The D Sports Awards: Best Moment

by The Dartmouth | 5/28/15 6:31pm

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by Jeffrey Lee and Jeffrey Lee / The Dartmouth

This year in Big Green athletics was jam-packed with exciting, inspirational and historic moments. Teams pulled monumental upsets, inscribed their names in the record books and wowed us all with clutch performances. Over the course of a year’s worth of these memorable moments, the five below stuck out as the best of the best. Whether defined by one moment of athletic excellence or a game-long display of technical skill, these moments will remain in the minds of Dartmouth sports fans for years to come.

Vote in the poll on our website to select which of these moments will be crowned the best moment of the year in The D Sports Awards and check the Sports Weekly on Monday for the unveiling of the winner!

Football beats Yale University 38-31 with a late touchdown 10/11/14

During the early parts of the 2014 football season on October 11, the Big Green completed a thrilling 38-31 comeback victory against Yale University, opening its Ivy League slate with two straight wins for the first time since 2001.

Possessing a lead for no more than three minutes prior, Dartmouth broke a 31-31 deadlock with 2:20 left in the fourth quarter. After netting a first down on a fourth-and-one inside the four-yard line, first-team all-Ivy quarterback Dalyn Williams ’16 lunged into the end zone to provide the decisive score.

The touchdown run capped off one of the best games of Williams’ Dartmouth career. The junior had career highs in completions with 32 and passing yards with 388 — fourth most in program history — and added three scores in the air and one on the ground. His primary target in the Big Green air attack, Ryan McManus ’15, had himself a career day as well, with his 12 catches and 188 receiving yards the most in his career at the time. McManus added a touchdown catch and a 60-yard punt return, and his three receptions of 30-plus yards illustrated the dynamic offensive character of the entire game, to which both schools contributed.

The emphatic win, coming in only the second conference game, constituted a key stepping stone in the most successful Ivy League season since 1997 — six wins and a second-place finish in the conference.

— By Alexander Agadjanian

Men's hockey beats then-No. 1 Boston University 2-011/30/14

There have been moments in every sport this year — tears and triumphs, buzzer beaters and no-hitters. But there has not been a single game, a single victory, a single “What in Eleazer Wheelock’s name did I just see” performance that comes close to the men’s ice hockey team’s 2-0 victory over then-No. 1 Boston University.

The Terriers came to Hanover just days after the rest of the student body had fled campus for the winter interim — the seats of Thompson Arena feeling abandoned and overwhelmingly empty for what was about to be the first upset over the top team in the country in over a decade for Dartmouth hockey.

James Kruger ’16 went the full 60 minutes between the pipes and logged his second career shutout, turning away 23 shots to keep the Terriers subdued on offense, aided and abetted by a dynamite Big Green offense which was picking up its stride.

Brad Schierhorn ’16 netted both of the Dartmouth goals in the second period — five minutes apart. Captain Tyler Sikura ’15 assisted both of Schierhorn’s efforts on the night.

BU went on to let the national title slip away in the NCAA Frozen Four Finals against Providence College, collecting a 28-8-5 record overall. In all 41 games, the Big Green was the only team to hold the country’s longtime number one team scoreless.

— By Gayne Kalustian

Men's basketball beats Yale University 59-58 with a last second layup3/7/15

One day after storming back from a 24-point deficit to beat Brown University, the men’s basketball team wrapped up its regular season with a thrilling upset against Yale University. The Bulldogs were scheduled to win the Ivy League title outright and head to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1962. Gabas Maldunas ’15 and company had a few last plays they wanted to get in first.

Down five points with 35 seconds to play, Miles Wright ’18 sank two free throws and a three-pointer to tie the game. Yale only managed to convert one of two free throws with two seconds left, giving Dartmouth one last chance to win the game.

Wright attempted a full-court heave to Maldunas that looked on-target until a Yale player swatted the ball out-of-bounds.

John Golden ’15 inbounded the ball from underneath the basket to the only other senior on team, Maldunas. Due to a fantastic screen by Alex Mitola ’16, Maldunas found an open lane to the basket and laid the ball softly off the glass just before the buzzer sounded. The highlight made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays.

Dartmouth finished at 0.500 with the win, making them postseason eligible for the first time since the 1998-1999 season. The Big Green faced off against the Canisius College Golden Eagles in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, Dartmouth’s first postseason game in 56 years.

By Ray Lu

Kristen Rumley '15 throws no-hitter against Columbia University3/28/15

During the 2015 season, the softball team continued to assert itself as the most dominant program in the Ivy League. The team swept the University of Pennsylvania in the Ivy League Championship series to collect its second consecutive Ivy title and NCAA tournament appearance.

Much of the recent success of the program has been due to the brilliance of three-time Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Kristen Rumley ’15. While her numbers across the season were consistently spectacular, Rumley cemented her legacy as an all-time great Dartmouth pitcher by throwing a no-hitter against Columbia University in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader.

On March 28, Rumley pitched the fifth no-hitter in Dartmouth softball history and the third one against Columbia. She struck out nine Lions over six innings, throwing 58 strikes on 75 pitches as the Big Green won the game 8-0.

Rumley struck out the side on the bottom of the second inning, but allowed a walk against Lions shortstop Maddison Gotts in a 10 pitch at-bat, the only mistake that kept her from achieving a perfect game.

This was the fourth victory of an 11-game win streak for the Big Green and the first no-hitter in over a decade since Danica Giugliano ’04 pitched a 1-0 no-hitter — also against Columbia University — on April 17, 2004.

— By Daniel Lee

Women's tennis wins first ever match at NCAA Tournament5/9/15

For the first time in program history, the women’s tennis team qualified for the NCAA Tournament. While there, the team won its first-ever NCAA tournament match, beating No. 49 College of William and Mary by a score of 4-1.

This historic victory came on the strength of strong performances from some of the women’s tennis team’s unsung heroes over the course of the year. Kristina Mathis ’18, Jacqueline Crawford ’17 and Julia Schroeder ’18 all won their singles matches to give the Big Green the decisive margin.

After the Big Green took the doubles point on the strength of its No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams, the team held an early 1-0 lead. Blowout wins by Crawford and Schroeder gave the team an impressive 3-0 margin, but Dartmouth’s victory was far from assured. After Katherine Yau ’16 fell to Jeltje Loomans, the lead was down to 3-1, and the Big Green’s three other singles players were all locked in tight battles. It was entirely conceivable that history would elude Dartmouth’s grasp on the May afternoon in North Carolina.

With grit and determination, Mathis clinched her own win and Dartmouth’s in an incredibly close match by a final score of 7-5, 7-6 (4). Her win sent the Big Green to the second round where the team lost 4-0 to the No. 2 University of North Carolina, who made it to the quarterfinals before falling to the University of California at Los Angeles.

By Joe Clyne