When she was a freshman on the Maryland women’s lacrosse team, midfielder Taylor Cummings didn’t know what the Tewaaraton Award was. After learning about the honor, given to the nation’s best college player, she didn’t make it a goal to win one.

“No player in high school thinks they’re going to be good enough to win a Tewaaraton,” Cummings said in April. “I didn’t really have any concept of it.”

Joining coach Cathy Reese’s program after losing only once at McDonogh, Cummings just wanted to win championships. Her mentality never changed.

But after leading the Terps in ground balls (62), draw controls (144) and caused turnovers (52) this season, Cummings became the sport’s first three-time Tewaaraton Award winner June 2.

For Jen Adams, a former Maryland attacker and the first-ever Tewaaraton winner in 2001, the decision was a no-brainer.

“Not many times in this day in age can someone say they’ve done something for the first time,” said Adams, head coach at Loyola Maryland. “She’s the first to be able to say she’s won it three times. Immense credit to her.”

Minutes after Cummings’ name was announced in Washington, D.C., she received a text message from former Terps midfielder Katie Schwarzmann, who won the award in 2012 and 2013.

“I just wanted to let her know how proud I was,” Schwarzmann said. “I told her what a great accomplishment it is, even if she couldn’t appreciate it right now.”

While Cummings made history, the recognition came after Maryland fell to North Carolina, 13-7, in the national championship game. It was the lone blemish in an otherwise perfect season.

Schwarzmann was in the same situation when she was a senior. The Sykesville native won her second Tewaaraton Award after tallying 85 points and helping Maryland reach the title game, but the Terps’ only loss came in the championship to the Tar Heels in triple overtime.

She couldn’t appreciate the honor as much when she was recognized, and Schwarzmann anticipates the same was true for Cummings.

“It’s hard because you want to be happy for your successes and everyone is happy for you and your teammates are there supporting you,” Schwarzmann said. “In the back of your mind, that game is still dwelling on you.”

Cummings, who helped the Terps reach the title game in each of her four seasons, was named an IWLCA first-team All-American for the fourth time and was an All-Big Ten selection for the second consecutive season. She set a new program mark in career draw controls (509) and ended her Maryland career third in goals (229), ninth in assists (94) and second in points (323).

A current U.S. national team member, Cummings will join the Baltimore Ride in the United Women’s Lacrosse League this summer.

Maryland also did not lose a game at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park. The senior class graduated with an 88-4 career record.

Now Cummings knows what it feels like to win a Tewaaraton, but she still prefers to focus on the success of the team.

The personal accolades are extra.

“I don’t think we’ve seen the best of her,” Schwarzmann said. “At any given point when the team needed her to step up, she did and she got it done for them.”