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Archive for January 17, 2020

Jan. 17, 2020 — Player of the Decade: Taylor Cummings, Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.)

Presentation1The 2010s were a decade which saw a radical change in the product of what we call “lacrosse.”

But for one player, it did not matter whether the game was played with or without a possession clock, whether the sides were 10-on-10 or 12-on-12. Of if the shirt she was wearing was the black and orange of Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.), the black and red of the University of Maryland, the purple of the Baltimore Ride, the blue of the New York Fight, or the red and blue of the United States.

Taylor Cummings was, throughout the decade of the 2010s, the ultimate winner. If you added up the win-loss record of every game she played in or coached from 2010 to 2020, she lost maybe 12 games out of about 200 — a phenomenal record.

“I’ve been incredibly blessed to play on such incredible teams surrounded by the most amazing teammates and coaches,” she says. “From McDonogh, to Maryland, to the pro circuit, and Team USA, I have loved every second I’ve had the chance to play, learn, and grow this game alongside my teams. Even years later, the losses still sting, but I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Cummings’ quality of play in the midfield was exceptional. Even during this Score-O Decade in which a number of players exceeded the 400-goal barrier, Cummings’ play and field generalship were game-changing.

She won draws, scored goals, and shared the ball effortlessly with her teammates while at McDonogh. While at the school, she not only won four IAAM championships in lacrosse, she also won private-school championships in basketball and in girls’ soccer.

As good as she was at McDonogh, she went next-level at the University of Maryland, winning a pair of NCAA titles and creating what might have been the first “Tewaaraton Moment” for a national player of the year candidate since the award was first bestowed.

The incident was the 21st minute of play of the national final at Towson. Syracuse, after falling five goals adrift in under five minutes, had crawled back to within one.

After a TV timeout, Cummings stepped into the draw circle against Syracuse attacking midfielder Kailah Kempney. Cummings popped the ball into the air, leapt, caught the ball, and took off running. Like an arrow, she cut through the Syracuse defense, and scored, only eight seconds after the restart.

Only a week later, she won the first of three Tewaaraton trophies.

A year ago, the decorated player, fresh off winning gold medals at the FIL Women’s World Cup and the World Games, became head coach at McDonogh, her alma mater. And, just like in her playing days, the Eagles parlayed draw dominance, teamwork, and smart scoring into an undefeated season, an IAAM championship, and a consensus No. 1 postseason ranking.

Apparently, you can go home again.