Will Manny's absence opens and narrows Tewaaraton race at same time

News from this past weekend that Massachusetts senior attackman Will Manny would be out indefinitely with a broken thumb didn’t impact the then-No. 14 Minutemen’s ability to pull off a 12-11 upset of then-No. 6 North Carolina. But Manny’s absence – if a long one – could have an impact on the race for the Tewaaraton Award.

On the face of it, losing Manny – who recorded 44 goals and 33 assists in 2012 – would appear to open the race for candidates like Princeton junior midfielder Tom Schreiber (32, 28), Ohio State senior attackman Logan Schuss (39, 18), Johns Hopkins senior midfielder John Ranagan (16, 7) and a trio of defensive players in Notre Dame senior goalkeeper John Kemp (6.27 goals-against average and .637 save percentage), Loyola senior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff (12 goals, seven assists, 88 ground balls and 37 caused turnovers) and Maryland senior long-stick midfielder Jesse Bernhardt (three goals, three assists, 60 ground balls and 33 caused turnovers).

But Manny’s absence may actually do the opposite and narrow the field. No defensive player has ever won the Tewaaraton, and as talented as Schreiber, Schuss and Ranagan are, the race may come down to four familiar names.

Barring a slump, reigning Tewaaraton Award winner and Colgate senior attackman Peter Baum (67, 30) is a lock for serious consideration. North Carolina senior attackman Marcus Holman (39, 35) and Loyola senior attackman Mike Sawyer (52, 10) should also find their way into the conversation.

The final and perhaps most intriguing candidate is Cornell redshirt senior attackman Rob Pannell. He played just two games last season after breaking a bone in his left foot. But he did compile seven goals and nine assists in those two contests and he finished with 42 goals and 47 assists in 2011, his last full season.

That outlook can change depending on who emerges during the course of the season. The door is open for someone to perhaps take Manny’s place.

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