National Player of the Year, National Defensive Player of the Year, National ChampionMELBOURNE, Fla. – The University of Tampa lacrosse athlete Matthew Beddow has been named the 2021-22 Sunshine State Conference Male Athlete of the Year. Beddow finished the season as a National Champion, the National Player of the Year, and the National Defensive Player of the Year.
Voting for the award is conducted among Athletic Directors, Senior Woman Administrators, Athletic Communication Directors, and Faculty Athletic Representatives from each of the 11 SSC member institutions.
Beddow, a defenseman from San Diego, California, piloted the Spartans to a 21-0 record and the NCAA Division II Men’s Lacrosse Championship in 2022. Tampa’s historic season included 16 wins over nationally-ranked opponents and the first national title for SSC men’s lacrosse. Beddow saw action in all 21 games for UT this season and provided his team with 77 ground balls, 48 caused turnovers, and six goals.
The list of 2022 awards for Beddow is plentiful, starting with SSC Player of the Year and First Team All-SSC honors. The junior became the first defensive player and third UT athlete to win the top prize in SSC men’s lacrosse. Next, USA Lacrosse Magazine and the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) named Beddow a First Team All-American. The USILA chose him as the Lt. Raymond J. Enners Outstanding Player of the Year and William C. Schmeisser Defensive Player of the Year. He joins former Tampa Spartan Conor Whipple1 as the only SSC athlete to win a special award from the USILA.
Beddow is the first men’s or women’s lacrosse athlete to win the SSC Athlete of the Year since it became a league sport in 2014-15. He is the fifth Tampa student-athlete to be honored as SSC Male Athlete of the Year and the first since 2007-082.
Complete Listing: SSC Athletes of the Year
1 Whipple was named the LT. COL. J.I.(Jack) Turnbull Award Outstanding Attackman in 2017
2 Previous SSC Male Athlete of the Year honorees from Tampa: Paul Russo (Baseball – 1989-90), Mike Valdes (Baseball – 1997-98), Eric Beattie (Baseball – 2002-03), and Jeremy Black (Basketball – 2007-08)