Yes, the Tewaaraton watch list has a million guys on it. Yes, most of them won’t win the Tewaaraton. Yes, one of the guys on the watch list (Grant Ament) STILL has yet to play a minute of college lacrosse this year. In fact, if you ask most lacrosse viewers who will win the Tewaaraton this year, you’ll likely get an answer of Justin Guterding, Connor Fields, Trevor Baptiste, or Connor Kelly. In truth, that list of four probably does hold the Tewaaraton winner. Those are dominant players who change the fortunes of their teams almost singlehandedly. But that doesn’t mean we should just skip looking at some other guys in college lacrosse who are absolutely having Tewaaraton caliber seasons and careers.
If you’re here to argue about whether Guterding or Fields is going to win, just move on, because you’re the probably the type of person who picks the Patriots to go to the Super Bowl every year and hates fun. These players have not gotten the Tewaaraton press they should either because they aren’t at a traditional blue-blood program, or their team hasn’t been dominant, or in one case because he doesn’t play on a division one team. Will one of the win it? Probably not. But, here’s a look at a few of the guys who need some more (deserved) Tewaaraton love, and as always, thanks to Analytics Lacrosse for your sweet stats:
Connor Kearnan, Attack, Canisius - Canisius is not a great team, let’s get that out of the way. They’re 5-4, got beat soundly by teams like Albany and even Colgate. But senior attackman Connor Kearnan has been Tewaaraton worthy to say the least, and he’s not even on that massive watch list. Kearnan is up to 50 points on the season, tied with Tehoka Nanticoke for 8th in D1. He has 32 assists on the season, the same as Connor Fields and trailing only Will Sands who leads the country with 36. Of those, 25 are even strength, good for 7th in the nation, and seven are extra man, good for 8th in the nation. His Per100, which is estimated points per 100 possessions his team has, is 17.54, which is behind only Will Sands. Yes, Connor Kearnan has a better Per100 than Guterding, Fields, Pat Spencer, Michael Kraus, and all those other dynamic attackman you think of as point scoring machines. He is 4th in the nation in terms of percentage of his teams production. Kearnan has had three games this season of 8 or more points, and his lowest single game total was a three assist outing against Albany. The Canisius offense is ranked 11th in the nation in adjusted efficiency, better than Syracuse, Rutgers, Yale, and plenty of other power houses. Do they play the same schedule? Of course not, but this is still an extremely impressive resume. Canisius offense is legit, and Kearnan is a major reason why.
Jules Heningburg, Attack, Rutgers - I’m going to guess you saw him on Big Ten Network Sunday night taking on Hopkins. And if you did, then you know what I’m talking about. Rutgers is going without Adam Charalambides for the second straight year. Charalambides has been billed as the top playmaker for the Scarlet Knights. Without him, they’ve found another option, and it’ll be tough for Heningburg to give up the keys to this train. Heningburg is sixth in the country in points with 51. He’s ninth in the country in Per100, better than Connor Fields. He’s 7th in the country in percentage of his teams production, better than Justin Guterding. He’s 4th in the nation in unassisted goals, and he’s 5th in the nation in SVOR, which measures how many more goals a player would score than someone with replacement level shooting. So it’s a fancy way of saying Heningburg is the fifth best shooter in the country. Heningburg is sitting right there with the guys that are already assumed to be Tewaaraton finalists in just about every category. More goals than Connor Fields. More assists than Ben Reeves. Yes, Heningburg has played one more game than Fields and two more than Reeves, but appreciate the fact that this Rutgers stand out is keeping pace in the scorebook with the nation’s best attackmen. He makes the whole Rutgers offense go.
Max Tuttle, Attack, Sacred Heart - Sacred Heart got off to an outstanding start this year. They were 4-1 out of the gate before they ran into a really strong Vermont team. They would go on to drop four straight before finally getting back into the W-column against Mount St. Mary’s last week. But as up and down as they are, Max Tuttle has been as consistent as anyone could want. Here are his point totals, by game, this season: 4, 4, 6, 7, 4, 5, 6, 3, 4, 2. The recent drop off is unfortunate, but for most of this year, you could just count on Tuttle to go out and there and get four points. Minimum. Even in games where Sacred Heart only managed seven goals, Tuttle would get 4+ points. Tuttle leads all of D1 in unassisted even strength goals with 21, ahead of other outstanding dodgers like Michael Kraus and Daniel Bucaro. Sacred Heart might be in the middle of a rough patch, but Tuttle contines along, steadily adding to his point total with a consistent and outstanding effort. Tuttle was added to the watch list in midseason, and with good reason.
Brent Noseworthy, Midfield, Michigan - Michigan finally got that first really big program win. Taking down Notre Dame was a major step for this program. Securing a big time Big Ten win is next. Noseworthy, a junior, is the primary goal scorer in a Michigan offense that is still very young. With two freshman at attack and Chase Young being the only senior who regularly gets in the score book, Noseworthy has become the leader of the Michigan offense. He’s up to 33 goals on the year, which trails only Justin Guterding. Noseworthy leads the nation in even strength assisted goals at 23. He’s also second in the nation in SVOR, with only Guterding being a better shooter, and a sizable gap between Noseworthy and the guy in third, Denver’s Ethan Walker. Put those two stats together, and it paints the picture of a guy who is one of the top shooters in the country, but for some reason isn’t thought of in that regard. All of this while Noseworthy really doesn’t get many looks on extra man. He has just one extra man goal all year, as Michigan as a team is just 5-17 on EMO on the entire season. Noseworthy is the guy it all ends with on the offensive end Michigan this year. Guys like Kevin Mack and Alex Buckanavage, both freshmen at attack, are quick and elusive dodgers, and they know to look for Noseworthy. He’s had some great performances against their toughest opponents, even in losses. Four goals against Yale, led the team in scoring against Maryland, and five goals and an assist against Notre Dame. Noseworthy is who this team leans on to find the back of the net, and he’s doing so as well as anyone in lacrosse not named Guterding.
Harry Stanton, Attack, Wesleyan - Here we are, the guy you definitely aren’t watching because D3 lacrosse is never on TV. Stanton is an absolute goal scoring machine. If it’s a goal scoring record at Wesleyan, he holds it. He had 86 goals last season (EIGHTY. SIX. GOALS. IN. ONE. SEASON), which is single season school record. He’s up to 189 in his career, also a school record. And his eight goals against Tufts last year are tied for the single game school record. Stanton has 25 goals this year, and in Wesleyan’s only loss (an ugly one to Coast Guard), he didn’t play. But when the lights are brightest, Harry shows up. He had 7 points in an 18-5 beating of 10th ranked Roanoke, including three goals and an assist in the fourth quarter alone where Wesleyan outscored Roanoke 7-1. In the season opener against NESCAC rival Williams, Stanton had four goals, all of which were in the third quarter. Wesleyan started that quarter down 4-3 and ended it up 8-5. They have back to back games against Amherst and Tufts this week, and I’d expect Stanton to keep piling up goals. He is, without hyperbole, a top 6-7 attackman in ALL OF COLLEGE LACROSSE. That makes him better than most of the attackman on the Tewaaraton watch list as it is. Throw the D3 tag out the window, take a trip to Middletown, CT, and catch a Wesleyan game before his career ends. Or catch him in the MLL.