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Archive for June 5, 2016

June 5, 2016 — An appreciation: Taylor Cummings, attacking midfielder, University of Maryland

One in an occational series.

Last week, Taylor Cummings, the fine attacking midfielder for the University of Maryland, won her third Tewaaraton Trophy this past week, emblematic of the year’s best female collegiate lacrosse player. Over the last couple of years, the discussions have begun as to Cummings’ place in the history of the sport.

And even Jen Adams, the greatest women’s lacrosse player who ever lived, put in a vote for the Maryland senior.

Cummings’ resume is extremely impressive, statistically. She was a four-time All-American and a three-time Tewaaraton Trophy winner, and finished her Maryland career second in combined goals and assists (229-94–323) and first in draw controls (509). It is a tremendous record, given the greats that have come through this program such as Jen Adams, Dana Dobbie, Karri Ellen Johnson, Quinn Carney, and Katie Schwartzmann.

Alongside the three Tewaaraton awards, she helped the Terrapins to two NCAA championships during an era in which it was more and more difficult for teams from traditional areas of the country to win the Division I title.

Her record at Maryland was 88-4, and her record at Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) was 76-1 during her four seasons with the varsity.

The numbers certainly back up the fact that she may be the greatest attacking midfielder of all time. The term “attacking midfielder” needs to be understood in contrast with the forced specialization of women’s lacrosse tasks up until the early 1990s. Back then, a team’s left and right attack wings were tasked with transitioning the ball into the attack zone, while the center took the draw and played both attack and defense.

Cummings did all that and more, encompassing the excellence of the women who came before her.

I don’t think her time is done yet, however. There’s the matter of the 2017 FIL Women’s World Cup, as well as a possible stint with one of the franchises in United Women’s Lacrosse.

If you do get a chance to see her in her post-collegiate life, go do so. You’re not likely to see someone like her any time soon.