UNH Athletics Top 20 Moments from 2011-12 (Part 2)

As the University enjoys a little down time between sports seasons and our student-athletes busy themselves coaching at UNH sports campus and other summer occupations, we offer a two-part series looking back at the top 20 moments in Wildcat athletics during the past year.

The countdown continues.



Senior Brice Paey (Milton, N.H.) of the men's track and field team finished off his collegiate throwing career as one of the most dominant shot put throwers in the region. The New Hampshire native recorded a top throw of 60-03.00 during the indoor season and concluded his outdoor campaign with an individual title at the America East Championships. Paey left UNH as the indoor (60-03.00) and outdoor (59-06.00) record holder.

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It was Senior Day at Cowell Stadium on November 19 when the Wildcats battled Maine for the coveted Brice-Cowell Musket. Trailing 17-10 at halftime, the Wildcats would get it rolling in the second half with touchdowns by Jimmy Giansante (Jefferson Hills, Pa.) on a screen pass from quarterback Kevin Decker (Armonk, N.Y.), an interception by cornerback Chris Houston (Harrisburg, Pa.) leading to a touchdown by wideout R.J. Harris (Odenton, Md.), and an 18-yard run by Nico Steriti (Elizabeth, N.J.) to give the 'Cats a lead they would not relinquish.

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On February 25, the gymnastics team posted a 195.75 en route to knocking off 23rd-ranked West Virginia at Lundholm Gymnasium. Senior Ali Carr (Chelmsford, Mass.) registered a 9.9 on both uneven bars and balance beam. Junior Austyn Fobes (Howell, N.J.) had a meet-high 9.925 on bars to help the Wildcats pull off the upset victory.

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Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) of the men's ice hockey team scored all four goals in the Wildcats' 4-1 win over Dartmouth in the Battle for the RiverStone Cup XI at the Verizon Wireless Arena on January 14. The Big Green struck first in the contest, but it was all Moses from there. After tying the game during a two-man advantage late in the first period, Moses would strike twice in the second period, highlighted by some nifty stick work on a shorthanded breakaway, backhanding the puck past the Dartmouth netminder to give the 'Cats the lead.

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A record fell in Durham on December 6 when the women's basketball team took on Harvard at Lundholm Gymnasium. Junior Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) erupted for a career-high 32 points and set a school record with eight 3-pointers. Reed tallied 27 of her 32 points in the second half, including a span of seven consecutive made three-pointers, in what was one of the most impressive performances in UNH basketball history.

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On October 16, it was "Dig Pink" day at Lundholm Gymnasium when the volleyball team swept conference-leading Albany. After winning a tightly contested first set, the Wildcats pulled away early in both the second and third sets to secure the victory. Senior Amy Keding (Northbrook, Ill.) provided a match-high 21 kills to lead the Wildcat attack, while classmate Lauren Laquerre (Concord, N.H.) racked up 15 kills and 11 digs.

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Junior football linebacker Matt Evans (Hanover, Mass.) received the 2011 Buck Buchanan Award as the Football Championship Subdivision national defensive player of the year. The middle linebacker led the nation with 7.67 solo tackles/game and ranked second nationally with 165 total stops, the second most in UNH single-season history. Evans was also named to the All-CAA First Team and received the Gold Helmet Award as New England's FCS player of the year.

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On March 28 at Memorial Field, the women's lacrosse team knocked off 12th-ranked Vanderbilt, 12-11. First-year student Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) played a vital role in the victory and notched a career-high five goals and an assist in the upset win, while goalkeeper Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) neutralized the Commodore offense and matched her personal best with 14 saves.

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First-year student Katie Mann (Prince George, British Columbia) of the women's swimming and diving team made America East history when she was named both Most Outstanding Swimmer and Rookie of the Year in the same year. Mann recorded 11 solo first-place finishes en route to becoming one of three America East female swimmers to earn a Mid-Major All-American Honorable Mention. Mann also qualified for the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials.

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After earning the top-seed and right to host the America East tournament, the field hockey team defeated Boston University, 4-2, in the championship game to earn its second conference title and automatic berth into the NCAA Field Hockey Championship held on November 6. Senior forward Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, recording seven points (three goals, one assist) in two games.

Photos courtesy of Athletic Media Relations. For video highlights and more information on UNH Athletics, visit www.unhwildcats.com.