By Evan Slavit
Last year we released a top 10 for the 2009-2010 season, and that is something we thought we’d keep for this year as well. Again there were many great accomplishments for Union athletics. There were several championships won, players recognized, and even a few teams making the NCAA tournaments. Looking over the results we feel that there are 10 that specifically standout. All teams and every moment was considered, and it was a tough decision for the top spots. So, here it is: the Top Ten moments in Union Athletics in 2010-2011.
10. Saul Kurtz ‘11 and Michael Kanner ‘11 win matches against Holy Cross.
This season the Men’s Tennis team scheduled a match with a Division I opponent for the first time in their history. The match was against Holy Cross and while the team ultimately lost 7-2, Michael Kanner was able to win his singles match, and Kanner and Saul Kurtz were able to win their doubles match.
9. Eve Richards ‘12 (Volleyball) joins 1000 kills club.
Richards became the sixth Union player to accomplish this feat, and the second to do it in their junior year. With 1,053 kills she moves into fifth for all-time kills in Union college history, supplanting Gretchen Voegler. Also, she is less than a hundred from supplanting Rachel Ormsby’s as Union’s fourth all-time kills leader.
8. Kristin Joyce ‘12 (Women’s Lax) breaks all-time scoring record.
Joyce became Union’s all-time leader in goals, registering 252 goals in her career. Those numbers are extremely impressive since the last record-holder had 217 goals. She also became Union’s all-time points leader with 299. Adding to her accomplishments, Joyce was named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-Empire Region First Team, and was named to the Liberty League All-Tournament Team.
7. Accomplishments of Lauren McCormick ‘11: Women’s Basketball (1000 points, All-American)
The Dutchwomen had a great season this year, making it to the Liberty League playoffs. Lauren McCormick led the way averaging 15.6 points per game, and a team-leading 8.7 rebounds per game. She did all of this with impressive shooting percentages of 43.9% from the floor and 71.3% from the line, while adding 8 steals, 23 assists and 14 blocked shots. More importantly she reached the 1,000 point milestone and was named to the 2010-11 NCAA Division III State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team. Overall it was a great season for the senior.
6. Women’s Hockey wins first ECAC home game since 2004.
It was another long season for the Dutchwomen, but they had a bright spot in early February when they topped the Brown Bears 3-2 at Messa Rink. The victory snapped Union’s 17 game winless streak and was their first league win at home since February 28, 2004 when they beat Cornell 3-1. Brown opened up the scoring early in the second period to take a 1-0 lead, but Union responded to take a 2-1 lead on a late second period goal from junior Lauren Hoffman and an early third period power-play goal from sophomore Jeannie Sabourin. Ashley Johnston ’14 scored her first career goal with 5:50 left in the game, which ended up being the game-winner.
5. Crew wins Gilman Cup.
For the first time since 2005 crew won back the Gilman Cup against rival Hamilton. The Gilman Cup is awarded to the Men’s Varisty 8 team that finishes first. Union’s Men’s Varsity 8 crossed the finish line at 6:50, with Hamilton’s Varsity 8 coming in at 7:23. It was the first race of the season for the team, and it was a nice start for a boat that had a strong season, ending up second in the Liberty League.
4. Softball wins second straight Liberty League championship.
Prior to the championship, the Dutchwomen went up against rival RPI. Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, Union was up 4-3 only to see the lead disappear as the Engineers scored eight runs in the inning to take a commanding 11-4 lead. RPI seemed destined to win the game, but Union did not give up with their season on the line as they struck right back with eight runs of their own in the top of the seventh. In the bottom half of the inning Amanda Blake ‘14 pitched a 1-2-3 inning to seal the win. The win allowed the Dutchwomen to advance to the championship round against Rochester. Unfortunately, Union dropped the first game to Rochester but still had a chance to take the championship with a game later in the day. In the second game, Rachel Noall ‘14 drove in two runs, and Alyssa Wolejko ‘14 drove in another while pitching a complete game while limiting the opposition to four unearned runs. Union’s big inning came in the fourth when they scored four runs, which was enough to give Wolejko a big enough lead to finish off Rochester and win the championship.
3. Men’s Hockey upsets #1 Yale.
In late January, the Dutchmen hosted the top-ranked Yale Bulldogs for one of the most important games of the ECAC schedule. About two months earlier, Union was embarrassed by the Bulldogs 5-0 on national television in New Haven so they were looking for revenge. Union went up 2-0 after power-play goals by freshman Daniel Carr and junior Wayne Simspon, but Yale cut their deficit in half with an extra-attacker goal of their own 13:39 into the second period. Luckily for the Dutchmen, senior Adam Presizniuk, who is Union’s all-time leading scorer in the Division I era, responded 40 seconds later with the eventual game-winning goal. The victory was Union’s first over a top-ranked opponent. This game would also end up making a major difference in the ECAC standings and the NCAA tournament seeding.
2. Men’s Lacrosse has historic playoff run.
The Dutch Laxers made some historic strides this postseason as they won their first Liberty League championship and NCAA game. The exciting playoff stretch started in the Liberty League semifinals when the second-seeded Dutchmen hosted Clarkson. Behind two goals from junior Ted McKenna and sophomore Kyle Christine, and a hat trick from freshman Jonathan Andrews, the Dutchmen beat the Golden Knights 9-8. In the league championship game, Union faced fourth-seeded RPI, who beat the Dutchmen just a week earlier. McKenna once again had a good performance as he scored three goals, and senior Brenny Kinnane and freshman Rob Santangelo added two goals apiece. Union clung onto a one goal lead late in the fourth quarter until RPI tied the game at seven with 3:13 left in regulation to send the game into overtime. After the first overtime went scoreless, the two teams went into a second overtime. The game seemed destined for a third overtime until junior Nick Alfonzetti netted the game-winning goal with 36 seconds left in the period.The victory clinched Union’s first Liberty League championship and NCAA tournament berth. In Union’s first NCAA tourney appearance they traveled to Rochester, NY to take on Nazareth of the Empire 8 conference. Behind McKenna’s five goal performance, the Dutchmen cruised to a 15-7 win. The victory allowed the Dutchmen to advance to the second round to play against defending national champion Tufts. Union played valiantly in the game as they outplayed the Jumbos in many aspects of the game, but fell 6-5. Sean Aaron ‘12, who made 19 stops, and the Union defense held Tufts to their lowest goal total of the season after averaging 13.29 goals per game during the season. The Jumbos will face Salisbury this weekend for the NCAA championship.
1. Men’s Hockey wins Cleary Cup and makes first NCAA tourney appearance.
- The men’s hockey team won the Cleary Cup for the first time.
In the last game of the regular season, the Dutchmen welcomed the Princeton Tigers to Messa Rink with the Cleary Cup on the line. Coming into the matchup Union held a one point advantage over Yale for the top spot of the ECAC standings. In front of a sellout crowd on Senior Night the Dutchmen did not disappoint as they romped over the Tigers 5-0 to claim their first ever Cleary Cup. In the victory freshman phenom Daniel Carr netted two goals. Carr’s second goal of the evening was his 20th of the season which tied him with Chris Ford ‘93 for the school freshman goal-scoring record in the Division I era. The Dutchmen went on to make their first NCAA tournament appearance in their Division I history where they lost to eventual national champion the University of Minnesota-Duluth 2-0 in the first round.