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Terps' Taylor Cummings, Albany's Lyle Thompson repeat as Tewaaraton Award winners

For the second straight year Thursday night, Maryland junior midfielder Taylor Cummings won the Tewaaraton Award as the best player in women's college lacrosse.

Albany senior attacker Lyle Thompson received the men's Tewaaraton Award at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, marking the first time in the award's 15-year history that both winners repeated. Last season, Thompson shared the award with his older brother and former teammate Miles; he is the first men's player to win in consecutive years.

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Cummings (McDonogh), who led the No. 1 Terps to their second straight national championship Sunday, is the fourth repeat winner on the women's side. Maryland has won five of the past six Tewaaraton Awards, including four straight, and six overall since Jen Adams won the inaugural honor in 2001. Katie Schwarzmann (Century) won in 2012 and 2013, while Caitlyn (McFadden) Phipps, from Notre Dame Prep, won in 2010.

Northwestern's Hannah Nielsen (2008-09) and Kristen Kjellman (2006-07) are the only other repeat winners. The Terps and Wildcats, who have combined to win 10 of the past 11 national championships, have won 11 of 15 Tewaaratons. Duke's Katie Chrest (Maryvale) was the last woman from another program to win, in 2006.

Last year, Cummings became the first sophomore to win the women's award and next year can become the first three-time winner.

"I'm just so honored and so humbled to be even nominated, let alone win," Cummings said. "I wouldn't be up there without my teammates and my coaches and everyone else who loves and supports me. I'm really happy to be bringing it back to College Park, though."

Her Maryland teammates turned out to support her Thursday night.

"It's awesome," Cummings said. "To have them all here and have a giant section of the auditorium filled up with people who I'm really good friends with and who I love means the world, and I can't wait to go hang out with them and celebrate."

The former Eagles star brought an unmatched versatility to her game this season. She led the Terps in points, controlled the midfield, dominated draws and played more of a defensive role than she had in the past.

She finished atop Division I with 100 points (63 goals, 37 assists) and ranked in the top five in draw controls (143) and points per game (4.55). She also was eighth in caused turnovers with 36.

Her ability to control the draw was crucial to Maryland's success during Championship Weekend. The second-half possessions she won allowed the Terps (21-1) to dictate the pace of the game and stall away the final minutes of close wins.

In Sunday's championship game, top-seeded Maryland trailed by three goals at halftime against No. 2 seed North Carolina. No team ever had made up that much ground to win the NCAA title game. Cummings, however, won five of nine second-half draws and scored the winning goal in a 9-8 victory for the 13th national title in Terps history. She finished with three goals and two assists in the tournament final.

In Friday's semifinal, she had two goals and four assists in a 10-8 win over No. 4 seed Syracuse. She also had five draw controls, including two early in the second half that helped the Terps score three straight goals and take a four-goal lead.

At this rate, Cummings will need a pretty big trophy case for all her lacrosse accolades. In addition to the two Tewaaratons, she won the Honda Sports Award for lacrosse last season and is nominated again this year. She has been named the Most Outstanding Player of the past two NCAA tournaments. A three-time first-team All-American, she was the Big Ten Conference Midfielder of the Year this spring and National Midfielder of the Year in 2014.

A two-time Baltimore Sun Female Athlete of the Year and Player of the Year who led McDonogh to four Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference girls lacrosse championships, she was twice Lacrosse Magazine's national Player of the Year in high school.

Cummings was one of three repeat finalists, including Syracuse junior attacker Kayla Treanor and Florida senior midfielder Shannon Gilroy. Boston College junior midfielder Sarah Mannelly and Notre Dame senior defender Barbara Sullivan were also in contention.

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Thompson ended his college career as the all-time Division I leader in points with 400. He passed former Cornell attackman Rob Pannell's mark of 354 points, set in 2013.

Thompson, an Onondaga Indian, also became the Division I leader in career assists with 225, eclipsing the previous record of 221, set by former Syracuse attackman Tim Nelson in 1985.

Thompson finished his senior season with 121 points, the second-highest single-season total in Division I history. He had 128 points last season.

Thompson, who also won his second straight Lt. Raymond J. Enners Award, given to the nation's most outstanding men's player, is the first player in Division I history with three consecutive 100-point seasons. He is also the first player in Great Danes history to be named a first-team All-American three straight years.

Thompson beat a group of finalists that included Denver senior attackman Wesley Berg, Duke junior midfielder Myles Jones, Notre Dame junior attackman Matt Kavanagh and Syracuse senior attackman Kevin Rice.

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