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Women's Lacrosse: A Tewaaraton trio

Penn State sophomore Maggie McCormick, a Liberty graduate, had 40 goals and 32 assists through 16 games, and her name has been added to the watch list for this year's Tewaaraton Award.
Penn State sophomore Maggie McCormick, a Liberty graduate, had 40 goals and 32 assists through 16 games, and her name has been added to the watch list for this year's Tewaaraton Award.(Photo courtesy of Penn State , Carroll County Times)

When she got a look at the latest names added to the Tewaaraton Award watch list, Jill Remenapp went right to her cell phone.

Remenapp, a Century graduate and sophomore at the University of Denver, saw her name among the additions. She also saw a pair of fellow sophomores: Penn State's Maggie McCormick, and Princeton's Erin McMunn.

That's three former Carroll County standouts vying for the nation's player of the year award.

Remenapp said she reached out to her former club lacrosse teammates to congratulate them.

"We texted each other and it was like, wouldn't want it any other way," Remenapp said.

The Tewaaraton Award in women's lacrosse is akin to the Heisman Trophy in football, with the sport recognizing its top player each year. Carroll County was in the spotlight last season when Maryland junior Katie Schwarzmann, a Century grad, earned the honors.

Schwarzmann has local company this year.

Remenapp had 62 assists through the Pioneers' first 16 games, which was tops in the country. Her 3.88 assists per game also led the nation.

She set a Denver record with nine assists April 21 against St. Mary's, a 20-9 victory that clinched the top seed in the upcoming Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament.

Remenapp said coming into her own this season as the Pioneers' main threat on attack has been fulfilling.

"I was surprised, because last year I really didn't stand out too much," she said. "This year my goal was to go 40-40, 40 goals and 40 assists. I just got on this roll with assists, I guess it comes naturally to me."

Remenapp said she used last year's experience - she led the Pioneers with 28 assists (15 games, one start) and was the team's Most Valuable Freshman - as momentum for this season, when she planned to make her mark.

Same goes for McCormick and McMunn, each of whom are thriving at their colleges.

McCormick, a Liberty graduate, led the Nittany Lions through 15 games with 69 points (39 goals, 30 assists). She surpassed 100 career points earlier this season, and netted a career-high six goals March 6 against James Madison.

Last Sunday against Johns Hopkins, McCormick assisted Mackenzie Cyr (Winters Mill) for the game-winning goal with less than a minute to play that gave Penn State a piece of the American Lacrosse Conference title.

"Coming into this season ... we're a very, very young team. We really didn't know what to expect," McCormick said. "But we're a legit team now, one of the top teams in the country."

Cyr is one of PSU's veterans as a junior, but she said she remembers growing up somewhat as a player a year ago.

"The second year is a lot easier,' said Cyr, second on the team with 50 points. "You're a little timid, a little scared at first. But it starts to change a little bit. ... The competition in Carroll County is awesome. It's not that extreme a difference from when you're in high school and then coming to play for some of these colleges."

Penn State was ranked sixth in the country going into the weekend in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association's top 20 poll. Denver was 11th in the rankings, and Princeton was 18th.

McMunn led the Tigers with 58 points (34, 24) heading into their game Saturday with Penn State. She's been named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week three times this season, and her nine draw controls April 10 against Maryland matched the second most in program history.

"Seeing so many local Carroll County girls on there, it just made me very proud," McMunn said about being added to the Tewaaraton watch list. "I'm very appreciative and grateful to be included."

(The list was pared down to 25 Friday night, with McCormick and Schwarzmann making the cut. Five men's and five women's finalists will be announced May 9 and invited to the award ceremony May 30 in Washington).

Like McCormick and Remenapp, McMunn said her confidence has grown in her sophomore year as she defines her role on the team and jells with the upperclassmen.

"This year has been about bringing confidence on the field and having fun when I play," she said. "I think I can say I'm pleased with my progress, but I'm not satisfied."

McMunn and the Tigers are gearing up for the Ivy League tourney, which begins May 3 in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Penn State goes for the ALC tourney championship beginning May 2 in Baltimore while Denver fights for an MPSF tourney title starting May 2 in Eugene, Ore.

All three teams have NCAA championship aspirations. And all three players seem humbled to be considered some of the best in the country.

"It wasn't too surprising, the fact that Jill and Erin were on there too," McCormick said. "Our area is such a hotbed for lacrosse."

Added Remenapp: "I was proud of that. It's awesome to get recognized."

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