By Tommy Schaffer
1. Men’s hockey makes first Frozen Four appearance
For the first time in Union’s Division I era the Dutchmen advanced to the Frozen Four. While they ultimately lost 3-1 to Ferris State, the berth was a historic moment for the program.
The entire campus went into a frenzy over the accomplishment and the team received some much deserved national attention.
The whole affair was not just the biggest sports moment of the year, but it might have also been one of the biggest things to happen to this campus all year.
The Dutchmen reached the Frozen Four after defeating Michigan State and UMass-Lowell in the previous rounds.
2. Men’s lacrosse makes it to the Elite Eight in NCAA Tournament
Coming off a spectacular 2011 season for the Dutchmen, the men’s lacrosse team took their talents even further in 2012.
Union tried to repeat their Liberty League Championship as they faced RIT earlier this month.
Unfortunately for the Dutchmen, they couldn’t pull off the rally after attempting to come back from a four-goal deficit.
After scoring three of the next four goals in the fourth quarter, Union eventually ran out of time, losing 8-6.
However, this was not the end of the season for Union.
Union earned one of 10 at-large selections for the Division III NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament, pinning them against Montclair State.
Union dominated Montclair State winning 12-5 at Frank Bailey Field. Nate Greenberg ‘14 led the way, adding three goals.
Senior goalie Sean Aaron stopped seven of eight shots on net, helping the Dutchmen advance.
This set Union to play Bowdoin at home in the second round.
Union made history after defeating Bowdoin to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals. Union once again showed their strength defensively as they won 10-4.
Senior attack Ted McKenna tallied three goals while Aaron posted eight saves in net to propel Union into the Elite Eight against SUNY Cortland.
Union traveled to play SUNY Cortland in a rematch of the season opener where the Dutchmen fell 6-4.
Cortland came into the game posting an undefeated 19 win season. Unfortunately, the Dutchmen fell 9-4 ending their historic season.
Eight Dutchmen were honored for their accomplishments over the season, and Aaron was named Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row.
The Liberty League All-Star teams included Rob Santangelo ‘14, who was named to the first team attack, Matt Livingston ‘12 to the first team defense, McKenna to the second team attack, Ethan Meyer ‘12 to the second team midfield, Jon Stidd ‘12 second team long stick midfielder, Alex Stone ‘13 to the honorable mention short stick specialist and Robert Sullivan ‘12 to the honorable mention defense.
3. Men’s hockey wins East Regional
Union’s second national tournament win in as many days marked their first regional victory. They beat Umass-Lowell 4-2 to accomplish the feat.
Daniel Ciampini ‘15, Jeremey Welsh ‘13, Josh Jooris ‘14 and Kyle Bodie ‘13 all added goals for the Dutchmen to help them win the NCAA Division I East Region. Welsh was named East Regional’s Most Outstanding Player.
4. Justin Gallo’s spectacular season
Justin Gallo ‘12 had one of the best seasons in recent memory. Gallo, a receiver for the football team, finished the season with 67 receptions for 1,178 yards and 16 touchdowns.
The 1,178 receiving yards helped him to become only the second player in Union history to record 3,000 yards or more in a career. His total of 3,288 is now the most in school history.
For the season his average of 117.8 yards per game was ranked eighth in all of Division III football. His 16 touchdowns is a new single season school record, and his 34 career touchdowns are another school record.
At the end of the season he received several recognitions, including Liberty League First Team All Star, D3Football.com All-American, Second Team selection, and East Region First team.
He was also named to the AFCA Division III Coaches All-American Team.
5. Men’s Hockey wins National Tournament Game
For the second season in a row Union made the national tournament.
Their first round opponent was Michigan State, a team they beat 3-1 for their first National Tournament win.
Despite its number one seed (number three overall) Union was a bit of an unknown coming in.
Their dominant performance against Michigan State on the national stage did a lot to change that.
6. Men’s Crew varisty eight goes undefeated
The Men’s Varsity Eight finished an outstanding season at the New York State Championships, placing fifth in the grand final.
The team went undefeated during the season, posting a 4-0 record, and placed second in the Liberty League Championships.
The season was also highlighted by defeating Hamilton and earning their second straight Gilman Cup.
7. Men’s Hockey wins ECAC Tournament for the first time
While it’s not as sexy as a Frozen Four appearance, Union’s win over Harvard for the Whitelaw Cup was a big accomplishment.
It was the first time in Union’s history that the Dutchmen won the cup and helped erase the painful memories of an early out in the tournament just a year before.
Union swept rival RPI at home and trounced Colgate 6-2 in Atlantic City, before pulling out a tight 3-1 contest against Harvard for the cup.
8. Eve Richards reaches milestone
This fall, Eve Richards ‘12 capped her Union Volleyball career becoming the second player to record over 1,500 kills with 1,615.
She is only second to Corinn Jordan ‘02 who finished her career with 1,839 kills.
Richard posted 502 kills in her senior campaign, becoming second in school history for most kills in a single season that also led the Liberty League.
Richards was also selected to the AVCA All-American Honorable Mention team becoming only the third player in Union’s history to be honored with All-American status by the AVCA.
9. Men’s Basketball makes playoffs
The men’s basketball team finished the 2011-2012 regular season winning seven of their last nine games.
After losing four games by three points or less, the Dutchmen fought hard to earn the fourth and final seed of the Liberty League Tournament game.
This was the first time they made the Liberty League post season since the 2006-2007 season and although they lost to Hobart in the first round, making the tournament in this fashion was a major step forward for the Dutchmen.
The team also had a few players selected to the Liberty League All-Star teams. Kevin Donohue ‘13 and Joe Mason ‘13 earned spots on the Liberty League All-Star second team. Rusmir Dzanko ‘12 was selected as an Honorable Mention.
Freshman Terell Winney was selected to the All-Rookie team for the Liberty League as well.
10. Women’s Basketball make postseason
The women’s basketball team capped the end of the regular season with a four game winning streak that propelled them into the Liberty League Tournament.
Before their winning streak, the Dutchwomen posted a 5-6 record against Liberty League opponents.
By winning the last four games, they moved into the fourth and final spot in the Liberty League Tournament.
Beating William Smith during that span was especially important since it gave them the advantage in the tie breaker, since they both finished the regular season with a 9-6 conference record.
Their run ended after losing by one point to St. Lawrence, who was undefeated in conference play at the time.