Top 10 Stories for 2011-12 Athletic Year
The Rockets' athletic department enjoyed a tremendous 2011-12 season. Below is a Top 10 listing of the accomplishments compiled by the UT Athletic Media Relations staff.
No. 1 Football - Toledo edged Air Force, 42-41, in a thrilling affair at the Military Bowl in Washington, DC in Matt Campbell's first game as the Rockets' head coach. The victory was also UT's first bowl win since 2005. The Rockets (9-4) never trailed in a see-saw affair in which there were three ties and the largest point margin was 14 points. With 52 seconds left in the game, Air Force scored what appeared to be the game-tying touchdown but its attempt at a two-point conversion failed. Sophomore WR Bernard Reedy caught a career-best three touchdown passes of 17, 49 and 37 yards and was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
No. 2 Women's Athletics - The Rockets won the Jacoby Trophy as the top women's athletic program in the Mid-American Conference. It was the first time in the 30-year history of the trophy that UT took first place. Toledo's best previous finish was fourth place in each of the past three years. The Rockets captured conference titles in cross country, soccer and swimming and diving.
No. 3 Women's Cross Country - The Rockets scored a conference record-low 33 points to win the 2011 Mid-American Conference cross country championship. The win gave the UT women's program back-to-back conference titles for the second time in school history and Head Coach Kevin Hadsell was honored with his fourth MAC Coach of the Year award. All five of Toledo's scoring runners earned All-MAC honors with Emma Kertesz leading the way for the Rockets, finishing in second place with a time of 20:48.4. UT then went on to finish third at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in front of nearly 4,000 fans at Ottawa Park Golf Course to qualify for the NCAA Championships where it posted a MAC-best 21st-place showing.
No. 4 Women's Soccer - Toledo captured its league-record fourth MAC Tournament championship with a 1-0 shutout victory over Western Michigan at Scott Park. 2011 MAC Offensive Player of the Year Rachel MacLeod scored the match's lone goal in the 69th minute to propel the Rockets back to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championships for the first time since 2008. Five Rockets were named to the All-MAC squad with Head Coach Brad Evans honored as MAC Coach of the Year for a second-straight season.
No. 5 Women's Swimming & Diving - Toledo held off Ohio to win its second Mid-American Conference championship in the last three years. UT outscored the Bobcats, 635-612, after trailing Ohio by 80 points following the first day. Five swimmers earned first-team All-MAC honors and two others garnered second-team All-MAC. Led by MAC Coach of the Year Liz Hinkleman, the Rockets won nine events and set eight pool records, five championship meet records and four MAC records to go along with 12 school records.
No. 6 Women's Track & Field - Toledo nearly won its first MAC Outfield Track & Field championship but was edged out by Kent State 134.33-132 points. The outcome was a carbon copy of the indoor championships in February, at which UT finished as runner-up to the Golden Flashes, also a program-best. UT was in first place for the majority of the competition and produced 15 top-four performances, including wins in four events. Prior to this year, the Midnight Blue and Gold had not won a title in the 29 years that it competed at the conference meet. The Rockets' highest finish came in 1990, when UT finished second in a field of nine schools.
No. 7 GPA Record - UT student-athletes earned a record grade-point average of 3.266 in the 2012 spring semester, shattering the previous high mark of 3.167 set in the fall of 2011. It was the fourth time in the last five semesters that UT student-athletes broke the GPA record but none of the previous increases were as dramatic as last semester.
No. 8 Women's Basketball - Toledo advanced to WNIT 'Elite Eight' for a second-straight year before falling in overtime to Syracuse. The Rockets tallied a 24-10 overall record and claimed a share of a third consecutive Mid-American Conference West Division crown with a 13-3 league ledger.
No. 9 Baseball - Toledo won its first-ever MAC West Division title by winning 14 of its last 16 conference contests to finish with a 19-8 league mark. Five Rockets earned spots on the all-conference squad for the second-highest total in the MAC, trailing only Kent State's seven honorees.
No. 10 Men's Basketball - Toledo produced one of the biggest turnaround seasons in the country, finishing with 19 wins. UT's increase of 15 victories from the previous season ranked as the second-largest improvement in the nation. The Rockets also advanced to postseason play and registered their first postseason victory in 11 years.
Honorable Mention: Women's golf finishes third at MAC Championship; Softball qualifies for MAC Tournament for first time in 15 years.
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