WASHINGTON - North Carolina's Kara Cannizzaro is among five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award, the top individual honor in women's lacrosse, the Tewaaraton Foundation announced on Thursday.
Cannizzarro leads Carolina in goals (45), points (61) and caused turnovers (25), while ranking second on the team in groundballs (28). A senior midfielder from Cazenovia, N.Y., Cannizzaro earned her second All-ACC selection and was named to the ACC All-Tournament Team in 2013.
"It's an amazing honor and I'm so happy to be among the final five," Cannizzaro says. "The leadership that some of the older players showed me when I was a young player really helped me get to where I am today. Just to be considered for this award is a big honor."
Five men and five women were selected as finalists and will be invited to Washington, D.C. for the 13th annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony, May 30 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.
The five women's finalists are Cannizzaro, Maryland attacker Alex Aust, Syracuse attacker Alyssa Murray, Florida goalie Mikey Meagher and Maryland midfielder Katie Schwarzmann.
Cannizzaro is the fifth Tar Heel women's player to be a Tewaaraton finalist and the fourth in the last five years. Carolina players to be named a Tewaaraton finalist are Christine McPike (2002), Amber Falcone (2009), Jenn Russell (2010), Becky Lynch (2012) and Cannizzaro (2013).
"We're really excited about Kara being recognized for her excellence," UNC head coach Jenny Levy says. "She's been a very hard worker. I texted her last night and said, 'My vision of you will always be out on the field, with a bag of balls, by yourself, working on your game, dodging and shooting. That encompasses what she's all about — hard work, improving based on the play of her teammates. I'm very proud of her, and proud of our program for having a finalist in four of the last five years."
The five men's finalists are North Carolina attackman Marcus Holman, Syracuse midfielder JoJo Marasco, Cornell attackman Rob Pannell, Princeton midfielder Tom Schreiber and Albany attackman Lyle Thompson.
Returning finalists include Pannell (2011) and Schwarzmann (2011 finalist, 2012 winner). Nine of the 10 finalists will compete in this month's NCAA lacrosse championships, at the conclusion of which the selection committees will vote on and select this year's winners.
"It is the ultimate achievement for these 10 finalists to have been recognized by the game's very best coaches on the Tewaaraton Selection Committees," said Jeffrey Harvey, chairman of The Tewaaraton Foundation. "They are all worthy of the sport's ultimate award, and we could not be more excited to have this group come to Washington, D.C., on May 30."
The Tewaaraton Award annually honors the top male and top female college lacrosse player in the United States. Finalists were selected from a pool of 25 men's and 25 women's nominees. The selection committees are comprised of 12 men's and 10 women's current and former college coaches.