During halftime of Sunday night's NCAA tournament first-round game between Albany and No. 8 seed Syracuse, the five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award were revealed, and three of them were already bounced from the postseason.
The finalists for the Tewaaraton – college lacrosse's version of the Heisman Trophy – are Denver junior attackman Connor Cannizzaro, Duke senior midfielder Myles Jones, Notre Dame senior defenseman Matt Landis, Brown junior attackman Dylan Molloy and Yale sophomore attackman Ben Reeves.
Cannizzaro, Jones and Reeves made quick exits from the tournament. Jones and the Blue Devils lost, 16-11, to No. 7 seed Loyola Maryland on Saturday, Cannizzaro and the No. 2 seed and 2015 national champion Pioneers were edged by Towson, 10-9, on Sunday, and Reeves and the No. 4 seed Bulldogs were stunned by Navy, 13-10, on Sunday.
Landis' candidacy does not appear promising as no defenseman has ever won the Tewaaraton since the award was introduced for the 2001 campaign. Molloy, who leads Division I in goals (60) and assists (54), is the favorite to earn the honor.
One name area fans might notice missing from the list is Loyola freshman attackman Pat Spencer, who ranks second in the country in assists (46) and is tied with Reeves for third in points (79). The Davidsonville resident and Boys' Latin graduate became the first player in Patriot League history to be named the Offensive Player and Rookie of the Year outright, but Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey said he understands the omission as it is believed that no freshman has been named a finalist.
"Pat has had a terrific year for us," Toomey said. "He has numbers that would warrant being on the list. I am partially to blame as it's hard to nominate a freshman so early in the season for this list. I'd be shocked if he wasn't a Tewaaraton Top 25 guy going into next year based on what he's done this year."
Last week, Spencer said he doesn't concern himself with individual accolades.
"To be honest, I don't really pay much attention to it," he said. "I try not to let that stuff get to my head. I know my parents and my grandparents love that and all of the exciting stuff that goes with it, but to me, it's more about winning championships. That's my main goal, getting to Final Four weekend and just having a shot to play in the championship. All the accolades that go with it are cool and very nice, and I enjoy hearing them, but at the same time, that's not what I play for. I guess it's reassuring that the way I'm playing is the right way to play."