April 25, 2014
NEWTON, Mass. - Her name is Margaret Smith. It is OK to call her Maggie, Maggs or Marge. You can also call her a Tewaaraton Award nominee as the Notre Dame women's lacrosse team's top defender was named as one of the country's top 25 overall women's players on Friday evening.
The ACC's leader in both caused turnovers and ground balls, Smith was recognized for her work as Notre Dame's lone senior starter and helped set a school record as well. For the first time in Notre Dame history, this marks the third year in a row that the Irish have had a Tewaaraton Nominee. Barbara Sullivan was a nominee in 2013 while Maggie Tamasitis made the cut in 2012. Sullivan was on the 2014 watch list along with Smith, but was limited to just six games played this spring due to a back injury.
Smith's performance in ACC league games has been equally impressive. Facing a conference with seven teams that have been ranked in the top 10 in the country this spring, Smith's 21 caused turnovers in conference games is more than double the number of her next-closest competitor, Maryland's Taylor Cummings with 10. In seven elite matchups against ACC teams, Smith is also tied with Kelsey Duryea of Duke for the lead in ground balls at 25 in each player's seven conference games.
Despite the Irish facing the nation's toughest schedule according to the NCAA, Smith is ranked seventh in the nation in ground balls and eighth in caused turnovers, one of just two players ranked so high in each category.
Smith has also made an impact on draw controls this spring, snaring a team-high 40 to date. Smith's 161 career ground balls rank third amongst all active players in the nation.
The Irish will find out when they return to action on Sunday, May 4 at 9:00 p.m. when the NCAA Tournament bracket is announced.