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Women’s Lacrosse Phenom Up for ESPY

By Lauren Brown

Cummings

Terps women’s lacrosse star Taylor Cummings ’16 has an enviable problem: a load of trophies to display, and years ahead of her to earn more.

In May, she became the first sophomore woman ever to win the Tewaarton Award, given to the top male and female players in collegiate lacrosse. Days later, she won the Honda Award, given to the top NCAA woman in 12 sports, and she was named the Inside Lacrosse National Midfielder of the Year. The two-time All-American was also crowned MVP at the national title game, where she led the Terps (23-1) to the championship.

Now Cummings is one of five nominees for Best Female College Athlete at the 2014 ESPYs, which will be broadcast live on ESPN at 9 p.m. July 16. Fans can vote for the winners in all categories online.

“Taylor is just a true competitor and a great teammate,” says Terps Coach Cathy Reese ’98, the sport’s national Coach of the Year. “She wants to be the best she can be and puts everything out there.”

Taylor Cummings

Cummings likes to have her nose in every aspect of the game, and plays offense, defense and throughout the midfield with relish. She dominates any draw for possession of the ball, drives down the field at full throttle, head and shoulders first, and throws her stick in triumph after a particularly satisfying score.

She picked up her first lacrosse stick at age 7, and in her four years at the McDonogh School lost only one game. (And that’s while also helping to win state titles in basketball and soccer her senior year at the high school.)

The top recruit in the country, Cummings came to Maryland after meeting the coaches. “They’re fabulous and so fun, and I loved the campus and atmosphere, and the way the team was with each other.”

On campus, she’s majoring in finance and rooms with several of her teammates. They’re a close-knit squad, and in their downtime watch the Food Network and make a lot of runs to Cold Stone Creamery.

She’s spending the summer coaching at lacrosse camps, giving individual lessons, training with the national team (which includes six other current and former Terps) and escaping to the beach with friends. Next year, she promises, she’ll make time for an internship.

But her primary goal for next year shouldn’t be surprising. After the contrast of the Terps falling in triple overtime for the national title in 2013, then wresting it back, Cummings wants to keep it firmly in the team’s grip.

“We felt that high, we know what it’s like to win, and we want it again,” she says.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.