TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Archive for May 30, 2019

BULLETIN: May 30, 2019 — Did the Tewaaraton Award committee make the wrong choice, again?

This evening, at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Tewaaraton awards were handed out to the outstanding collegiate women’s lacrosse player for the past season.

The five nominees for the award — Boston College’s Dempsey Arsenault and Sam Apuzzo, Northwestern’s Selena Lasota, and Maryland’s Jen Giles and Megan Taylor — all have pluses and minuses for their candidacies for the award.

Then again, so do about a half-dozen players who did not make the final five nominees, which, for me, skewed the final vote in favor of Taylor, the first goaltender ever to win the trophy.

Now, I’m going on some heavy “inside baseball” talk when it comes to trying to figure out Taylor’s win and why it doesn’t seem right. I have a certain perspective from seeing many goalies come through the college system, not just through the top teams. In Maryland’s illustrious history, I actually think Jamie Brodsky or Alex Kahoe may have been better than Taylor in the goaltender position. But they didn’t have a Tewaaraton trophy to win.

Second, as I posited a couple of days ago, Lasota was a transformative figure in women’s lacrosse because of her physicality and game sense. She would have had my vote, even with Northwestern not winning the NCAA title over the weekend.

Finally, despite a distinguished four-year career in the goal cage for a University of Maryland team perpetually in the top 5 just about every week she played, Taylor may not be the single best player on her own team.

Indeed, in looking back over tape of games this season, there were players on Maryland who almost certainly should have made the last five ahead of Giles and Taylor. For me, there were times when Erica Evans, the graduate student, looked like she was on automatic pilot in the attack end, scoring at will. I also thought that there were long stretches of contests this year in which Kali Hartshorn’s play in the midfield and in the attacking third drove the entire Terrapin effort like nobody since Taylor Cummings or Jen Adams.

I’ll give you this: Taylor was the kind of goalie which had you wondering — sometimes several times in the same game — how she was able to make a particular save.

However, I think the Tewaaraton committee was guilty of voting to right an historic wrong, in that only one other goalie (Mikey Meagher) was nominated for the trophy.

There’s a simple way to fix this.

Do what the Heisman Committee does for college football: allow the final vote to encompass all of collegiate women’s lacrosse, not limit voting to just five people.

Get to it, folks.

BULLETIN: May 30, 2019 — One avenue, erased

This afternoon, the Belgium women’s field hockey team beat defending Olympic champion Great Britain 4-1 in an FIH Pro League fixture in Antwerp.

With the win, Belgium moves into fourth place in the women’s Pro League table with 17 points. The win has eliminated the United States from contention from a top-four berth into the Grand Final. The States will still have a chance to qualify from World League placing as well as winning its third straight Pan American Games title.

The Americans begin to play out a difficult series of fixtures this weekend at Spooky Nook against New Zealand.