With the end of the NCAA season just days away, we edge ever closer to the announcement of the Tewaaraton Award winner. So many greats have won in the past, from legends like Kyle Harrison winning in 2005 to Rob Pannell winning just last year in 2013. Here’s the skinny on the five finalists this year and how they can affect the MLL in the coming years.
College Team: Princeton
MLL Draft: Ohio, 1
Schreiber had another spectacular campaign, becoming a Tewaaraton finalist for the second straight year. The Princeton grad had a team-high 30 goals and 51 points this year, notching 200 points total for his career. At one point, Schreiber had scored three points or more in 26 straight games. He also made the All-Ivy League Team for the fourth straight year, only the fourth player ever to do so (Chad Wiedmaier, Max Seibald and Rob Pannell were the others).
We’ve already gotten a sneak peak into the future with Schreiber, as the midfielder has transitioned nicely into the MLL. In just two games thus far, Schreiber has four goals and an assist for five points on the season, including a hat trick in his most recent game against New York. Schreiber will be a force in the years to come; there’s no doubt about it.
College Team: Duke
MLL Draft: Rochester, 2
Wolf is still chugging along, as are the rest of the Duke Blue Devils. He now has 59 goals and 33 assists on the year, with his 92 points good for third in the country. His 293 career points are second all-time in Duke and ACC history, putting him just seven shy from becoming the 10
th player in NCAA history to reach 300. Wolf has 59 straight games with a point and an incredible 32 hat tricks. He’s a massive reason why Duke is in the Final Four.
Wolf is absurd at playing from behind the net and would add a completely different dimension to the Rochester offense should he choose to join Major League Lacrosse. He has the potential to be a top-10 player in the league and could learn a lot from a guy like Kevin Leveille. The sky really is the limit for Wolf and he could be the leader of a lethal Rochester offense in the near future – quite possibly by the end of the year.
College Team: Loyola
MLL Draft: New York, 3
Fletcher did exactly what everyone thought he would do this year – he shut offenses down. Loyola held opponents to single-digit goal totals in 13 straight games. The Greyhounds also won 15 straight and held the No. 1 ranking in the country for most of the year. Fletcher was a key point of that, earning Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honors with 76 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers.
How’s this for a bright future – Joe Fletcher walked in graduation at Loyola on Saturday morning, then turned in a brilliant defensive performance in Ohio
that same night. Fletcher earned Warrior Defensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts and proved Joe Spallina made a great decision picking him at No. 3. Fletcher is also one of the 30 men left for the US lacrosse team set to compete at the World Championships in July and was the only collegian on the list of 30.
College Team: Albany
MLL Draft: Rochester, 20
The Thompson’s exploits have been well documented: Miles is the oldest of the trio and is one of two to be named to the Tewaaraton finalist list. Miles finished the year with 82 goals (which tied an NCAA DI single season record) and 119 points (which would have broken an NCAA DI single season record if not for his brother). Miles averaged 6.6 points per game on the year and led Albany to the No. 1 scoring offense in the country as they scored 287 goals in 2014.
Miles could be playing Major League Lacrosse in the next week of games, which come after this weekend’s NCAA tournament concludes. Of course that’s only if he decides to join the league, but we could see Miles and Ty on the same field as Jordan Wolf in less than two weeks. The Rattlers have a very bright future ahead of them, but if they could somehow get Lyle in this upcoming draft, the trio would be free to run riot once again.
College Team: Albany
MLL Draft: Draft eligible 2015
What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about Lyle Thompson? He scored 51 goals this year – which is impressive enough – but couple that with his 77 assists and 128 points and you have a record-breaking year on your hands. Lyle broke the single season record for points in a year, snapping a 22-year-old record by Steve Marohl who had 114. If that wasn’t enough, Lyle will be back with the team next year, as he’s only a junior.
Next year will be interesting for Lyle, as he’ll return for his senior year but without his brother or cousin. He’ll also have the chance to break his own point record and add to his 279 career points. On paper, Lyle has the best chance to win the Tewaaraton this year (and next), but faces very stiff competition in his brother and the top three draft picks in the MLL.
These five gentlemen have been incredible on and off the field and all deserve to be in Washington D.C. for the Tewaaraton presentation on May 29. They hope to join the likes of Steele Stanwick and Ned Crotty, who were just two of the six Tewaaraton winners to play in the Ohio-New York game this past weekend. Make sure you keep up with the Tewaaraton finalists and see how they fare in the MLL in the coming years.