WORCESTER, Mass. – With the 2011 calendar year drawing to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the top moments in Crusader Athletics over the last 12 months. There were too many outstanding performances to mention them all, but here are the top 10 of 2011 (listed in chronological order):
February 27: Women’s Ice Hockey Wins ECAC Open
Coming off a 5-3 victory over Sacred Heart the day before, Holy Cross faced St. Anselm in the championship game of the ECAC Open Tournament. The two teams skated to a 4-4 tie through 60 minutes of regulation and five minutes of overtime, leading to a shootout to decide the title. Nicola Garat gave the Crusaders a 1-0 lead to open the shootout, and after the Hawks came up empty on their first attempt, Jocelyn Kratchmer netted what proved to be the decisive goal of the shootout. Kratchmer was named the MVP of the ECAC Open Tournament, and was joined on the All-Tournament team by Stacey Hochkins.
March 11: Men’s Ice Hockey Runs Unbeaten Streak To
Holy Cross defeated Canisius 6-3 in the opening game of its Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinal Series, to extend its school-record unbeaten streak to 12 games. The Crusaders went 9-0-3 over those 12 contests from Jan. 22-March 11, including seven straight victories at one point. Thanks to the streak, Holy Cross was able to finish in third place in the Atlantic Hockey standings. Over the course of the 12 games, Holy Cross outscored its opponents by a 54-26 margin.
May 1: Baseball Clinches First Winning Season In 20
In its final game of the 2011 campaign, Holy Cross defeated Lehigh 10-2 to wrap up the season with an overall record of 24-23-1. Nate Walker allowed just two runs in 6-2/3 innings to earn the win, while Eric Oxford drove in four runs. The victory gave the Crusaders their first winning season since 1991, when they posted an overall record of 19-15-1.
May 14: Women's 4x800-Meter Relay Team Wins New England
On the final day of the New England Championship for women's outdoor track and field, the Holy Cross 4x800-meter relay team proved itself to be the best in the region. The quartet of Katelyn Hartnett, Courtney Burgess, Cassandra Anderson and Kathleen Brekka finished in first place with a time of 9:02.32, edging the team from New Hampshire by just under one second. That performance helped lead Holy Cross to an overall team finish of sixth place in the event.
June 2: Varsity Four Qualifies For Semifinals At IRA
In the first day of competition at the 109th Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship, the men's varsity four of coxswain John Gentile, Peter Prominski, Anthony Curro, Peter Dwyer and Pat Rapuano placed second out of five boats in its opening heat to qualify for the semifinals. Washington won the heat with a time of 6:17.282 and Holy Cross finished second in 6:22.676. The Crusaders would go onto place 10th out of 19 boats in the overall varsity four competition.
October 18: Zychowski Wins NEIGA Title
Steve Zychowski carded a three-over par 75 on the final day of the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association Championship, to win the individual title by one stroke over Kevin Daniels of AIC. Zychowski had shot a one-under par 71 the day before, to finish the tournament at two-over par. He became the first Holy Cross golfer to win the NEIGA individual championship since 1997, when Bill Link took home the title.
October 25: Holy Cross Places Seventh In Graduation
The NCAA released its annual Graduation Success Rate report, and Holy Cross once again ranked among the top schools in the nation. The Crusaders had a Graduation Success Rate of 98 percent for all student-athletes, which tied for the seventh-best mark among all Division I schools in the nation. In addition, 21 different Holy Cross teams had a perfect 100 percent graduation rate.
November 12: Volleyball Upends Colgate In Season
Entering the day with a 13-match losing streak against Colgate, the Crusaders earned a four-set victory to wrap up the 2011 season. Leading two sets to one, Holy Cross claimed the fourth set 25-20 with a kill by Kathleen Colpoys on the final point. Megan Lynch recorded a double-double with 21 kills and 11 digs to lead the Crusaders. The victory gave Holy Cross three straight Patriot League wins for the first time since 2000, and earned the team a fifth-place finish in the conference standings.
November 18: Men's Basketball Downs Boston College
In front of a rocking crowd at the DCU Center, Holy Cross earned a decisive 22-point victory over long-time rival Boston College. The Crusaders led by eight points at halftime, and would put the game away with a 12-1 run midway through the second half. Devin Brown led Holy Cross with 32 points, while hitting 11 of 19 shots from the field. The win marked Holy Cross' first victory over a school from the Atlantic Coast Conference since Dec. 29, 1959, when it downed North Carolina State 63-61.
November 19: Football Finishes Seventh Straight Winning
After trailing 21-14 at halftime, the Crusaders scored 27 unanswered points to come back for a 41-21 victory at Fordham. Ryan Taggart accounted for 397 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, while Eddie Houghton rushed for 153 yards and two scores. With the win, Holy Cross finished the year with an overall record of 6-5, good for its seventh straight winning season. The Crusaders are now one of only 12 teams in the football championship subdivision with a winning record in each of the last seven years.