The Tewaaraton Foundation has announced the five men’s and five women’s finalists for the 2019 Tewaaraton Award. The Tewaaraton Award is recognized as the preeminent lacrosse award, annually honoring the top male and female college lacrosse player in the United States. These 10 student-athletes will be invited to Washington, D.C., for the 19th annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony on May 30.
Representing the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) was Kyle Harrison, the 2005 Tewaaraton Award recipient and Director of Player Relations, Diversity, and Inclusion with the PLL. Mr. Harrison announced the men’s finalists and then introduced Rachael Becker DeCecco, the 2003 Tewaaraton Award recipient, to announce the women’s finalists. The announcements were made at The University Club of Washington, D.C. as part of a fundraising event for The Tewaaraton Foundation Native American scholarships.
Here are the 2019 Tewaaraton Award Finalists:
The five 2019 Tewaaraton Award’s men’s finalists are:
Grant Ament, Penn State – Jr., Attack
Jared Bernhardt, Maryland – Jr., Attack
TD Ierlan, Yale – Jr., Face Off
Michael Sowers, Princeton – Jr., Attack
Pat Spencer, Loyola – Sr., Attack
The five 2019 Tewaaraton Award’s women’s finalists are:
Sam Apuzzo, Boston College – Sr., Attack
Dempsey Arsenault, Boston College – Sr., Midfield
Jen Giles, Maryland – Sr., Midfield
Selena Lasota, Northwestern – Sr., Attack
Megan Taylor, Maryland – Sr., Goalie
Pat Spencer and 2018 Tewaaraton winner Sam Apuzzo return as finalists. Spencer joins Matt Danowski, Kyle Harrison, Michael Powell, Lyle Thompson and Ben Reeves as the only three-time men’s finalists in the 19-year history of the Tewaaraton Award. Apuzzo seeks to become the fifth woman to win multiple Tewaaraton Awards, along with Kristen Kjellman, Hannah Nielsen, Katie Schwarzmann and Taylor Cummings. Nine of the Ten finalists will compete in this month’s NCAA Tournaments, following which the vote for 2019 winners will occur.
“The Tewaaraton Foundation commends these 10 finalists that have been chosen from a standout pool of talented nominees,” said Jeffrey Harvey, Chairman of The Tewaaraton Foundation. “We wish them the very best in their respective playoff journeys and look forward to welcoming each of them and their families to Washington, D.C., on May 30th.”
Finalists come from a pool of 25 men’s and 25 women’s nominees that were announced April 25. The selection committees are comprised of 17 men’s and 17 women’s current and former college coaches.
Bios of the 2019 Tewaaraton Award’s men’s finalists:
Penn State attackman Grant Ament paced the nation’s top-scoring offense as the Nittany Lions captured the program’s first Big Ten regular season and Tournament titles, en route to the NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed. The redshirt junior from Doylestown, Pa., set an NCAA Division I single-season record with 78 assists, surpassing UMBC’s Steve Marohl and two-time Tewaaraton winner Lyle Thompson. He leads the nation with 5.57 assists per game and 7.21 points per game, while ranking second nationally with 101 points—a program record. Ament was unanimously named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, and earned spots on the All-Big Ten First Team and Big Ten All-Tournament Team. He is Penn State’s first Tewaaraton finalist.
Maryland attackman Jared Bernhardt leads the Terrapins with 45 goals and is second on the squad with 70 points. The junior from Longwood, Fla., ranks inside the nation’s top 15 with 4.67 points per game and 3.00 goals per game. Named to the All-Big Ten First Team for a second consecutive season, Bernhardt compiled a streak of six consecutive hat tricks from March 9 to April 14, the program’s longest such streak since 2001. He helped the Terrapins to an NCAA-best 17th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Bernhardt would join Matt Rambo (2017) as Maryland’s second Tewaaraton winner, and is the program’s fourth finalist.
Ivy League Player of the Year TD Ierlan continued his success at the X in his first year with defending national champion Yale, following two seasons at Albany. The junior faceoff man from Victor, N.Y. leads the nation with 294 faceoffs won, a 77.2% faceoff percentage, 214 ground balls and 14.27 ground balls per game. He set a new NCAA record for most faceoff wins without a single loss, going 26-for-26 in Yale’s regular-season finale. A First Team All-Ivy selection, Ierlan helped the Bulldogs to the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He looks to follow Ben Reeves (2018) as Yale’s second consecutive Tewaaraton winner.
Princeton junior attackman Michael Sowers broke his own program single-season record for the second consecutive year, leading the Tigers and the Ivy League with 53 assists and 90 points. A unanimous First Team All-Ivy selection (third overall), the Dresher, Pa., native passed Kevin Lowe to become Princeton’s all-time leading scorer with 255 career points, and is the first Princeton player to register 100 career goals and 100 career assists. Sowers ranks in the nation’s top five with 3.79 assists per game, 53 assists, 6.43 points per game and 90 points. He is the Tigers’ fifth finalist, and the first since Tom Schreiber in 2014.
Four-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Pat Spencer is the sixth three-time finalist in the Tewaaraton Award’s 19-year history. The senior attackman from Davidsonville, Md., and Senior CLASS Award® finalist helped the Greyhounds to the Patriot League regular-season title. He leads the Greyhounds with 94 points—tying his own single-season program mark—and 54 assists, while his 6.27 points per game 3.60 assists per game averages are both good for fourth nationally. The Patriot League’s all-time leading scorer broke Gary Hanley’s 38-year-old Loyola record for career points, and he currently ranks third all-time in NCAA Division I history in both points and assists. Spencer would be the Loyola’s first Tewaaraton winner.
Bios of the 2019 Tewaaraton Award’s women’s finalists:
Returning Tewaaraton winner Sam Apuzzo guided Boston College’s fourth-ranked scoring offense as the Eagles won 19 consecutive games, earned the ACC regular-season title and the NCAA Tournament No. 2 seed. She earned her second consecutive ACC Attacker of the Year honor and was unanimously named to the All-ACC team for the third time. The senior from West Babylon, N.Y., has collected a team- and ACC-best 150 draw controls, while her team-leading 78 goals and 104 points both rank sixth nationally. She has also created a team-best 26 caused turnovers, adding 26 assists and 35 ground balls—both good for second on the team. Apuzzo seeks to become the fifth woman to win multiple Tewaaraton awards; Maryland’s Taylor Cummings (2014-16) most recently accomplished the feat.
Boston College senior Dempsey Arsenault was named ACC Midfielder of the Year as the Eagles earned the conference’s regular season title and NCAA Tournament No. 2 seed. The New Hampton, N.H., native picked up a team-high 36 ground balls, was second with 57 goals and 84 draw controls, and third with 23 assists and 80 points. The four-year starter and All-ACC Tournament selection put up a 52% conversion rate on free position shots and earned both ACC Offensive Player of the Week and IWLCA National Player of the Week honors. She looks to become Boston College’s second Tewaaraton winner, after teammate Sam Apuzzo took home the Award in 2018.
Big Ten Midfielder of the Year Jen Giles paced Maryland’s seventh-ranked scoring offense with a team-best 50 goals, 22 assists and 72 points as the Terrapins completed a perfect regular season en route to a fifth straight Big Ten title. The senior from Ellicott City, Md., who also ranks second on the squad with 31 ground balls, placed in the conference’s top five in points, goals and assists, earning her third consecutive all-conference selection. She has led Maryland in goals and points in eight games this season and in assists in nine games. Giles would be the Terrapins’ ninth Tewaaraton winner; most recently, Zoey Stukenberg won in 2017.
Big Ten Attacker of the Year Selena Lasota headlines Northwestern’s second-ranked scoring offense with a team-best 74 goals and 89 points, good for tops in the Big Ten, and seventh and 15th in the nation, respectively. A redshirt senior from Campbell River, B.C., whose 4.35 goals per game ranks fourth nationally, Lasota helped the Wildcats to the program’s first Big Ten Tournament title and the NCAA Tournament No. 4 seed. Northwestern’s all-time leading goal scorer with 197 (most among active Division I players), Lasota was selected to her fourth All-Big Ten Team and the conference’s All-Tournament Team. She would be the Wildcats’ sixth Tewaaraton winner, following most recently Shannon Smith in 2011.
Maryland senior goalie Megan Taylor was named Big Ten Goaltender of the Year for the fourth consecutive year, leading the Terrapins’ fifth-ranked scoring defense to the conference’s regular-season title and the NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed. The Glenelg, Md., native ranks second in the nation with a 56.3 save percentage, fifth with an 8.12 goals against average, and 10th with 178 saves. She earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors for six consecutive weeks and was named the IWLCA National Defensive Player of the Week on three separate occasions. Taylor looks to become Maryland’s ninth Tewaaraton winner and is the second goalie to be named a Tewaaraton finalist, following Florida’s Mikey Meagher in 2013.
The guidelines for finalists and recipients are as follows:
- Finalists will be the best five players chosen without regard to institution.
- Finalists will be selected based on individual performance and a player’s contribution to the success of their team.
- Finalists are chosen based on the current year’s regular-season performance (date of selection is at the conclusion of the regular season, before playoffs).
- Recipients are chosen based on the current year’s regular season and playoff performance.
- Sportsmanship can play a role in the selection process and it is important that the recipient upholds the mission and values of the Tewaaraton Award.
This year’s initial Tewaaraton Watch Lists were announced Feb. 28 and included the top 50 men’s and women’s college lacrosse players in the country. Two rounds of additions to the Watch Lists were announced on March 21 and April 11.
On May 30th, the finalists will be honored and the winners will be revealed at the 19th Annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C. For information on attending this year’s ceremony, please visit https://TEWAARATON.givesmart.com.
For more information on the non-profit Tewaaraton Foundation or to attend any of these exciting events, visit tewaaraton.com. Please like and follow The Tewaaraton Foundation at facebook.com/tewaaraton, twitter.com/tewaaraton and instagram.com/tewaaraton.
About The Tewaaraton Foundation
The Tewaaraton Foundation is a 501c3 with a mission to honor the Native American heritage of the game of lacrosse through its annual award, scholarships and educational content. The Tewaaraton Award is recognized as the preeminent lacrosse award, annually honoring the top male and female college lacrosse player in the United States. The award is endorsed by the Mohawk Nation Council of Elders and U.S. Lacrosse. The Tewaaraton Award symbolizes lacrosse’s centuries-old roots in Native American heritage and was founded at The University Club of Washington DC.