TopOfTheCircle.com

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BULLETIN: July 22, 2022 — An all-time great hangs up her cleats

Taylor Cummings announced her retirement today from lacrosse.

It is, you might surmise, a clean break in her life, since she opted out of Athletes Unlimited as its first champion.

And there’s this matter of her impending marriage in September.

Taylor Cummings is not necessarily an era-defining talent in women’s lacrosse. She, however, is one who has spanned the “excellence of execution” era of the 2010s and today’s “physicality era” which has yielded players like Charlotte North.

Cummings, no matter which team she suited up for, was an almost-guaranteed winner. It helped that she started off playing lacrosse at Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) and the University of Maryland, winning multiple championships as well as three Tewaaraton trophies.

But she also did amazing work in post-graduate lacrosse, whether it was for the UWLX’s Baltimore Ride, the WPLL’s New York Fight, the various pick-up teams in Athletes Unlmited, or the U.S. senior women’s national team.

Her work was all over the pitch. She could take center draws, help build attacks in the midfield, spot teammates near the goal with a perfect pass, or finish herself. At times, it seemed as though time slowed when she got the ball, and you wanted to play classical music while she was in full flight.

And that goes especially for the night of May 22, 2015. For it was on that night, the first Tewaaraton Moment happened.

It was in the 21st minute of play in the NCAA Division I semifinals, when Syracuse was on a furious comeback after falling behind by five goals to Maryland early on. After a TV timeout, Cummings stood in the center circle, taking a draw against Syracuse attacking midfielder Kailah Kempney. Cummings popped the ball into the air, leapt, caught the ball, and galloped majestically towards the Syracuse goal cage. On the dead run, she shot the ball and scored. It took just eight seconds for her to completely wrest the momentum away from Syracuse.

It’s that kind of play — a brilliant individual effort within the context of team excellence — for which I’ll always remember Taylor Cummings. She is, for me, the greatest attacking midfielder of all time and a sure-fire first-ballot member of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

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