Maryland women’s lacrosse won the Big Ten regular season title as well as the Big Ten tournament, dominating any and all competition on the way to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Terrapins were able to accomplish all this thanks to a team filled with tremendous players, as evidenced by their six members of the All-Big Ten team released last week.
And if that wasn’t enough, Maryland racked up five of the six Big Ten Awards given out to the conference’s best players.
The first was perhaps the most obvious of the bunch, with Megan Whittle being named the Big Ten Attack Player of the Year. The senior Tewaaraton Award semifinalist not only leads the conference in goals per game by a wide margin, but she ranks eighth nationally as well. Whittle is also the conference’s points leader to boot.
The Big Ten Defender of the Year was awarded to junior Julia Braig, who was a unanimous selection to the all-conference team. Her 24 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers are impressive, but Braig’s impact is most felt in defending the opponents’ top scorer.
For the third straight season, the Big Ten named Megan Taylor its Goaltender of the Year. Her goals against average of 9.69 is tops in the conference and also ranks among the best goalies in the country. Three Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Awards shed some light into her status among the conference’s top goaltenders.
Freshman Grace Griffin’s impact on the team has been growing each and every week, and it seems that the coaches of the Big Ten took note, naming her Freshman of the Year. With 35 points to go along with 28 groundballs and 13 caused turnovers in her first season, it’ll be interesting to see just how great she can become over the next three years.
And last but certainly not least, Cathy Reese was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year. Maryland’s 16-1 record and top seed in the NCAA Tournament made the choice easy, but Reese’s mark on the team goes well beyond records and accolades. Her role as a player developer and motivator is invaluable and is the reason why Maryland women’s lacrosse is as dominant a dynasty as it’s become.
This is the third straight year where Maryland has taken home five of the six Big Ten Awards. The only position missing this year was Midfielder of the Year, which was taken by Penn State senior Katie O’Donnell. In 2016 and 2017, the Terps missed out on Freshman of the Year and Attack Player of the Year, respectively.
These five honorees and the rest of the No. 1-seeded Terrapins will get to showcase their talent on Sunday at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex at noon ET against the winner of Denver and High Point.