By Eirik Bjorno
After spending four years as a part of the men’s soccer team, and serving as sports editor for this newspaper, I have seen a lot of outstanding athletic performances from the Green and gold athletes. As my last contribution to The Pioneer, here is my very own Top 11 Sport Memories.
The first was when Joyce Kwok winning back-to-back National Championships. The undisputable number one on my list; to win 200- yard Butterfly at the NCAA National Championships is nothing less than impressive; to repeat it: Exceptional. With the 400 Yard Medley Team also winning a set of rings in 2012. Kwok and the rest of the swimmers have together with the Women’s Lacrosse team set the bar for all the other sport programs at LIU Post.
The second was seeing Women’s Lacrosse win back-to-back National Champions. When talking about National Champions, Post’s Women’s Lacrosse is the definition of one. Two straight titles, and a current streak of 35 straight wins is unmatched at any NCAA level. Class, pure class.
The Men’s Soccer’s results from the last three years is my third favorite memory. It is hard to say that I’m objective in this matter,
but the statistics speak for themselves. For the last three seasons, the Men’s Soccer Team has produced three East Coast Conference (ECC) Regular Season Championships, and crowned it with two straight ECC Championship Titles. They’ve been nationally ranked among the top 25 teams for the entire season in both 2012 and 2013, and kept the highest spot on the NCAA Ranking for more than 10 weeks in total. One loss
in three years at home, and a cumulative record of 53-7-3 since 2011 is extraordinary.
Field Hockey’s run in 2013 is number four. Led by Carlee Dragon, the field hockey team was 21-0 heading into the National Championship Game against Shippensburg University in Virginia. They were seconds away from the perfect season, but after a controversial call by the referee, the Pioneers dream ended in a 2-1 loss in overtime. Their 7-10 record from 2012 makes it all the more impressive.
When Jackie Sileo was named NCAA‘s Leading Point-getter. We are blessed with a lot of great athletes here at LIU Post, but the Women’s Lacrosse Team has the best lacrosse player in the nation. Jackie Sileo became an NCAA All-Time leading point-getter across all divisions when she surpassed the previous record-holder, Ashley Hansbury, in the 14-9 win over Dowling. She currently has 527 points and three games left in the regular season.
Number six is Alexis Peters’ buzzer beating performance. With 1.1 seconds left, the LIU Post Women’s Basketball team was down 59-58 against Assumption in the East Regional Quarterfinals. Assumption had possession of the ball under their basket. As Assumption’s Jamie Insel tried to inbound the ball, Peters intercepted the pass, and took a shot just before the buzzer sounded and scored, sending the Pioneers to the Semi-finals. I have never seen anything like it. You can see the play on LIU Post’s Athletic website.
Post’s position in the Commissioners Cup comes in at number seven. On February 17th I tweeted: “2013-14 season for the @ liupostpioneers must go down in history as one of the best!? Standout performances from ALL teams so far. #PostPride” A couple of months later, LIU Post has moved up to 13th spot in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Standings. This standing is based on all the schools’ sports results combined. The Pioneers have been ranked as high as six over the course of the season, which is in fact the highest in history.
My eighth favorite memory was when Jonathon Watkin was named an All-American. After scoring the game winner in the ECC Semifinal with 2.8 seconds left in 2013, winning the teammate of the year award for three straight years, and working harder than anyone else for the last four, Watkin was finally awarded the highest honor a student athlete can receive his senior year: NCAA First Team All America selection. Together with Eivind Austbo’s significant harvest of personal awards in 2013, Watkin really helped to put the Men’s Soccer program on the national map.
The ninth was when Maka Namahoe (Volleyball) won the East Region. The Hawaii native had been the heart and soul of the Volleyball team for the last four years, and played 133 games without winning a single trophy with the Pioneers. In 2013, he finally got the chance to lift the East Regional Trophy. Well deserved.
Susanne Vistnes’s goal against Molloy is number ten. There is no doubt that Susanne will go down in history as one of the best players to ever play here at LIU Post. With 33 goals and 15 assists during her first two seasons, she has distinguished herself nationally, being named All- American two years in a row. Her goal against Molloy in 2012 is hands down the best goal I’ve ever seen at any level of women’s soccer. From 25 yards she blasted the ball into the far top corner, and if the net didn’t stop the ball, it would orbit the earth till this day.
My final favorite memory was when Karsten Viste joined the football team. Viste played for the Men’s Soccer program from 2010 and retired after the 2012 season. Just weeks before the fall season started, he was brought in to tryout for the football team, and was soon hired as their kicker. He made 41 out of 42 PAT’s and six out of eight field goal attempts in his first seasons. With no experience playing football that is impressive. Viste will return for his final season in 2014.