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Syracuse Men's Lacrosse: Trio Named to Tewaarton Watch List

Three Syracuse Orange players have been named to the Tewaaraton Foundation's 2016 Watch List. Really no surprises as Dylan Donahue, Brandon Mullins and Ben Williams made the list, but more additions could be coming.

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The Tewaaraton Foundation announced its men's and women's watch lists on Tuesday evening. For those unfamiliar with the award, it is given to the top men's and women's players in college lacrosse each year. Obviously, it is early on in the season, and players will have an opportunity to play their way onto this list. Additions to the watch list will be announced on March 17 and April 7, if applicable.

On April 28, the Foundation will narrow the lists down to its Tewaaraton Trophy Nominees, the top 25 men's and women's players. The field will be further narrowed on May 12 when the top five finalists will be announced in preparation for the June 2 ceremony held in Washington, DC.

The Tewaaraton Trophy was first awarded in 2001 when Doug Shanahan of the Hofstra Pride won it. Hofstra is just one of eight programs to ever have a winner on its roster. It should be noted that no defenseman, FOGO, nor goalie has ever won the trophy.

Last season Lyle Thompson of the Albany Great Danes took home the award on the men's side, becoming the first back-to-back male winner. Of course Lyle shared the award with older brother Miles Thompson in 2014, the first time the award has been handed out to two players. Two 2015 finalists are currently named on the watch list: Matt Kavanagh (Notre Dame Fighting Irish) and Myles Jones (Duke Blue Devils).

As for Syracuse, the Orange has had three Tewaaraton Trophy winners. Michael Powell won the award 2002 and 2004 while Mike Leveille took it home in 2008. Only the Virginia Cavaliers have had as many Tewaaraton Award winners as Syracuse.

This year's watch list features three Syracuse Orange players. Senior attackman Dylan Donahue is the likely favorite from SU. Donahue made it onto the 25-man nominee list last year, but just missed out on being a finalist. The Camillus, NY native already has five goals and nine assists this year as he settles into his new role on the offense. He is one of the more dangerous players in college lacrosse, and I believe he will make that finalist group this season.

Brandon Mullins, another Syracuse player making the nominee list in 2015, is also featured on the 2016 watch list. The senior defenseman has had an impressive career at ‘Cuse, totaling 48 caused turnovers and 84 groundballs through his fifth season (Mullins played three games in 2013 before being injured and received a medical redshirt). Traditionally known as a shut down defender, Mullins appears to have moved to the second defensive spot, which could affect his numbers this year.

Then there is Ben Williams. It would be extremely tough for a faceoff guy to take home this award, but if ever there was a player, he is it. Williams played his freshman year for the Holy Cross Crusaders before transferring to Syracuse. It is not a stretch to say that he is the most valuable player on this SU team, and the Foundation rewarded him for that last year, placing him on the 25-man nominee list. He is currently rocking a .725 faceoff winning percentage through the first two games of the season and has already snagged 14 groundballs. It is likely that his limited field time will hold him back from being a real contender for the award, but he is certainly deserving for his play and impact.

It should be noted that Nick Mellen is not on the list. This isn't a huge surprise considering there are no freshman named to the watch list and just two sophomores. That being said, I have no doubt Mellen will be added if his current performance continues. The West Genesee graduate currently leads his team in caused turnovers with five and is second behind Williams in groundballs with 11.

In the ACC, 15 players made the list. Virginia leads all ACC programs with five selections followed by Syracuse and Notre Dame with three each, and Duke and Carolina with two apiece. The full list of Conference players is below.

Player

School

Position

Matt Barrett

Virginia

Goalie

Deemer Class

Duke

Midfield

Greg Coholan

Virginia

Midfield

Dylan Donahue

Syracuse

Attack

Luke Goldstock

North Carolina

Attack

Myles Jones

Duke

Midfield

Matt Kavanagh

Notre Dame

Attack

Matt Landis

Notre Dame

Defense

Brandon Mullins

Syracuse

Defense

James Pannell

Virginia

Attack

Sergio Perkovic

Notre Dame

Midfield

Austin Pifani

North Carolina

Defense

Tanner Scales

Virginia

Defense

Ben Williams

Syracuse

Midfield

Zed Williams

Virginia

Midfield

Syracuse will host the Army Black Knights on Sunday at 4 PM. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN3 and can be heard on TK99. Of course you can follow me @Orangelax for game updates.