Maryland's Matt Rambo, Zoe Stukenberg sweep Tewaaraton Awards

Three days after helping the Maryland men's lacrosse team snap a 42-year drought in national championships, Matt Rambo ended another dry spell for the program.

The senior attackman was named the 2017 winner of the Tewaaraton Award, college lacrosse's version of the Heisman Trophy and given to the top men's and women's player. The Terps swept both honors as senior midfielder Zoe Stukenberg received the women's award Thursday night at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington.

Rambo and Stukenberg are the first players in Tewaaraton history to win the award from the same school in the same season.

"I'm so honored and excited to win this award," Rambo said during his acceptance speech before thanking his coaches, teammates and family members. "Thank you, guys. Thank you, everyone. Terp Nation."

Rambo became the first men's player in school history to earn the honor since its inception in 2001 and was only the program's second finalist after former attackman Joe Walters lost to Virginia attackman Matt Ward in 2006. Rambo is also the first player to win the Tewaaraton after leading his team to the Division I national championship since former Virginia attackman Steele Stanwick (Loyola Blakefield) in 2011.

The Tewaaraton caps what has been a scintillating career for Rambo. On the field, he became the school's career leader in goals with 155 and points with 257, the first player to compile 40 goals and 40 assists in a single season, and the NCAA's all-time leader in points in the tournament with 64.

The individual accolades have been pouring in. Rambo was selected as the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Year, a first-team All American, the Lt. Raymond J. Enners Award winner acknowledged as Division I's Outstanding Player, and the No. 3 pick in the Major League Lacrosse draft Sunday.

Yet Rambo has consistently emphasized that nothing tops aiding Maryland in capturing its first NCAA crown since 1975 and putting a stop to a nine-game losing skid in the title game.

"It was a great way to end my career, but winning the championship was the best thing that happened to me at Maryland," he said. "This is for the team. This is a team award. It's not an individual award. Without my teammates and coaches and staff and alumni, this couldn't have happened."

Rambo's sentiment did not surprise coach John Tillman.

"He's such a team guy," Tillman said. "He never once talked about the scoring records or anything like that. He's never referenced it or talked about it. It's so anti-him. Even with us, the only award we really acknowledged in front of the group was the Senior CLASS Award for [short-stick defensive midfielder] Isaiah [Davis-Allen] because that was so encompassing of being more than just a good player."

Rambo bested a crowded field that included Denver junior faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste, Division I's Outstanding Midfielder whose 74.4 success rate ranks as the fourth highest in a single campaign in NCAA history; Albany junior attackman Connor Fields, the country's Outstanding Attackman who led the nation with 117 points; Yale junior attackman Ben Reeves, the school's all-time leading scorer with 201; and Loyola Maryland sophomore attackman Pat Spencer (Boys' Latin), who set program and Patriot League records for assists in a single season with 55.

On the women's side, Stukenberg, a Marriotts Ridge graduate, gave Maryland the women's Tewaaraton for the sixth straight year.

Last year, Taylor Cummings became the first three-time winner. Katie Schwarzmann won the two before that. All three are former Baltimore Sun All-Metro Players of the Year — Cummings at McDonogh and Schwarzmann at Century.

The Terps have claimed eight women's Tewaaraton Awards with Jen Adams, the current Loyola Maryland coach, winning the first one in 2001 and Caitlyn (McFadden) Phipps winning in 2010.

The Tewaaraton adds to a sensational season for Stukenberg, who led the No. 1 Terps (23-0) to their 14th national championship and their fifth undefeated season. She is also one of four finalists for the Honda Sport Award in women's lacrosse Thursday.

At midfield, she was the glue that held the team together, finishing in the top three in every statistical category. She had 53 goals, 31 assists, 74 draw controls and 21 caused turnovers. A first-team All-American, she was named to the all-tournament teams at the Big Ten tournament and the NCAA tournament. The program has gone 89-3 over her four years with three national championships.

In addition, Stukenberg is a three-time Elite 90 Award winner as the women's lacrosse player in the Division I final four with the highest GPA. She maintained a 4.0 all through her four years at Maryland, where she majored in biological science.

Although her tentative long-term plans are to become a doctor, she will teach in a Baltimore City public school in the fall as part of a year-long commitment to Teach for America. She was also drafted by the Baltimore Ride professional women's lacrosse team.

Stukenberg was one of two Maryland Tewaaraton finalists along with senior defender Nadine Hadnagy. The other finalists were Stony Brook junior attacker Kylie Ohlmiller, North Carolina junior midfielder Marie McCool and Princeton senior attacker Olivia Hompe.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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Baltimore Sun reporter Katherine Dunn contributed to this article.

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