Katie Schwarzmann takes top lacrosse award

Cal Sport Media

Katie Schwarzmann grew up in lacrosse-crazed Maryland, looking up to two sisters who played at Johns Hopkins.

Cathy Reese remembers taking Katie Schwarzmann aside after her freshman year. With one year of college lacrosse -- including a national title -- in the bank, the Maryland coach knew Schwarzmann was a cut above the overachievers in her rookie class.

Reese had a feeling Schwarzmann was one of those players who would have her name inscribed on hardware to come. So she said it out loud.

"I had that conversation with her freshman year," Reese said. "I said she was going to be a Tewaaraton [Award] finalist in her career here."

Reese was right.

Schwarzmann was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award, given to the best male and female college lacrosse player, her sophomore year. After reaching the lacrosse final four again this season, in her junior year, Schwarzmann won the Tewaaraton Award.

Schwarzmann said she was more aware of what the moment meant after attending the award ceremony with finalist and teammate Sarah Mollison.

"Especially after attending last year," Schwarzmann said.

In some ways, this isn't surprising. Schwarzmann, a quick-cutting midfielder, is the youngest of four kids growing up in the lacrosse-crazy state of Maryland. Her two older sisters played the sport at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and even though Katie played basketball and soccer, she always knew she would gravitate toward lacrosse when it was time to choose.

"It's the fast-paced nature of lacrosse," Schwarzmann said. "How it's such a team sport -- you're out there and you're working together. Other sports have more of an individual nature."

Two other Terps have won the Tewaaraton Award: Jen Adams in 2001 and Caitlyn McFadden in 2010. Schwarzmann might not have been the first person to think she would be next on the list.

Reese saw Schwarzmann play a lot in high school since she grew up in nearby Sykesville, Md. Many of the best players in college lacrosse come from the area, and Reese said Schwarzmann wasn't aware of how she stood out.

"She was someone in high school, I don't even think she realized how good she was at the time," Reese said.

Reese knew Johns Hopkins was serious competition recruiting wise, but luckily Schwarzmann had always wanted to go to Maryland. Once she got there, Schwarzmann wasn't the loudest kid in the huddle, but she gradually got more comfortable.

"It was really fun recruiting her and getting to see her open up, and she really has opened up," Reese said.

Next season, Schwarzmann would like another chance to wrench the championship trophy from Northwestern, which has won seven of the past eight titles. But Maryland is a program that has spawned an enviable coaching tree, including Northwestern's Kelly Amonte Hiller, who was a four-time All-American for the Terps.

Schwarzmann said she aspires to be a member of the national team, and after that she will consider coaching. She said Maryland is the best place to get inspired.

"It's having fun," Schwarzmann said. "You have to go out there and enjoy what you're doing. You're not going to learn anything if you're not having fun. That's why I think Maryland is so successful."

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