Championship season is upon us. This week's blog discusses Maryland's possible conference three-peat, Sarah Mollison's attack on the record books and which Terps could add some coveted hardware in 2011.
Maryland and Virginia are the only two programs in Atlantic Coast Conference history to win three consecutive tournament championships. Maryland captured its three-peat in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and Virginia swept three straight from 2006-08.
Whether Maryland is able to hoist the conference trophy for a third straight season is yet to be determined, but one thing is for sure, there will be a new tournament most valuable player for the first time since 2008. For the past two seasons, departed senior and current Florida assistant coach Caitlyn McFadden was awarded MVP honors.
SMALLS BUT MIGHTY
Don't let senior attacker Sarah Mollison's small stature fool you. Maryland's latest standout in a long line of all-stars from 'Down Under' may be listed at a generous 5-foot-5 on the roster, but make no mistake, her assault on the Terrapin record books has been nothing short of gargantuan.
The two-time captain, affectionately nicknamed 'Smalls', was just tabbed one of the 24 remaining finalists for the Tewaaraton Award. She has dished out a career-best 40 assists this season, ranking eighth in single-season history at Maryland. Her six helpers against Richmond to kick off the 2011 campaign tied a program record for assists in a game. Mollison is currently third in assists and eighth in points on Maryland's respective career lists.
Even more amazing is her membership into the exclusive 100/100 club. Mollison is one of only two active players to boast 100 goals and 100 assists in her career and joins a mere 22 others all-time. She is the sixth Terrapin to notch the prestigious milestone for her career, with Tewaaraton winner Caitlyn McFadden being the last to do so in 2010.
With a 25-game winning streak in-tow, very few of Maryland's players are thinking of anything other than working on a team repeat of last year's magical run to the national title. However, it's tough not to recognize the potential of this year's individual awards.
While no player will be commenting on personal accolades any time soon, this SID is more than happy to break down the upcoming award season. So grab your little black dress - or if you are Lady Gaga, prep the egg for another run - and let's examine some notes from Maryland's prospective lucrative award season.
- · The latest Tewaaraton watch list was announced Monday with four Terps landing in the final 24 nominees for the pre-eminent award given to the top player in the game.
- · Katie Schwarzmann was one of only four sophomores tabbed to the Tewaaraton watch list.
- · Maryland led all Division I programs with four players making the cut. North Carolina and Duke each had three student-athletes and Northwestern, Loyola, Stanford and William & Mary all boasted two.
- · Caitlyn McFadden became Maryland's second Tewaaraton winner last year. All five finalists for the award were seniors in 2010.
- · All-ACC award winners will be announced Wednesday. In each of the last two seasons, Maryland has had a league-best five players garner league honors. Karri Ellen Johnson and Sarah Mollison will each be aiming for their third-straight recognition.
- · For four consecutive seasons,a Terp has garnered ACC Player of the Year honors as Dana Dobbie won the award in 2007 and 2008 and McFadden did so in 2009 and 2010.
- · Maryland registered IWLCA Midfielder, Defender and Coach of the Year honors in 2010. The Terps boast four IWLCA All-Americans on their roster in 2011, including Karri Ellen Johnson (2009, 2010), Sarah Mollison (2009, 2010), Katie Schwarzmann (2010) and Brandi Jones (2009).
One last reminder, Friday's match against either Boston College or Virginia Tech in the semifinals of the ACC Championship will be shown live on theacc.com. Sunday's title contest will be broadcast on RSN TV, with exact clearance information available later this week.