that come her way. If Syracuse wins the ACC tournament and she continues to have a stellar season, she may make it to the top five.

Peterson has produced 55 goals and 16 assists in addition to 60 draw controls from the center circle. Standing at an event six feet, the Dukes’ attacker uses her height well not only when snagging the ball out of the air, but also when posting up in the middle of the eight-meter fan. She’s had big moments in games against ranked opponents and could make a case for herself if she has strong AAC and NCAA tournament performances.

Wilson is a player I don’t think gets enough praise from the media. In the Greyhounds’ 14 games, Wilson has 42 goals, 13 assists, 19 ground balls, nine caused turnovers and 135 draw controls. Like Smith, Wilson is a true two-way midfielder who leads Loyola all over the field and has upped her roles both defensively and on the draw. With the Patriot League’s schedule strength being comparatively lower to other players in this conversation, Wilson’s play in the NCAA tournament will be pivotal if she is to make it to the ceremony. 

The final player I’d keep an eye on is one that the nation has had its eyes on many times this spring on SportsCenter. Coykendall is a crafty attacker who can feed and shoot in a variety of ways. The Northwestern star has made a huge impact for the Wildcats. She’s been perfectly balanced this spring with 39 goals and 39 assists and has a 52-percent shooting percentage. If the Wildcats make it far into the NCAA tournament and win the Big Ten, and she has a major part in both, Coykendall could be heading to Washington, D.C., for the Tewaaraton ceremony.

Like I said, the waters are murky, and it’s anyone’s guess who will be invited to the ceremony come May. One thing I know for certain is that it will certainly be an entertaining process to find out who those lucky few will be! Us lacrosse fans are in for a treat.


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