Top 20 Moments from 2011-12: Part 4

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire athletic department concludes its countdown of this past year's most memorable highlights. The countdown features a four-part video series including 20 moments from the year that was, highlighting big wins, record-breaking performances and awards. Part 4 showcases the year's top five moments.

CLICK HERE to watch Part 3.

CLICK HERE to watch Part 2.

CLICK HERE to watch Part 1.

5. It was 'Dig Pink' at Lundholm Gymnasium when the Volleyball team swept conference leading Albany on October 16. 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 as the 'Cats pieced together their best match of the season. 

4. Number four on the countdown belongs to junior linebacker Matt Evans (Hanover, Mass.). Evans 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.

3. On March 28 at Memorial Field, the women's lacrosse team knocked off 12th-ranked Vanderbilt, 12-11. Freshman 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. Following five ties and a pair of lead changes, UNH mustered a 5-2 run in the final minutes to record the come-from-behind victory, and gave the Wildcats their first win over a nationally-ranked opponent in 12 tries.

2. Freshman 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. It was the first time in conference history that someone won both awards in the same year, capping off a season that saw the rookie record 11 solo first-place finishes. Mann was one of three America East female swimmers to earn a Mid-Major All-American Honorable Mention, and qualified for the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials.

1. 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 (Nov. 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.

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