Megan Taylor of Maryland women’s lacrosse was named the 2019 Tewaaraton Award recipient on Thursday night. The senior becomes the first goaltender to ever win the award, and the first Terrapin to claim the honor since Zoe Stukenburg in 2017.
Your 2019 Tewaaraton winner: goalie and NCAA Tournament MOP Megan Taylor of @TerpsMLax. Congrats on an amazing season! pic.twitter.com/I7PyhqijwK— Tewaaraton Award (@Tewaaraton) May 31, 2019
THE BEST.— Maryland Women's Lacrosse (@MarylandWLax) May 31, 2019
The 2019 @Tewaaraton Award Recepient: MEGAN TAYLOR!!!#FearTheTurtle pic.twitter.com/dBLtMy1FMr
The Tewaaraton is the highest individual honor in college lacrosse and is given to one male and female athlete each season. It is equivalent to the Heisman Trophy for college football.
During the 2019 season, Taylor certainly made her mark in the cage with a number of outstanding performances. She accumulated a record-setting six straight Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week awards from March 5 to April 9. And Taylor was dominant in the postseason, saving 24 of 47 shots on championship weekend to lead Maryland to its fourth national championship in six years.
She finished her senior season by reaching career highs in saves (217) and save percentage (55.1 percent). During the Terrapins’ only loss of the season, against Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game, Taylor recorded her 700th career save, and she finished her career second all-time at Maryland with 740 saves.
Her selection comes as a bit of a surprise to some, as reigning women’s Tewaaraton winner Sam Apuzzo of Boston College put up an excellent repeat campaign, leading the NCAA with 94 goals on the season. In their only head-to-head match this season, Apuzzo was relatively held in check by Taylor and the Maryland defense, scoring three goals while also having three saved on nine total shots.
Other finalists included Maryland teammate Jen Giles, Northwestern’s Selena Lasota, as well as Dempsey Arsenault and reigning winner Sam Apuzzo of Boston College. For the first time, all five finalists took part in championship weekend, and it was Taylor who led the Terps to the top, being named NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
On the men’s side, Pat Spencer of Loyola was given the Tewaaraton Award after a 49-goal and 65-assist season. He beat out Jared Bernhardt of Maryland, Grant Ament of Penn State, TD Ierlan of Yale and Michael Sowers from Princeton. Despite being a senior this season, Spencer will bypass the professional level and plans to follow his dream and play college basketball next year.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story identified Taylor as the first defensive recipient of the award; she is simply the first goaltender to win.