The 2020 men's lacrosse season is upon us. I took a look at the top offensive performers to look out for this season, and this is the result: there is an unbelievable amount. 2019 Tewaaraton award recipient Pat Spencer graduated last year, but every other Tewaaraton front-runner is back this season.
Here is a look at 9 of the top offensive powerhouses returning this year:
Grant Ament — Penn State
Ament was one of the five finalists for the Tewaaraton award last season. This might be a good reason why: He led the entire nation in points and assists per game. It gets better. He set an NCAA record for assists with 96 and 5.65 per game, as well as a Big Ten and program record for points with 126. This first-team All-American was a huge reason for Penn State’s run to the national semifinals last year.
EXPLAINER: The history of the Tewaaraton Award
Mac O'Keefe — Penn State
Mac O'Keefe is the second Penn State player to make the list, and there's a good reason for that. O'Keefe was the nation's leading scorer last season. He racked up 78 goals, 12 of those being man-up goals, and ranked sixth in the NCAA and second in the Big Ten with 5.33 points/game. He holds the program record with 164 career goals. This 2nd team All-American will be back with Ament to continue one of the nation’s most efficient offenses in 2020.
Michael Sowers — Princeton
Sowers was another Tewaaraton award finalist in the top five last season. He finished fourth in the nation in points per game (6.53) and third in the nation in assists per game (3.79). Sowers is already Princeton's all-time leading scorer with 255 career points and ranks 1-2-3 on Princeton's single-season scoring list. This 2019 first-team All-American is dangerous from behind the net.
Jared Bernhardt — Maryland
Bernhardt will be back this season in his Terps' No. 1 jersey, the number previously worn by 2017 Tewaaraton winner Matt Rambo, and many other Maryland greats. Bernhardt was another Tewaaraton finalist last season and first-team All-American. He finished second all-time at Maryland with 52 goals, and sixth in points in a single season with 78. He started every game as a freshman when the Terps took home the national championship.
Chris Gray — North Carolina
Gray spent his first two years at Boston University before transferring to the University of North Carolina for his junior and senior seasons. He finished his sophomore campaign ranked fourth in the NCAA in assists per game (3.65) and third in points per game (6.53). Those numbers were certainly worthy of his second-team All-American honors last season. He has two more years to make even more noise.
Jeff Teat — Cornell
Cornell is bringing back a second-team All-American as well in Jeff Teat. This guy was a first-team All-American in his sophomore season in 2018 after tallying 99 points that year and led his team again in points last season. He finished the season ranked 11th in the nation in points (4.67) and 13th in assists (2.40), slightly lower than his sophomore year when he finished fourth in the nation in assists.
Jackson Morrill — Yale
Yale, the national runner-up, return a lot of tremendous attackers. They had freshman standout Matt Brandau last season, who was unbelievable during their postseason run, and Matt Gaudet. Jackson Morrill was a huge part of this Bulldog offense last season and will be again. The third-team All-American led the team in points (94) and ranked seventh in the NCAA in points per game. He led the team in assists and his two main targets will be back to join him.
Michael Kraus — Virginia
This two-time Virginia captain will return for the reigning national champions. Kraus finished a third-team All-American despite missing three games due to injury last season. He didn’t lead the team in points last year, but did his freshman and sophomore years when he didn't miss any games, so get ready for Kraus in his senior year.
Asher Nolting — High Point
Nolting became the first player in High Point program history named a Tewaaraton award nominee last season. This third-team All-American finished last season pretty high on some record lists. He put up 5.75 points per game which ranked fifth in the nation. He also ranked fifth in the nation in assists per game.
There are a few other names that need to be mentioned when discussing offensive impact players:
- Kevin Lindley — Loyola, Honorable mention All-American
- Adam Goldner — Penn, Honorable mention All-American
- Matt Gaudet — Yale, Honorable mention All-American
- Matt Brandau — Yale
- Tre Leclaire — Ohio State, Honorable mention All-American
- Matt Moore — Virginia, Honorable mention All-American
- Ryan Tierney — Hofstra