The 2017 Tewaarton Award for Division I Lacrosse most outstanding players are both Maryland Terps, ttacker Matt Rambo and Midfielder Zoe Stukenberg. The storied lacrosse Men’s and Women’s lacrosse programs of Maryland have much to be proud of this season, sweeping not only both the Men’s and Women’s National Championship, but also sweeping the Tewaarton Award.
The Tewaarton Award goes to the most outstanding players in Men’s and Women’s college lacrosse, akin to the Heisman Trophy Award in college football that is awarded to the most outstanding player (there are more parallels to the Heisman that I will address below). The Tewaarton Award is so named to honor the Native American origins of the game of lacrosse. Tewaarton is the Mohawk word for lacrosse in their native tongue, and the Mohawk Nation is credited with being the progenitor of lacrosse.
There are two controversies associated with the Tewaarton Award. Given that it is awarded after the Division I college lacrosse post season is complete, there is an observation among many experts that the award is all too often influenced by a player’s performance in the post season, which is not the intent of the award. The award’s intent is to recognize a player’s outstanding achievement and importance to their team during the regular season.
Less controversial perhaps and falling in line with the reality of the Heisman Trophy Award in football, the Tewaarton Award, especially on the Men’s side, is very tilted historically toward offensive players. In fact, since the award’s inception in 2000, all but two recipients on the Men’s side have been attackers, while the only two that were not attackers were offensive midfield studs Doug Shanahan and Max Seibald. Although defense is equally important for success in lacrosse as it is in football, like in football, great defensive players in lacrosse get far less recognition than their offensive counterparts.
I understand that part of this is simply the nature of the game, that the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, and it takes a capable offense in most cases to get the ball in the other team’s goal. Naturally, that will garner more attention. On the other hand, if you ask the vast majority of coaches if they had to make a choice between a high powered offense or a lock down defense, most would opt for the lock down defense.
Still, one cannot argue with this year’s choices, Matt Rambo and Zoe Stukenberg, as both were not only dominant, Matt Rambo clinched the career scoring record for one of the most storied college lacrosse programs in the history of the sport.
Congrats to this year’s Tewaarton winners and to the University of Maryland Terps Nation that loves them!
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and well regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.