June 4, 2010

Crotty, McFadden Win Tewaaraton Trophy

by Joel Censer | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Maryland's Caitlyn McFadden and Duke's Ned Crotty pose with their new hardware Thursday as Tewaaraton Award recipients.

© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- For someone looking for a shocking and climactic end to this year's lacrosse season -- like, say, a long pole taking it down the field off a faceoff to win the national championship in overtime) -- this year's Tewaaraton Award ceremony, held Thursday at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., would have provided quite the letdown.

It came as little surprise that Duke senior attackman Ned Crotty and Maryland senior midfielder Caitlyn McFadden, who were the best offensive players on the two Division I national championship teams and prohibitive favorites for the award, were presented with college lacrosse's answer to the Heisman trophy.

For Crotty, a New Vernon, N.J., native and Delbarton School graduate, the bronze provides a capstone on an illustrious -- if not varied -- career. A fifth-year senior and converted midfielder, Crotty spent his first year dealing with the 2006 Duke scandal, and the next few seasons after that dodging short sticks from up top or on the invert.

However, in 2009, the southpaw slickster moved to attack, where he never looked back, garnering first team All-American laurels and being named a Tewaarton finalist in his first year playing exclusively from behind. This season, Crotty continued his offensive assault, scoring 23 goals to go along with 63 assists, while leading the Blue Devils to their first national championship.

Similarly, McFadden was an offensive juggernaut for the Terps from the moment she stepped on campus. She was a second team All-American as a sophomore, and as a junior was named a Tewaarton finalist, national midfielder of the year, ACC player of the year and a first-team All-American.

This past season, McFadden continued her brilliance (50 goals, 35 assists, 52 ground balls), while also being a catalyst for Maryland's first national title since 2001 (not to mention being a part of the team that took down Northwestern's lacrosse dynasty).

Despite their litany of personal accomplishments, both Crotty and McFadden seemed mostly just humbled and happy with how their seasons played out.

"Honestly, it's really an honor to be here around all these great players and great people,' McFadden said.

It would be remiss, however, to boil the ceremony down to just Crotty's and McFadden's exploits.

Former Maryland men's coach Dick Edell was awarded the Spirit of Tewaarton Award and brought the crowd to its feet when recounting how fortunate he was to have been in a profession where he was able to spend his time around such quality individuals. Moreover, Tuscarora reservation natives Kyle Henry and Taylor Hummel, winners of the 2010 Tewaarton Outstanding Native American Scholarship, wrote eloquently about their experiences playing lacrosse and being part of the Native American community.

Then, there was the honoring of the other Tewaaraton finalists. Delaware senior attackman and British Columbia native Curtis Dickson was shown in highlights finding ways to unleash his right handed (often underhanded) cannon. Same for Stony Brook junior Kevin Crowley, another creative B.C. native who uses his 6-4, 220-pound frame (and stick skills developed in the box) to his advantage.

Long Poles Joel White (Syracuse), and Virginia's Ken Clausen (who in earnest spoke about the recent support from UVA community and how proud he was of his team) were seen playing tough defense and being terrors when the ball was on the ground.

On the women's side, Penn's Ali DeLuca (who was passionate about representing the Ivy League), UVA's Brittany Kalkstein (the draw-control master), North Carolina's Jennifer Russell (a defensive stud) and Nortwestern's offensive creative wizard Katrinia Dowd were all honored as finalists for the Tewaarton.

Still, it was Crotty and McFadden who came home with the hardware. As for the ACC pair (who knew that Duke and Maryland could coexist?), the award seems to be a fitting end to their college careers --b ut certainly does not close the book on either's connection with the sport.

McFadden is a member of the U.S. women's national team and wants to coach college ball. Crotty, meanwhile, is a member of the U.S. men's national team that will play in Manchester this summer, and is looking forward to the MLL draft.

"I want to try and make lacrosse a career," he said. "It's been good to me so far."

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