May 10, 2012
Tewaaraton Award Finalists -- More Information
EVANSTON, Ill. -- One week after being voted the American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year, Northwestern junior defender Taylor Thornton (Dallas, Texas/Hockaday School) has been named one of five finalists for the 2012 Tewaaraton Award, presented annually to the most outstanding performer in both men's and women's collegiate lacrosse. Thornton, whose contributions at both ends of the field make her one of the game's top all-around players, will be in attendance for the announcement of this year's winner at the Tewaaraton Award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on May 31.
Thornton is the first Tewaaraton Award finalist -- men's or women's -- to hail from the state of Texas since the program's inception in 2001.
With Thornton's nomination this season, head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller has now coached six different Wildcats to a total of 10 player of the year nominations since 2005. A Wildcat has brought home the award in five of the last six seasons with Kristen Kjellman (2006, 2007) and Hannah Nielsen (2008, 2009) each winning the Tewaaraton in consecutive seasons before Shannon Smith garnered the honor in 2011.
Although known for her defensive abilities after being named the 2011 IWLCA National Defender of the Year, Thornton scored Northwestern's first goal of 2012 less than a minute into its season-opener at Stanford and has not slowed since, scoring a career-best 27 goals in 19 games thus far. She posted hat tricks against both William & Mary and Vanderbilt and enters NCAA Tournament play this week with three straight two-goal games to her credit.
Meanwhile, Thornton has been an anchor on a Northwestern defense that ranks fourth nationally in scoring defense (7.63) and has held opponents under 10 goals in all but three games this season. She leads the team with 44 ground balls -- the ninth-best single-season total in NU lacrosse history -- while ranking second with a career-best 59 draw controls and third with 24 caused turnovers. Her single-game career highs set this season include nine draw controls in an overtime victory against Ohio State and her six ground balls scooped up in a one-goal Wildcats win over No. 3 North Carolina.
With one season still remaining in her Northwestern career, Thornton stands eighth all-time at NU in career draw controls (141) and caused turnovers (68) and is ninth in ground balls (120).
Thornton's fellow finalists for the 2012 Tewaaraton Award are: Florida midfielder Brittany Dashiell, North Carolina attacker Becky Lynch, Maryland attacker Katie Schwarzmann and Syracuse attacker Michelle Tumolo. This year marks the first time in the award's history that the 10 finalists from the men's and women's sides represent 10 different schools.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook! and subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter to receive the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!