In perhaps the least surprising news of the college lacrosse season, Jared Bernhardt of Maryland and Charlotte North of Boston College collected the 2021 Tewaaraton Award Saturday as the sport’s top players.
The announcement was made during halftime of a Premier Lacrosse League game between the Chaos and Whipsnakes Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. In a brief acceptance speech aired on NBC Sports Network, Bernhardt thanked older brothers Jake and Jesse, the respective offensive coordinator at Vermont and defensive coordinator for the Terps, his mother, Catherine, and his late father, James, who died June 20, 2019.
“It’s awesome,” Jared Bernhardt said. “It’s honestly so surreal. I just want to thank the Tewaaraton Foundation for this event this weekend. It was awesome. I really want to thank my teammates, my friends. I want to thank my family, my mom for coming to all of my games growing up and everything that she did, my brothers for dragging me to the field when I didn’t want to go. And I also want to thank my dad. He’s not here, but he put a stick in our hands. And I also want to thank [Maryland head] coach [John] Tillman, [former Terps offensive coordinator and current Holy Cross head] coach [J.L.] Reppert and [interim Maryland offensive coordinator] coach Bobby Benson for all their help. So thank you.”
North and her Eagles teammates were already at Gillette Stadium as they were saluted for capturing the program’s first national championship on Sunday.
“Incredible,” North said of the recognition. “I want to thank my coaches at Boston College — [head coach] Acacia Walker[-Weinstein], [associate head coach] Kayla Treanor, [assistant coach] Jen Kent, [graduate assistant] Sam Apuzzo, [volunteer assistant coach] Billy Bitter. You guys have changed my life. You’ve created something so special at Boston College. Thank you for letting me be just a small part in it. Thank you to my high school coaches, [Episcopal School of Dallas girls lacrosse program director] Maggie [Koch] and [coach] Molly [Pluss]. You have been my mentors for life. Thank you to my family for all of the support. And my teammates. This is ours because you are my 37 best friends, and I couldn’t do anything without you. I love you all.”
Bernhardt, a senior attackman who is the second player in school history to earn the honor since Matt Rambo in 2017, returned to the Terps after an attempt to play football last fall at NCAA Division II Ferris State was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic. The first-team All American, the Lt. Raymond J. Enners Outstanding Player of the Year, and the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year finished the spring leading all Division I players in both goals per game (4.4) and points per game (6.2).
Bernhardt set new program single-season records for goals (71) and points (99), eclipsing marks previously held by Mark Douglas (52 goals in 1991) and Ray Altman (93 points in 1963). The school’s lone two-time Tewaaraton Award finalist also established new program all-time records for goals (202) and points (290), passing Rambo (155 goals and 257 points from 2014-17).
Bernhardt set school marks for goals in an NCAA tournament (18) and points in the postseason (24), overtaking Douglas (13 goals in 1991) and Rambo (23 points in 2016). He led Maryland, the No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, to a perfect record through 15 games before a 17-16 loss to No. 4 seed and 2019 national champion Virginia on Memorial Day.
North, a senior attacker who is the second player in Eagles history to be recognized for the Tewaaraton since Sam Apuzzo in 2018, wrapped up a stellar campaign by scoring 102 goals in 21 games, surpassing the previous NCAA Division I record of 100 held by Stony Brook’s Courtney Murphy in 21 games. She also broke Apuzzo’s school mark of 94 goals in 2019.
Ranked second in the nation in total points (114), third in goals per game (4.9) and overall draw controls (174), and eighth in shooting percentage (. 630) and draw controls per game (8.3), North compiled 31 goals and two assists in the NCAA tournament to power Boston College (18-3) to its first national championship and earn the postseason’s Most Outstanding Performer honor.
Her 31 goals smashed the previous NCAA tournament record of most goals of 22 shared by Northwestern’s Katrina Dowd and Selena Lasota.
Bernhardt was joined by fellow men’s finalists Duke’s Michael Sowers (a finalist two years ago with Princeton and first-team All-ACC in 2021), Georgetown’s Jake Carraway, a St. Mary’s High grad (Big East Attack Player of the Year), North Carolina’s Chris Gray (ACC’s Offensive Player of the Year), and Notre Dame’s Pat Kavanagh (first-team All-ACC).
North was one of five Tewaaraton women’s finalists, alongside North Carolina’s Jamie Ortega (ACC Attacker of the Year) and Taylor Moreno (ACC Defender of the Year), Maryland’s Lizzie Colson, a Manchester Valley graduate (Big Ten Defender of the Year) and Northwestern’s Izzy Scane (Big Ten’s Attacker of the Year).
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“We are incredibly proud to recognize two amazingly talented student-athletes in Charlotte North and Jared Bernhardt as this year’s Tewaaraton Award winners,” said Jeffrey T. Harvey, chairman of the Tewaaraton Foundation. “Charlotte put up the greatest scoring season in NCAA history for the first-time champion Eagles, while Jared led the country in scoring and got the Terps to the NCAA title game.”