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Former Maryland lacrosse player Frank Urso named Tewaaraton Legend

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Terrapins great becomes first Maryland men's lacrosse player to win the honor.

Those of you who have read my reporting on the category of Maryland sports that Testudo Times quaintly refers to as "Other Maryland Athletics," might be aware that one of my favorite nights of the sporting year is having the chance to cover the Tewaaraton Award Ceremony. I've been fortunate in this regard to be able to write about Maryland women's lacrosse superstar Taylor Cummings who has won the award each of the past two years. You can read those stories here and here. In June of this year, Maryland's Frank Urso, who was recently named a Tewaaraton Legend, will become the first Maryland men's lacrosse player to be honored with an award.

A bit of history

Although it was first presented in 2001, the Tewaaraton Award has quickly become the premier award representing excellence in NCAA men's and women's lacrosse. As the prestige of the honor grew, the organizing committee established the Tewaaraton Legend Award in 2011. This award is presented "to one recipient each year who played collegiately prior to 2001 when the first Tewaaraton Award was presented, whose performance during their college years would have earned them a Tewaaraton Award had the award existed when they played."

In 2016, Frank Urso will become the sixth recipient of the Tewaaraton Legend Award. He will join Jim Brown (yes, the famous football playing Jim Brown), Eamon McEneaney, Joe Cowan, Jimmy Lewis and Brad Kotz as Tewaaraton Legends.

For those not old enough

Frank Urso played for Maryland from 1973 through 1976 and his individual and team accomplishments are rather breathtaking. Let's take a look at how the team fared. During Urso's four years under the leadership of the recently deceased coach Bud Beardmore, the Terps compiled a record of 36-5 including a perfect 10-0 in Urso's freshman season.

In addition to being a part of Maryland's last national championship in the sport in 1975, they won the national championship in that perfect 1973 season. Urso scored the winning goal in the 1973 double overtime win over Johns Hopkins and found the back of the net five times in 1975's 20-13 rout of Navy.

Urso also led the Terps to the title game in both 1974 and 1976. The Terps lost to Johns Hopkins 17-12 in 1974 and although Urso assisted on the game tying goal with one second left in regulation, the Terps eventually dropped the 1976 championship game 16-13 to Cornell.

In addition, while he was still a Terrapin, Urso played midfield for the U.S. National Team in the inaugural World Lacrosse Championship in 1974. The U.S. captured the title with a 20-14 win over Australia.

The individual accomplishments

In 41 games as a Terrapins midfielder, Urso scored 127 goals - good for fourth all time and the most by a Terps midfielder. He added 81 assists placing him 14th on Maryland's all time list in that category. His 208 total points is also good for fourth all time behind Bob Boniello, Joe Walters and Ray Altman.

Urso was a four time first team All-American and was named the Lt. Raymond Enners Award winner in 1975. This award honors the Division I most outstanding player in men's lacrosse. Doug Schreiber, who won the award in 1973 is the only other Terp to be so honored. In 1974 and 1976, Urso won the Don McLaughlin Award as the nation's top midfielder. Urso's teammates Schreiber and Doug Radebaugh are the other Maryland players to capture this award.

I had planed to venture once again to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian on the evening of June second to attend the Tewaaraton Award Ceremony in hopes of seeing Taylor Cummings become the first three time winner of the Tewaaraton. Thanks to Frank Urso, I'll finally have the chance to see a Terp man take home this prestigious honor.