BALTIMORE, Md. - Loyola senior attacker Grace Gavin has been named one of five finalists for the 2011 Tewaaraton Award, given annually to the top player in men's and women's lacrosse by the Greater Washington Sports Alliance.
Gavin, who earlier this season was named the BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year for the second year in a row, has helped the Greyhounds into the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2004.
"This is an awesome accomplishment for Grace, and a tremendous thing for our program," Loyola head coach Jen Adams said. "Grace has done amazing things on the lacrosse field with the records she has set, and how she has continued to get better each year. Grace is a dynamic player who is absolutely one of the best in the nation."
Four other finalists - Duke's Emma Hamm, Maryland's Sarah Mollison and Katie Schwarzmann and Northwestern's Shannon Smith - will join her at the Tewaaraton presentation on June 2 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. Gavin is the second player from Loyola to be named a finalist since the award's inception in 2001, joining Suzanne Eyler who was tabbed in 2003.
The Baltimore native became Loyola's all-time leader in both points and goals scored earlier this season, and she also is the first Greyhounds player to earn All-BIG EAST honors in four successive seasons. She earned First Team honors the last three years after picking up Second Team plaudits as a freshman.
In the BIG EAST Championship title game on May 7 against Notre Dame, Gavin scored on a free-position shot with 11:43 remaining to give Loyola the lead for good. The goal also was the 224th of Gavin's career, moving her into first-place by herself on the school's all-time goals scored list, eclipsing the 223 scored by Janet Eisenhut from 1980-83.
Gavin set the Loyola career points scored record in the regular-season finale on May 1 against Connecticut and enters the NCAA Championships with 301 points.
She has led the Greyhounds in scoring during each of her four seasons at Loyola and became the third player - joining Eisenhut and Stacey Morlang '02 - to score 60 or more goals in two consecutive seasons. Gavin is tied for third all-time at the school with 77 assists, as well. With two more, she will be tied for second on the career chart.
This year, Gavin is tops among the Tewaaraton finalists, and fourth in NCAA Division I with a 3.67 goals against average. She is also fourth in the country in points per game (4.89).
Gavin has also been a key player for Loyola on the draw circle and has 42 this season, matching her career-high from the 2008 season. She ranks second in school history with 154 draw controls, the most by a Greyhounds player since the NCAA changed the method for tracking the statistic in 2001.
Throughout her career at Loyola, Gavin has helped Loyola improve its record. The season before she stepped onto campus, Loyola compiled a 2-14 record. The Greyhounds improved to 6-10 in her first season and 11-6 and 11-7 during her sophomore and junior seasons. Loyola enters this year's NCAA Championships with a 16-2 overall record.
While Gavin would be the first person from Loyola to win the Tewaaraton Trophy, she would not be the first person currently associated with the program to earn the award. Adams won the inaugural trophy in 2001, and Assistant Coach Katie Chrest won the 2005 award after her senior season at Duke. Assistant Coach Dana Dobbie was a finalist for the award in 2008.
Only one BIG EAST player has won the Tewaaraton Trophy, Georgetown's Erin Elbe in 2002.