Connor Fields came up short in his bid to win this year’s Tewaaraton Award.
The UAlbany men’s lacrosse junior attackman was one of five finalists for the award, but Maryland senior attackman Matt Rambo was announced as the national player of the year Thursday at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Fields led UAlbany through a season in which the Great Danes climbed as high as No. 4 in the national polls and earned their first home game in the NCAA tournament since 2007. In raw totals, Fields led the country in goals (55), assists (62) and points (117). He also led the nation in per-game assists (3.44) and points (6.50).
Fields’ 117 points were the fourth-most ever in a season for a Division I men’s lacrosse player, only trailing seasons from former UAlbany greats Miles Thompson and Lyle Thompson.
“He’s a special player,” Marr said of Fields after the Great Danes’ season-ending loss to Maryland last month. “Connor, he’s got a great gift of understanding the game. His knowledge of where to be, where the ball should be, and his ability to change direction, playing with his head up — I think [that’s] from his hockey background — is great.”
Fields’ average of 6.50 points per game was 0.96 clear of runner-up Jeff Teat, a Cornell freshman, in that category. That margin between Fields and Teat was the same as
between Teat and Rambo, the No. 12 scorer in the nation at 4.58 points per game.
Rambo’s win Thursday, though, was widely expected. Rambo scored 42 goals and registered 45 assists in a senior season in which he broke Maryland’s all-time scoring record and led the Terrapins to their first national championship in decades.
UAlbany finished 15-3 after falling to Maryland in the quarterfinals of the NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament. The Terrapins also defeated UAlbany during the regular season.
The Great Danes finished the 2017 season with the nation’s highest-scoring offense at 15.39 goals per game. While Fields and Marr were quick throughout the campaign to credit UAlbany’s supporting cast, Fields was at the center of everything for the Great Danes’ offense during a season in which he won America East Offensive Player of the Year and the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s Lt. Col. J.I. (Jack) Turnbull Award for most outstanding attackman.
Eight times, Fields scored at least eight points in a game. He scored 10 points in two separate games, and scored nine in the America East championship game.
“The level he’s been at this year is unbelievable,” UAlbany senior midfielder Bennett Drake had said of Fields as the Great Danes readied for this year’s NCAA tournament. “It challenges the rest of us to raise our games to see if we can match it.”
A year ago, Brown attackman Dylan Molloy won the Tewaaraton, while UAlbany players won the award in both 2014 and 2015.
Miles Thompson and Lyle Thompson shared the Tewaaraton in 2014, while Lyle Thompson won the award solo in 2015.
After his program’s 2017 season came to a close, Marr compared Fields’ impact on the UAlbany program to that of the Thompson brothers.
“We’re very fortunate to have him,” Marr said, “like it was fortunate to have Miles and Lyle.”
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