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Tewaaraton Foundation announces men’s & women’s Tewaaraton Award finalists

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Five finalists for each award were announced with the winner unveiled May 31.

NCAA Lacrosse: Men's Championship Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Lacrosse’s version of the Heisman Trophy unveiled the finalists for this year’s edition of the Tewaaraton Award. The Award has been given out to the best men’s and women’s lacrosse players annually since its inception in 2001.

2018 Men’s Tewaaraton Award Finalists

  • Trevor Baptiste - FOGO (Denver)
  • Justin Guterding - Attack (Duke)
  • Connor Kelly - Midfield [but really Attack] (Maryland)
  • Ben Reeves - Attack (Yale)
  • Pat Spencer - Attack (Loyola)

2018 Women’s Tewaaraton Award Finalists

  • Sam Apuzzo - Attack (Boston College)
  • Kristen Gaudian - Attack (James Madison)
  • Marie McCool - Midfield (North Carolina)
  • Kylie Ohlmiller - Attack (Stony Brook)
  • Megan Whittle - Attack (Maryland)

Let’s get to the snubs for the men. Because there’s at least two.

First of all, Jeff Teat. Just read what our good friend Paul Carcaterra tweeted out:

A strong endorsement from a guy that used to play offense. And I would agree.

Teat is only a sophomore and leads the nation with 59 assists, three more than second place Michael Sowers, and is tied with Justin Guterding for total points this season at 96. Ben Reeves and Pat Spencer follow behind Teat and Guterding in the overall points race, so it’s absurd you leave out a player like Teat’s caliber.

He’s also the biggest reason why the Big Red won the Ivy League Tournament and are in the NCAA Tournament. When taken out entirely, Cornell’s offense is a whole new animal. One that isn’t as good as with Teat. He’s definitely MVP worthy, and should’ve been on this list over a player like Spencer if you had to replace a player that was also an attackman. Otherwise, Baptiste would be off my list. This ain’t the last you’ll hear of this.

Second is TD Ierlan from Albany. Also a sophomore, Ierlan leads the country with an 83.4% face-of percentage compared to 76.9% by Trevor Baptiste. He also leads the nation with 13.69 ground balls per game, over two GBs ahead of second place Kenny Massa.

Albany’s draw taker has been the best FOGO this season by far. Baptiste has one more point than Ierlan and two more goals, but I would take Ierlan over Baptiste if I was starting a team.

What about Connor Fields? As much as he showed he would’ve won the Tewaaraton early this season, his injuries have hurt his case. He didn’t play in three games this season and didn’t do a whole lot in three other games. I understand the decision not to nominate Fields, and I feel bad he had an injury kinda ruin what could’ve been a very historic end to his career.

I do have a small gripe about the lack of defensive players on this list. In the award’s history, only seven players have been nominated. It’s a pretty good group:

  • Trevor Tierney - Goalie (2001)
  • Brodie Merrill - Defense (2004 & 2005)
  • Joel White - Defense (2010 & 2011)
  • Ken Clausen - Defense (2010)
  • John Galloway - Goalie (2011)
  • Joe Fletcher - Defense (2014)
  • Matt Landis - Defense (2016)

The best candidate for this year would’ve been Foster Huggins of Loyola. The senior leads the nation with 3.27 caused turnovers per game and has 49 CTs overall this season, both career-highs. He also set a career-high in ground balls with 41. He’ll easily be a first team All-American as well.

Similar to the Heisman Trophy, which has the majority of their winners as quarterbacks or some sort of running back or half back, this award appears to be only for attackmen and offensive midfielders. If you don’t play any of those positions, good luck getting college lacrosse’s top award. It stinks. Who’s going to be the Charles Woodson type of guy that becomes the first defensive player to win the Tewaaraton? Chris Fake of Yale?

As for the women’s side, I think it’s a good list. If not, you’ll hear it from Skyler, since he knows that stuff better than I do.