May 9, 2013

Women's Tewaaraton: Meagher First Female Goalie Finalist

by Clare Lochary | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Florida junior Mikey Meagher, the 2013 ALC Goalie of the Year, is the first female goalie finalist in the 13-year history of the Tewaaraton Award.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

* Tewaaraton Men's, Women's Finalists Named
* Men's Breakdown: Thompson's Inclusion a Milestone Moment

The Tewaaraton Foundation on Thursday announced the five men's and women's finalists for the Tewaaraton Award. Each are invited to Washington, D.C. for the 13th annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony, May 30 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, where the winners will be announced.

Here's a breakdown of the women's field, with notable storylines and omissions.

Alex Aust, Maryland, Sr. A
Aust is the Terps' leader in goals (60) and assists (48), and is 34 points ahead of the next highest scoring player on the team, defending Tewaaraton winner and fellow 2013 finalist Katie Schwarzmann. Aust had at least one point in each game this year, and had 11 games with at least five points. Aust had a career day with four goals and a single-game program record seven assists in the Terps' 17-10 win over UMBC on March 5.

Kara Cannizzaro, North Carolina, Sr. M
Cannizzaro leads the Tar Heels in both goals (45) and caused turnovers (25). The senior is a great dodger, but can also feed when her teammates are open and is No. 2 on the team assists with 15. Cannizzaro comes up big in big games, too. She had the game-winners in a 8-7 victory over Virginia on March 9 and a 12-11 overtime win over archrival Duke on March 28.

Mikey Meagher, Florida, Jr. G
The 2012 C. Markland Kelly Award winner has had a great 2013 season. She is the ranked fifth nationally in save percentage (.493) and is the anchor of the Gators' No. 2 defense, which allows an average of only 6.58 goals per game. Only three teams got into double-digits against Florida this season, thanks to Meagher's rock-solid positioning and vocal communication with her defense. She was named the 2013 ALC Goalie of the Year.

Alyssa Murray, Syracuse, Jr. A
Murray leads the Orange with 90 overall points and 34 assists. The junior earned Big East Attacker of the Year honors, and was the heart of Syracuse's top-five offense that averages 15.16 goals per game. The Syracuse attack didn't skip a beat when Michelle Tumolo went down with an ACL tear, thanks to Murray's versatility and leadership. She's tough on the re-defend, too, with 17 caused turnovers.

Katie Schwarzmann, Maryland, Sr. M
Schwarzmann, the reigning Tewaaraton winner, repeated as ACC Offensive Player of the Year, using her speed and game sense to carry the Terps to a perfect 19-0 record, a fifth-straight conference title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. She is the team's outright leader in only one statistical category (33 GB), but her play between the lines is unparalleled. She can shoot (51g) and she can feed (23a), and when draw specialist Taylor Cummings doesn't draw to self, most often it's Schwarzmann (37 DC) who gets possession for the Terps.

Big Storylines

Meagher is the first female goalie to be named a Tewaaraton finalist, and only the third overall in the 13-year history of the award. (On the men's side, Princeton's Trevor Tierney was a 2001 finalist and Syracuse's John Galloway was a 2011 finalist.) She is the second Tewaaraton finalist that the Florida program has produced, after Brittany Dashiell in 2012.

Schwarzmann is a three-time Tewaaraton finalist, making her only the third in the award's history after Hannah Nielsen (Northwestern, 2007-2009) and Kristen Kjellman (Northwestern, 2005-2007). As a sophomore in 2011, Schwarzmann lost out to Shannon Smith (Northwestern), but she claimed the 2013 prize as a junior. If she repeats as the Tewaaraton winner, she'll be the first to do so since Nielsen in 2009.

Aust is the first female Asian-American finalist, and the second Asian-American finalist overall, after Maryland attackman Joe Walters (2006). Aust is also the first finalist ever from the state of Virginia. Her hometown is Sterling, Va. (Cannizzaro, Meagher and Murray are all from New York; Schwarzmann is from Maryland.)

For the first time since 2004, there are no women's finalists from Northwestern.

Notable Omissions

Three of last year's finalists
Four of the five 2012 Tewaaraton finalists were eligible for the award this year; only one of them (Schwarzmann) repeated as a finalist. Tumolo's injury and unlikely return to play kept her out of the race, and Northwestern midfielder Taylor Thornton, Lacrosse Magazine's Preseason Player of the Year, has had a solid season but was not as dominant as in seasons past. Florida's Dashiell, another 2012 Tewaaraton finalist, beat out Thornton for 2013 ALC Midfielder of the Year honors, but Dashiell was passed over by the Tewaaraton committee this time around.


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