10-6: Top 25 Stories of 2011

Don't be disappointed if you've never heard of some of our Top 25 Stories of 2011. This is not a list of stories with the most hits, or most views, or most comments. Many times a death, an award, a project in progress or recently completed can affect many, many lives without much fanfare in the press. Many of these stories bring fond memories, give us hope for the future, or inspire greatness, many times with a smile or a tear.

#25 - #21 | #20 - #16 | #15 - #11 | #10 - #6 | #5 - #1

Finding themselves down 5-1 early in the second quarter, the Onondaga Community College men fought back to claim a 12-9 victory and their 3rd straight NJCAA Championship. After a 19-0 2011, Coach Chuck Wilbur is now 168-17 in 10 seasons at the helm.

Though we haven't done the research, it's almost frightening to think of the total winning margin over the past six years.

Barely 15 miles outside our normal coverage area, it seems we'll have to 'adopt' the Mercyhurst men into our Upstate family since the Division II Champions had 30 Upstate alums on their 2011 roster as they defeated Adelphi 9-8 in the NCAA Title Game.

We'd love to list them all, but you'll have to settle for a quick breakdown: 8 from Section 3; 18 from Section 5; and 4 from Section 6.

These are a few of the streaks that were either extended or broken during the 2011 season:

Sophomore attackman Jordan Evans scored as he fell to the turf with 3.6 seconds left in OT in the NYS Class B Championship Game to keep the Jamesville-DeWitt boy's winning streak alive at 44 games, and, what must be even sweeter, extend their NYS Championship string to two.

Orchard Park's loss to Silver Creek ended a 95-game win streak OP had compiled over Western NY foes.

Silver Creek ended another streak as well. Their win over Penn Yan in the NYS Tournament ended a streak of no Section 6 team ever making it to the Class C state semi's.

Overcoming a 5-1 deficit, Clarence won the Section 6 Class A Title beating Orchard Park, ending OP's sectional title streak at seventeen.

West Genesee overcame a stubburn Liverpool team in the Class A finals, 7-6 in 3OT's, to secure their 10th consecutive Section 3 Championship.

Pittsford, with an 8-5 victory over Fairport, ended a twelve year drought and won their first Section 5 Title since 1999.

No small feat, the Ithaca boys have defeated West Genesee 3 years in a row in the NYS Tournament.

Six-time defending Section 6 Champions, the Lancaster girls saw that streak snapped in 2011 at the hands of Frontier.

In mid April, due to an illness, Corning Coach Bob Streeten missed walking the sidelines during a game for the first time in 30 years.

RIT men set a new team record of 14 straight wins when they beat Utica College on the road on April 27th. That record is now 19 after the Tigers continued their winning ways until they met defending champion Tufts in the NCAA semi-finals on May 22nd.

Merrimack's win over Le Moyne in the NE-10 semi-finals broke a home winning streak of sorts for the Dolphins. It was the first time a team had beat Le Moyne in back-to-back years in Syracuse since NY Tech did it in 2002-2003.

To follow the progress of the Crooked Arrows, go to CrookedArrows.com

We've included as many as time allowed. There were many who made Second and Third Team All-America lists, and many more with Conference and League Awards.

We lead off, though, with one from the High School ranks that not only seemed noteworthy, but occurred all on the same night: Following in the footsteps of players named Coffman, Powell, Dingman, and Grimm, Carhtage High's Nick Piroli had a huge night on May 10th. Piroli's 12 assists broke a Ryan Powell record from 1995, and he added a goal for 13 points on the night. He also crossed the 100-point mark for the season, and became the first Carthage laxer to win five league titles in his varsity career.


Gregory Bensman: D-III Long Pole Midfielder of the Year; USILA First Team AA.

Jeremy Boltus: USILA First Team AA; MLL Rookie of the Year.

Sam Bradman: USILA First Team AA; Scored 7 goals vs. Tufts in the D-III Championship Game; Lacrosse Magazine 2012 D-III Pre-season Player of the Year.

Corey Bulken: was honored as the top specialty player in the country. Bulken, a USILA All-America and Northeast-10 Conference First Team selection.

Grant Catalino: USILA Scholar All-America Team; Scored OT goal to carry Maryland over #1 Syracuse in NCAA quarterfinals; Tied MLL record with nine goals against Hamilton.

Chris DeLuca: Fran McCall Award as the 2011 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Div. III Outstanding Midfield Player; USILA First Team AA.

Jason Distefano: USILA First Team AA.

John Galloway: Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award: Outstanding Goalie; USILA First Team AA; Set D-I Record for Wins by Goalie.

Brian Karalunas: 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award; USILA First Team AA.

MJ Kiekebelt: USILA First Team AA; D-III Long Pole Midfielder of the Year.

John Lade: William C. Schmeisser Award for Outstanding Defensive Player; USILA First Team AA.

Pat Moran: William C. Schmeisser Award as the most outstanding defensive player in Division II; USILA First Team AA; Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year; Northeast-10 First Team.

Rob Pannell: Lt. Raymond J. Enners Award: Outstanding Player of the Year; Lt. Col. J.L. (Jack) Turnbull Award: Outstanding Attackman; USILA First Team AA.

Justin Schneidman: USILA First Team AA.

Mike Tota: 2011 Capital One College Division Academic All-America Men's At-Large Second Team.

Jack Venditti: received the Lt. Col. J.I. (Jack) Turnbull Award as the nation's most outstanding attackman; USILA First Team AA; USILA Scholar All-America Team, Northeast-10 Conference First Team; Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year.

USILA Scholar All-America Team


Lindsay Abbott: IWLCA First Team AA; ECAC Offensive Player of the Year; Synapse Sports National Midfielder of the Year; In three seasons, Abbott is already Cortland's career leader with 126 assists and 311 total points and is tied for fifth with 185 goals.

Sarah Bray: IWLCA First Team AA.

Nikki Branchini: America East Conference Co-Player of the Year; first UAlbany player to earn first-team All-America East recognition four times; All-Conference First Team; Synapse Sports Division I Women's Lacrosse All-America Team; 2011 IWLCA All-America 2nd Team; UAlbany Female Athlete of the Year; AE Conference Lacrosse and Overall Female Athlete of the Year; AE Woman of the Year.

Brittany Brigandi: IWLCA First Team AA; broke the Le Moyne record for most goals in a season.

Rebekah Elmer: IWLCA First Team AA.

Taylor Frink: One of 24 Nominees for Tewaaraton Award; set Albany single-season records for points and assists; All-Conference First Team; WomensLax.com Division I All-America; Synapse Sports Division I Women's Lacrosse All-America Team; 2011 IWLCA All-America 2nd Team.

Meg Pengue: IWLCA First Team AA.

Michele Tumolo: Named to US Senior National Team.

Jennifer VanderMeulen: First-team All-Ivy; Ivy League All-Tournament team; Led the Ivy League in goals (48) and goals per game (3.00); third in the Ivies in points (53); Led the Ancient Eight in free position goals per game (0.94) … Scored 100th career goal in regular season finale against Dartmouth; Scored three or more goals 12 times and four or more five times.

Kaitlin Walker: IWLCA First Team AA.

IWLCA Scholar Athletes