Senior Brittany Dashiell finished her 2012 campaign in Washington, D.C., as one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award, which is given to college lacrosse’s top player each season.
Though she did not take home any hardware, Dashiell entered this year as a prime candidate to receive the award. But her chance of winning the Tewaaraton Award took a hit on March 9.
The senior midfielder suffered a concussion after being hit in the head by an opponent’s stick during No. 2 Florida’s 14-9 victory against Dartmouth on March 9 at Dizney Stadium.
She sat out against Lehigh three days later for precautionary reasons.
Though the Gators breezed their way to an 18-2 win, Dashiell’s absence was felt.
“Even though it wasn’t that tough of an opponent, it was just weird not having her out there,” senior Kitty Cullen said. “It felt off.”
Dashiell missed practice in the weeks following the injury but returned as Florida traveled to face Oregon in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday.
Despite the missed time, coach Amanda O’Leary expected an aggressive effort from Dashiell in the road matchup against the Ducks.
“Brittany just makes those seamless transitions,” O’Leary said of Dashiell’s return to the lineup.
“She could probably take a week off, and it’s not going to affect her. She’s just that good.”
Dashiell responded with three goals, an assist and three draw controls as Florida beat Oregon 13-5.
“She’s one of those players that we rely on and will continue to rely on,” O’Leary said.
Dashiell has battled injuries throughout her career with the Gators.
She missed a game with an undisclosed injury last season and suffered a concussion in 2011.
Cullen, who had a concussion last season, said the key is rest.
“With any sport when you get a concussion, I think it’s very important to take a couple of days and let your brain heal,” Cullen said.
“So it can shut down.”
Now healthy, Dashiell will continue her campaign for the Tewaaraton Award tonight as No. 2 Florida (11-0) faces Stetson (0-7) at 6:30 p.m. at Dizney Stadium.
O’Leary is glad to have one of her top players back on the field as the Gators look to remain unbeaten this season.
“There’s a reason she is on the Tewaaraton watch list, and there was a reason she was on the final list last year,” O’Leary said.
“She’s just the best of the best.”
Senior Brittany Dashiell (22) runs after the ball during Florida’s 18-13 exhibition win against England on Jan. 24 at Dizney Stadium. Dashiell became the first Gator to record 200 career draw controls on Saturday.