Feb. 1, 2013
Lacrosse Magazine Feature
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Citing her ability to impact all aspects of a game, Lacrosse Magazine on Friday announced Northwestern senior midfielder Taylor Thornton (Dallas, Texas/Hockaday School) as the publication's pick for 2013 Preseason Player of the Year in Division I women's lacrosse.
Winner of the 2012 Lacrosse Honda Sports Award as the national player of the year, Thornton did it all for the national champion Wildcats a season ago, finishing as the third-leading goal scorer (33) while typically drawing the defensive assignment to cover the opponent's top offensive threat. Thornton also was a force on the draw circle for NU, collecting 71 draw controls to go along with 58 ground balls -- which tied the NU single-season record -- and 28 caused turnovers.
Thornton also was named the 2012 player of the year in the American Lacrosse Conference and earned her third career IWLCA All-America, and her second as a first-team selection.
Below is an excerpt from Lacrosse Magazine's announcement of the selection, written by LM's Clare Lochary:
Taylor Thornton can do it all. The Northwestern senior plays defense better than almost anyone else. (She was the IWLCA Defender of the Year in 2011.) She is fast and strong between the lines -- the definition of a two-way midfielder.
"She has the skills, speed, intensity and fitness," Navy coach Cindy Timchal said. "She is the whole package, and is the finest defender in the game."
Thornton can shoot, too. She more than doubled her scoring with 33 goals in 2012. And she has an apparently unlimited capacity to learn and to improve. "Any time we give her something, she just wraps her arms around it and says, 'Great, no problem,'" Northwestern coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said.
"High attack? Goalie? Referee? Who knows? I can't put a title on it, of what I'm going to be, or what I'm going to do," Thornton said (of her role this season).
Some things are as sure as the sun rising in the East, though.
"I know that I'm working hard," Thornton said, "and good things are to come."
Thornton and Northwestern open the 2013 campaign on Friday, Feb. 8, when they face Massachusetts in a neutral site affair in Los Angeles. On Saturday, the Wildcats face USC in the Trojans' first-ever game as a Division I program.
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