December 23, 2011

A Look Back On The First Half Of Mount Athletics

With the onset of the holiday season comes the end of the first half of the academic calendar. In the first half of the 2011-12 athletic season we had some outstanding performances so let’s take a look back at these great Mount achievements.

Men’s Soccer Gets Zonk’d
Freshman Zoncher Dennis jumped onto the pitch in 2011 to notch one of the most memorable freshman campaigns. The freshman scored his first collegiate goal in the first career competition at Mount St. Mary’s in a 1-all standstill against Towson on Sept. 1. Dennis would go on to post a point in eight of the 15 matches to earn the Northeast Conference (NEC) Rookie of the Year award after finishing with 11 goals and one assist for 23 points. He was named the NEC Rookie of the Week four times and also picked up an NEC Player of the Week nod after setting a Mount Division I record and tying the program record with four goals in a 5-0 win against La Salle on Sept. 24. Dennis, who notched six game-winners on the season, was recently named to the Soccer News All-Freshman first team.

Wheeler Ends A Brilliant Career
Much of the attention this season was on Dennis, but senior Chris Wheeler concluded his outstanding four-year career. Wheeler posted three goals and five assists for 11 points to rank second on the team and became just the second player in program history to earn an All-NEC selection all four years. The senior finished his career as the program's all-time career leader in shots (303) and the Mount's Division I leader in goals (36) and points (83) while ranking third in program history in goals and fourth in points. Wheeler established a new Mount Division I single-season mark for goals in a season after scoring 13 times last season. He was recently named to the NSCAA All-North Atlantic Region third team.

Women’s Soccer Makes A Run At NEC Playoff Berth
The Mount St. Mary’s women’s soccer team recorded some nice victories in 2011 and went into the final weekend fighting for an NEC postseason berth. The Mount opened league play with a 1-0 win against Long Island, the eventual NEC Tournament champions on Sept. 30. Senior Sadie Winship scored in the 68th minute for the lone goal on the night. The squad also erupted for four goals in a 4-1 win against Quinnipiac on Oct. 23 after the Mountaineers scored three times in the second half. Freshman Alicia Mirando found the twine twice in a span of one minute and 36 seconds late in the final frame in the final home game for eight seniors.

Miller Ends Her Standout Career In Between The Pipes
Women's soccer senior Alicia Miller will leave the Mount as the school's all-time leader in saves (430), wins (18), shutouts (11), games played (71) and started (69) by a goalkeeper and minutes played by a keeper (6275). She was fifth all-time at the Mount with a career .768 save percentage and a 1.86 goals against average. Miller played every minute in goal this year with a 1.39 goals against average, 111 saves and four shutouts to cap a record-breaking career with an All-NEC second-team selection.

Bernard Goes 4-for-4
Senior Dylan Bernard finished fourth at the NEC Cross Country Championships on Oct. 29 to earn an All-NEC selection for the fourth-straight year. The Frederick, Md., native became the third Mountaineer runner to earn all-conference honors all four years in program history after posting a time of 26:40.10. Bernard helped the Mount to a third-place standing at the league championships and the squad was ranked regionally for several weeks during the season.

Men’s Golf Gets A First
Sophomore Kevin Ellison was the medalist to help Mount St. Mary’s men’s golf team win the ECAC Championships on Sept. 30. Ellison came into the final round three strokes behind the leader in fifth place after shooting a 73 in the first round. The sophomore posted a round of 70 in the final round to card a 143 in the two-round event to earn the top spot by one stroke. It was the first time a Mount play won an event since Andrew Hill won the Bucknell Invitational on Sept. 12-13, 2003. Mount St. Mary's earned its first team title since winning the Mount St. Mary's Fall Invitational on Oct. 20, 2007 thanks to posting three competitors in the Top-4 and four in the Top-8. The Mount posted a team score of 290 in each round to end the event with a score of 580, besting Saint Peter's by five strokes. The Mountaineers finished second in the event last season.

Two In A Roe
Women's golf senior Sarah Roe won the Gettysburg Invitational for the second-straight season on Sept. 19. Roe won the event by shooting a 79 on the day to beat out teammate Nicole Fazio by six strokes for medalist honors.  The senior won the event last year after shooting a 76 at the event when it was played at the Quail Valley Golf Course on Sept. 20, 2010.

Walking Around In A Halloween Winter Wonderland
Mount St. Mary’s saw its first snow in the month of October since 1979. Unlike some other teams in the area, the Mount did not have any outdoor sporting events on Oct. 29 when the campus looked more like a Winter Wonderland than a fall day. The women’s swimming team competed and posted a pair of victories on the afternoon. We even got a special report on the conditions at the Mount courtesy of sophomores Victoria Shaw and Mollie Walsh.

Women’s Basketball Rockin' The Knott Off To A Hot Start
The Mount St. Mary’s women’s basketball team has started the year 5-5, marking the first time the Mount has won five of its first 10 games since 1999-00. The squad’s hot start is due to some home cooking since the Mountaineers have won its first four contests at Knott Arena for the first time since 1997-98 and for the sixth time at Knott Arena. Prior to its game against West Virginia, the squad was enjoying its first three-game winning streak since the final three regular season games of 2008-09. During the winning streak, the Mount pulled off a thrilling 47-46 win against Long Island on Dec. 3. Mount St. Mary’s trailed by nine points with 10 minutes to go against one of the league preseason top teams before posting 16 of the final 24 points to come away with the victory. Sophomore Ashley Christie scored the game-winning layup with 8.5 seconds left.

Men’s Basketball Celebrates The 50th Anniversary Of National Championship Team
The 2011-12 season marks the 50th Anniversary of the Mount’s 1962 National Championship season. The Mount website has posted game-by-game retrospective videos with interviews with legendary head coach Jim Phelan and players from that great Mount team. The “Big O” John O’Reilly, a key component of that team, had his No. 51 jersey retired during halftime of the Mount’s game against Loyola on Dec. 10. The celebration has just begun as Mount St. Mary’s will continue the video retrospectives in 2012 and will conclude the year-long event with a celebration of the team against Monmouth on Feb. 18.

Mount Athletics Internet Mania
Prior to the fall season, the Mount unveiled its new design website (www.mountahletics.com) powered by PrestoSports. Already with Facebook and You Tube accounts, the Mount joined the Twitter world as well. Mount student-athletes and fans have been having fun tweeting and have been getting some recognition from the NEC. The NEC started NEC Tweets of the Day and the Mountaineers have been represented by @bmac303, @LDiaz17, @shananagins28 and @Vince32Molesky to name a few for having NEC Tweets or “Other Tweets” of the Day. Former Mount athletes @atupem10, @msguyanesemix and @DatsKB4ya have also received praise from the NEC Overtime Blog for Tweets Of The Day. If you are now following Mount Athletics on Twitter, now is the time to show your #MOUNTAINEERPRIDE and we hope that we see you at Knott Arena to #rocktheknott to yell #GOMOUNT!

After the success of many great web shows like “Up Against Atupem” and “What’s Up With Westbrooks,” we have continued to bring great quality internet programing. Fans can now watch all of the Mountaineers home soccer, swimming, basketball and lacrosse games on MountAthletics.TV. The subscription-based service can be viewed for $6.95 for a single broadcast or $59.95 for the entire year to watch our three-camera production with graphics. For basketball, we have announcers and for select games senior Deanna Dini has served as a sideline reporter.

Along with MountAthletics.TV, Mount St. Mary’s produces highlights for soccer, basketball and swimming home game including coaches and players comments and also has a weekly recap show where student-athletes recap the week in sports called “This Week In Mount Athletics.” During basketball season, we also unveiled the "Top Plays Of The Week." We have also posted Halloween videos and two Christmas videos (Letters To Santa and We Wish You A Merry Christmas) and will debut New Year’s videos during the Dec. 31 basketball doubleheader telecasts. Make sure you check out www.mountathletics.com and Mount Athletics on Facebook and Twitter for some of the great information and videos that we are providing our great Mount fans.

Even our student-athletes have come up with some videos on their own. Men's basketball players Dan Kenny, Oliver Brown and Kristijan Krijina did their best attempt to make some trick shots.It's almost like Michael Jordan and Larry Bird, but without lunch on the line. Senior Tom FitzSimons has shown what it like to be track athlete with some of his videos.

We have had a great first half of the year and we are looking forward to more standout performances coming at Mount Athletics. Hope that everyone has a Happy Holiday!