We’re halfway through our countdown of the Top 12 Moments of 2012 here on AExtra. So far, we’ve revisited some historic moments for the America East and we still have six more to go. If you missed anything from the first two posts, make sure you go back and check them out.
No. 6: UMBC Lacrosse Beats Maryland/Track and Field All-Americans
We get a tie here at No. 6 as both of these moments stood out as we looked back on 2012. We begin with a lacrosse rivalry that continues to blossom in the hotbed state of Maryland. One of the nation’s top places for the fastest sport on two feet, Maryland is home to at least one national title contender on a yearly basis. In 2012, as the Maryland Terps rose to No. 4 in the polls it set the stage for UMBC to go for the upset at home. Down 7-3 in the fourth quarter, the Retrievers ripped off five unanswered goals to end the game and top Maryland 8-7. For UMBC it was the fourth victory against the Terps in the last six meetings and another stepping stone for the program.
Another spring memory comes from track and field and the NCAA Championships. The America East sent eight athletes to the championships and six came away with first or second team All-America honors while the remaining two earned honorable mentions. On the final day, all four America East athletes who ran earned All-American status, highlighted by a fourth-place finish from Stony Brook’s Lucy Van Dalen (more on her later) in the 1,500 meter final. Other participants included Erik van Ingen (Binghamton), Allison Barwise (Boston U.), Rich Peters (Boston U.), Corey Conner (Maine), Kirsten Weberg (Vermont), Morgan Powers (Vermont) and Nika Ouellette (Vermont).
No. 5: America East Partners With You Can Play
In a groundbreaking announcement just a few weeks ago, fans learned that the America East was partnering with the You Can Play Project, which is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. The conference was thrilled to become the first Division I conference in the country to partner with this great initiative, and it received an outpouring of praise as a result.
“This project and partnership provides a great opportunity for the America East to make our programs a more safe and respectful place for all student-athletes,” said Dr. Bob Corran, Director of Athletics at the University of Vermont.
If you haven’t seen what this project has accomplished so far, it’s really worth checking out. Check out youcanplayproject.org for more information and look forward to more action from the conference to advance this great cause.
No. 4: UMBC Men’s Soccer Makes a Run in the NCAA Tournament
The UMBC Men’s soccer team looked strong heading into the America East Championship game versus New Hampshire. The Retrievers hadn’t lost a game since October, running off six victories in a row and outscoring their opponents 19-3 in the process. Fueling the charge was Pete Caringi III, the conference’s leading scorer and Striker of the Year. So when Caringi went down with an injury in the opening minutes of the championship game, the UMBC offense understandably slowed a bit. But UMBC had Phil Saunders in net, and that was enough. After making a pair of brilliant saves in PK’s, Saunders helped the boosted the Retrievers to the NCAA Tournament after advancing past New Hampshire. But they weren’t done.
UMBC would play another scoreless game in the first round against Old Dominion, turning to Saunders to get them through once again. Saunders delivered, diving to his right and batting away a would be goal with an outstretched right arm. The save continued a run of recent success by the America East in the men’s soccer tournament and set up a date with defending national champion North Carolina. Incredibly, UMBC again held its opposition scoreless, holding out hope that it would be able to pull some magic out of the hat in PK’s once again. And while Saunders still made a save, the Tar Heels were too much and UMBC’s run came to an end. However, it was certainly not without excitement and a handful of memorable moments along the way.
The Times Daily Union has an update on Jacob Iati's ailing calf.
Two America East teams earn mentions in Graham Hays' ESPN.com women's basketball mid-major poll.
The Press and Sun writes about how the Bearcats are adjusting to Coach Dempsey's style of play.
Newsday chimes in on the presence freshman Jameel Warney has brought to the Stony Brook men's basketball team.
Stony Brook President Dr. Samuel Stanley, along with the baseball team and several faculty members were named "People of the Year" by the Village Times Herald.