Men's Tewaaraton Tracker: It's Getting Interesting
The final 25 Tewaaraton Award nominees were announced
last week, and the regular season slate of games has largely
come to a close. What does it mean? Time for another Tewaaraton
Tracker. (Here are links to the first three updates: 1, 2, 3)
Remember: At this time last year, it was Rob Pannell's
trophy to lose and Steele Stanwick was dealing with nagging
injuries. A lot can change in May. The Tewaaraton Committee has
traditionally valued postseason performance over anything else. So
this is when it really gets interesting.
Here's how we handicap the race...
1. Steele Stanwick, Virginia
Duke coach John Danowski paid Stanwick the highest compliment he
could, when Lacrosse Magazine had an all-access pass to the
Blue Devils' preparation for Virginia: "Steele Stanwick is just
a great lacrosse player," Danowski said. "And his greatest
gift is that he makes everyone around him better." No doubt. With
seven points (six goals, one assist) Friday against Penn, Stanwick
moved up to No. 22 all-time in NCAA Division I career points with
260. He ranks third nationally with 5.07 points per game.
2. John Kemp, Notre Dame
Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan put the nation on notice Saturday, after Notre
Dame topped Syracuse: "John's terrific. He's the best goalie in
the country. He may be the best player in the country," Corrigan
said. "I keep hearing all these people talk about all these
offensive guys for the Tewaaraton and I'm wondering why John's not
part of that conversation. If you watch him every day, you sure
think he's terrific." We listened, coach. Kemp leads the country in
goals against average (5.70) and save percentage (.655), even
though he has seen more shots than several other top men's
Division I goalies.
3. Peter Baum, Colgate
It's Peter Baum's world, we're all just living in it. Baum leads
the nation in both goals and points, and frankly, neither "race" is
even close. He has tickled the twine 59 times — 11 more than
the next closest player, Harvard's Jeff Cohen — and totaled
86 points, which is 12 more than Siena's Bryan Neufeld. The only
missing element of Baum's Tewaaraton candidacy? National exposure.
And that should no longer be the case, assuming the Raiders make the NCAA Tournament as
expected. Whichever national seed draws Colgate in the first
round will be on red alert because of Baum.
4. CJ Costabile, Duke
On a team with so many great individual players — Costabile, Mike Manley, Rob Rotanz and Justin Turri
were top-10 selections in the 2012 MLL Draft, while Jordan Wolf
is considered among the nation's top dodging attackmen —
Duke's most valuable weapon is Costabile. He takes and wins nearly
53 percent of faceoffs. When he doesn't win them, he hounds the
ball between the stripes. He's a ground ball goblin, picking up 113
— fourth nationally. He covers the opponents' top midfield
scorer. He sparks transition. He scores goals. What doesn't
Costabile do, and do well?
5. Will Manny, UMass
Has anyone mentioned that UMass is the only remaining unbeaten?
That fact seemed to be lost in the shuffle of a crazy weekend. The
Minutemen took sole possession of the No. 1 ranking with a 17-6
shellacking of Delaware, in which Manny scored six goals and added
two assists. He ranks fourth nationally with 5.0 points per game.
Much like Baum, Manny will benefit from the national spotlight come
6. Mike Sawyer, Loyola
Somehow Sawyer didn't win the ECAC's Offensive Player of the Year
award — it went to Ohio State's Logan Schuss (who was
deserving) — despite scoring 41 goals, third most in the
country. But Sawyer still ranks among the top Tewaaraton
contenders, as he's Loyola's leading scorer, leading on one of the
nation's most consistent, prolific and feared offenses. He has a
lethal time-and-room step-down shot that he can score on from
7. Tucker Durkin, Johns Hopkins
Only the 6,000 fans at Ridley Athletic Complex for Johns Hopkins 10-9 overtime defeat of Loyola
witnessed Durkin's performance against Sawyer, who scored one goal
on six shots. Those in attendance came away impressed, as did
Sawyer: "He's definitely a good defenseman. He played me pretty
tight," Sawyer said of Durkin. "I feel like I got a few
opportunities in the game. Just couldn't capitalize on them. But
he's definitely a good player." Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala's
comments might have been more telling. "I talk to Bill Dwan, and we
talk at 10, 11, 12 p.m., or 1 o'clock in the morning all the time,"
Pietramala said. "I talked to him [Friday] night and said, 'I don't
feel like we've put in much of a game plan. I don't feel like we're
doing anything dynamic, and we've got to be really careful with
Sawyer and Lusby.' What we did, I thought, was prepare really well.
When you've got a guy like [Tucker Durkin], who I feel is pretty
special, you've got a fighting chance. And I'm not afraid to stand
up and say that. We knew how to get custody of Sawyer." With
Durkin, arguably the nation's top cover defenseman.
8. Marcus Holman, North Carolina
Of all the Tewaaraton frontrunners, Holman has probably received
the least hype. Let's put it simply: He should be given more
attention. Holman, a junior, is the straw that stirs the drink for
the Tar Heels' young offensive unit that features three freshman
and two sophomore starters. As coach Joe Breschi said after North Carolina's ACC Tournament
semifinal victory over Virginia: "Marcus Holman really runs the
show down there [on offense], and he does a terrific job of
organizing those young bucks." Holman has totaled 56 points (27
goals, 29 assists) through 15 games thus far.
9. Mark Matthews, Denver
Did you see Matthews' outrageous toe-drag and finish against Duke
on Friday night? Or how about the fake-low, shoot high leaner? Just
unfair. Matthews showed off two of his trademark moves in the Mile High Classic, adding another pair
of plays to his highlight-filled season. When the creative Canadian
does things like that, there's no stopping him. He averages 4.08
points per game — 10th nationally — with 37 goals and
16 assists in 13 games.
10. Tom Schreiber, Princeton
At a time when double-digit goals or assists is considered hearty
scoring production for a midfielder, Schreiber ranks 10th
nationally with 4.03 points per game (29 goals, 24 assists) —
second among midfielders behind only Robert Morris' Kiel Matisz.
Schreiber hasn't been held off the box score in any game this year,
and he's willing and able to beat teams multiple ways. Schreiber
scored four goals against Harvard last weekend, then handed out
three helpers against Cornell on Saturday. The Tigers have
won eight of their last nine games, and Schreiber has things
clicking on the offensive end.
Just Missed: Jesse Bernhardt, Maryland; Sam
Bradman, Salisbury; and Logan Schuss, Ohio State.