Maryland women’s lacrosse defender Lizzie Colson was named the Big Ten Defender of the Year by virtue of a unanimous decision on Monday.
Colson’s 42 caused turnovers lead the nation and she ranks top-3 in the conference in ground balls per game (3.40) and draw controls per game (4.60).
This is her first such accolade in her career and it comes off the heels of a lengthy break away from the collegiate scene due to an ACL injury and subsequent coronavirus cancellation.
Colson hadn’t played in a game before this season since May 26, 2019, versus Boston College in the national championship game. Her injury occurred over the summer of that year and although it was a long shot for her to return in time for a late postseason run, that wouldn’t be a factor with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down collegiate sports.
Returning for a fifth year, Colson has come back with an even bigger imprint than when she left. This season’s three Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week recognitions speak for themselves, as Colson has reinvented herself following such a lengthy break.
She has been the catalyst for this stingy Maryland defense. Against Rutgers on April 8, Colson collected career-highs in ground balls (7) and caused turnovers (6).
In the Big Ten semifinal matchup versus Johns Hopkins, Colson made the game-winning interception off a beautiful read. It was her third caused turnover of the game and it helped segue into victory formation for the Terps.
The Big Ten Defender of the Year honor may just be the tip of the iceberg for Colson’s individual accomplishments this season.
A slate of NCAA tournament games await Colson and the Terps, and while hoisting the national championship is the clear-cut goal, Colson may do just enough on the national stage to make her list of personal accolades even longer.