EMMITSBURG, Md. – The Dark Knight Rises might be the No. 1 movie, but do you remember the old Batman TV series starring Adam West? In every fight scene they would put words with all the action. They may never have used the word Zonk'd in the Batman series, but we had plenty of Zonk'd on the soccer field in 2011. Freshman Zoncher Dennis (Swartmore, Pa./Strath Haven) had a breakout freshman season, including tying a single-game program record with four goals in a game against La Salle on Sept. 24 to Zonk into our No. 6 Moment in our Top-20 Countdown.
Dennis scored the game-tying goal in his collegiate debut in a 1-all standstill against Towson on Sept. 1, had an assist in a 4-3 loss against Iona on Sept. 11 and found the twine for the second time this season in a 2-0 victory against Howard on Sept. 19.
After the first five games of his career the freshman would have two goals and an assist, but Dennis would surpass that total in the first 36 minutes against the Explorers in a 5-0 win. The freshman got the scoring started off a pass from Chris Wheeler (Newcastle, Australia/St. Francis Xavier) at 11:44 and then found the back of the net four minutes and 40 seconds later off an assist from Jimmy Ockford (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) to give the Mount a 2-0 edge. Not often to you see a natural hat trick in soccer, but the freshman accomplished that feat with an unassisted tally at 35:51 to give the Mountaineers a 3-0 advantage at halftime.
With his three goals in the first half, Dennis became the eighth Mountaineer to notch a hat trick in program history and the first since Wheeler found the twine against Robert Morris on Oct. 10, 2008.
Dennis then tied the program record with four goals in a game off a pass from Kyle Patrick (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) at 50:34. Dennis became the first Mount Division I player to post four goals in a game and tied John Tallarido's all-time single-game mark. Tallarido registered four goals against Washington Bible on Sept. 12, 1980 and also accomplished the feat against Millersville on Sept. 16, 1981.
Dennis scored five more times this season, including four game-winners to finish the season with 11 goals and one assist for 23 points. He was named the Northeast Conference (NEC) Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the All-NEC first team while also being named to the College Soccer News All-Freshman first team. The freshman paced the NEC in goals (11), goals per game (0.69), points (23), points per game (1.44) and game-winning goals (6) while ranking ninth in shots per game (2.19). He became the sixth player in Mount Division I history to reach double digits for goals and his 11 tallies rank fifth on the Mount Division I single-season chart. He also became the third player in NEC history to earn four NEC Rookie of the Week awards.
The year belonged to Dennis, but 2011 also marked the end of Wheeler's four-year run at the Mount. Wheeler posted three goals and five assists for 11 points and was named to the All-NEC second team along with a spot on the NSCAA All-North Atlantic Region third team. Wheeler 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. The senior established a new Mount Division I single-season mark for goals in a season after scoring 13 times last season. He became the second player in program history to earn an All-NEC selection all four years after being named to the first team in 2009 and 2010 and to the second team in 2008 and 2011. In addition, the senior was named the NEC Rookie of the Year in 2008.
Mount St. Mary's finished 8-7-2 overall and 5-4-1 in NEC play. It was the first time the Mountaineers finished with a winning mark since 2003 while the squad posted a winning record in the league for the third time in the last four years. The Mount finished the regular season leading the NEC in points (74) and goals (24) and ranked second in assists (26).
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Remember to come back on Wednesday to see the No. 5 Moment in our countdown.
Schedule Of Release For The 2011-12 Top-20 Moments Countdown
No. 20: One Ring Rules Them All - Men's Basketball Celebrates 50th Anniversary of 1961-62 National Championship
No. 19: Women's Soccer Stuns Eventual NEC Tournament Champions LIU In League Opener
No. 18: Mann Steals Top-Moment No. 18 With New Steals Mark Against Fairleigh Dickinson
No. 17: No Hung Juhring – Juhring Makes Mark In Javelin In Her First Season
No. 16: Healy Hammers Two-Run Walk-off Homer Against Georgetown
No. 15: Bernard Finishes Cross Country Career With Fourth-Straight All-NEC Selection
No. 14: Men's Basketball Nearly Pulls Off Upset Against Maryland
No. 13: Men's Lacrosse - What A Way To Open The Season?
No. 12: Four Seed Works For Women's Lacrosse To Get Back To NEC Championship Game
No. 11: Running Down A Dream – Gibilisco Completes In NCAA East Preliminary For Second-Straight Year
No. 10: Men's Tennis Serves Up Win Against Sacred Heart In NEC Quarterfinals
No. 9: Power Perfection By Christiansen And Pagano Lead To Milestones On Diamond
No. 8: Making A Splash – Regan Becomes First Mount Swimmer To Win Event And Earn NEC Rookie Of The Meet Honors
No. 7: Mad Dash – Rosemier-Gussio Runs Away With NEC Rookie Of The Meet Honors For Indoor And Outdoor Track & Field
No. 6: Dennis Zonks La Salle With Four Goals To Tie Program Single-Game Record
No. 5: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
No. 4: Friday, August 3, 2012
No. 3: Monday, August 6, 2012
No. 2: Wednesday, August 8, 2012
No. 1: Friday, August 10, 2012