Taylor's Takes: How Far Our Sport Has Come

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER


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

What a weekend, and what a year for women’s lacrosse.

It’s been such an exciting season for so many reasons and was capped off by one of the best Championship Weekend’s our sport has ever seen. There was drama, comebacks and now there’s a new champion in town.

Here’s to the new champs and one last weekend recap of Taylor’s Takes for the 2022 season.

Thanks for following along all spring long. See you in 2023!

FINAL FOUR

As I’ve already mentioned, this year’s Championship Weekend was one of the best I’ve seen in recent years. We saw some pretty insane weather, sellout crowds, two comeback victories and three games that all came down to one goal each.

All this drama was also displayed on ESPN for the world to see for the first time in history and undoubtedly help propel our sport forward in the years to come. It was absolutely thrilling to see so many people in the stands at Homewood Field.

Honestly, as I sit here typing this article, I’m just so proud to see how far our sport has come and am both hopeful and eager to see how far we can go.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP

North Carolina was the last team standing, as the Tar Heels hoisted the national championship trophy. They were challenged until the very end by a gritty and determined Boston College team, but the Heels proved too much for the Eagles for a third time this season.

UNC ended 2022 undefeated — a remarkable task — and earned its third title in 10 years and first since 2016. The talent, depth and veteran leadership of this year’s UNC squad were staggering, and it was so incredibly fun to watch them compete. Simply put, they were the favorites all season long and were able to keep their composure in both of their last two games on college lacrosse’s biggest stage to win it all.







PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

2022 Co-Attackers of the Year: Jamie Ortega and Charlotte North

Both Ortega and North impacted the offensive end like no other this season (except maybe each other). They each play very different styles of lacrosse but are both highly effective in their positions. North took home the Tewaaraton Award for the second straight season on Thursday night, and Ortega was the ACC’s Attacker of the Year. I can’t choose (and luckily don’t have to), so they earn co-attacker for me!

2022 Midfielder of the Year: Ally Mastroianni

Mastroianni exemplifies what it means to be a true two-way collegiate midfielder. She ended the year with 48 goals, nine assists, 20 ground balls, 12 caused turnovers and 135 draw controls. Her impact all over the field and overall consistency in play was so impressive.

2022 Defender of the Year: Emma Trenchard

Trenchard’s consistent play in the second half of the season helped anchor the defensive unit and provided a spark for the entire UNC team down the stretch. She consistently matched up against the country’s top offensive threats and did an impeccable job minimizing their impacts on the game both during conference title and national title play.

2022 Goalie of the Year: Emily Sterling

Sterling helped the Terps improve from a 2021 NCAA second-round loss to a 19-2 record in 2022 and a Final Four appearance. Sterling was the backbone to Maryland’s solid defensive unit and totaled 169 saves with a 53-percent save percentage on the season.

TAYLOR’S TOP 10

1. North Carolina
2. Boston College
3. Maryland
4. Northwestern
5. Stony Brook
6. Loyola
7. Syracuse
8. Florida
9. Princeton
10. Rutgers

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