Top 10 Sport stories of 2011 at Seton Hall
1. Baseball wins Big East Championship
In the most shocking event from a topsy turvy year in Seton Hall athletics, all eyes were on the Hall’s baseball team after their stunning performance in the Big East tourney. The Pirates won the tournament with a 4-2 victory over the St. John’s Red Storm, giving them their first Big East title since 2001. After winning their first game of the NCAA Tournament to the Arizona Wildcats, the Hall fell to both Texas A&M and Arizona, knocking them out of the tournament and ending their miraculous season. Despite the first round exit, coach Rob Sheppard’s team showed extreme resilience and sent a message to the entire Big East that Seton Hall baseball is still a program worth fearing.
2. Pat Lyons named Athletic Director
Needing to replace the vacancy of Athletic Director, Seton Hall turned to Patrick Lyons who had been holding the same position at Iona. Lyons took over the position March 28 after taking Iona athletics to new heights. Right away Lyons has brought a new attitude around the athletic department resulting in some teams already reaching points where they have not been recently.
3. Big East Conference realignment
One of the biggest topics across the country in 2011 was the topic of conference realignment. No conference was hit harder by teams leaving than the Big East Conference. Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia all announced their plans to leave for other conferences. As a result the Big East added Central Florida, Houston and SMU as all sport members while Boise State and San Diego State for football only.
4. Jeremy Hazell joins the 2,000 point club
Jeremy Hazell’s college career can be summarized in many different ways, but the talented scorer etched his name in the Seton Hall record books in dramatic fashion in February when he scored his 2000th career point against bitter rival Rutgers, completing a 9-2 Pirate run and becoming just the fourth player in school history to earn the distinction. Hazell scored a team-high 19 points in the Hall’s 69-64 road victory and solidified himself as one of the greatest scorers in Seton Hall history.
5. Men’s basketball wins at Syracuse
When they entered the Carrier Dome on January 25 of this past year, nobody really gave the Seton Hall men’s basketball team much of a shot to take down No. 9 Syracuse on their home court. Led by Jeremy Hazell’s game-high 29 points, the Pirates gave the Orange a complete drubbing, winning the game by 22 points, 90-68, and never letting Syracuse lead at any point. The unbelievable performance was capped off by an 11-4 run in the second half as Jeremy Hazell, playing just his fourth game back after being shot on Christmas Eve, scored a fastbreak layup and one, emphatically beating his chest and yelling “I’m back!” into the television cameras for a nationally televised audience to witness.
6. Women’s Soccer advances to second round of the Big East tournament
The women’s soccer team made the Big East Tournament for the first time since 2006 and hosted St. John’s in the first round, on Oct. 27. The first 88 minutes of the match was scoreless until senior Ashley Beamish scored off of a rebound to give the Pirates the win. The victory in the Big East tournament was the programs first since the 1999 season.
7. Manny Schellscheidt retires after 24 years
Known for his calm demeanor and unwavering patience, Seton Hall men’s soccer coach Manfred “Manny” Schellscheidt called it quits in 2011, announcing his retirement from coaching after 24 years as the Hall’s head coach. Schellscheidt boasts an impressive resume as a soccer coach, being elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game of soccer. Schellscheidt is also No. 1 all-time on the list of soccer coaching wins at Seton Hall. Even though he will no longer be patrolling the sidelines of Owen T. Carroll Field, Schellscheidt plans on keeping in touch with all of his former players and staff members. “Seton Hall has been a close-knit family for me,” Schellscheidt said. “Life is about memories and that is what I will remember.
8. Men’s soccer beats No. 3 Connecticut Huskies on senior day
The Seton Hall men’s soccer team had very few things to cheer about in 2011, but in October, they gave their coach an impressive parting gift, defeating the No. 3 Connecticut Huskies 1-0 at home on Senior Night. The Pirates entered their matchup with the Huskies having lost all of their previous eight Big East matchups, but mounted an impressive performance thanks to the game’s lone goal from freshman defender Kai Greene and a stellar shutout between the posts from sophomore goalkeeper Anthony Reichwaldt. Even in their most disappointing season in recent memory, the Pirates held their heads high and finished off on a resounding note.
9. Jeremy Hazell’s game tying shot in Big East Tournament
Playing rival Rutgers in the first round of the Big East men’s basketball tournament, on March 8, the team found themselves down three with just seconds remaining. Always willing to take the big shot Jeremy Hazell pulled up from three at the top of the key, making the shot with just under 2 seconds left to force overtime. Although the Pirates ended up losing in overtime, ending Hazell’s career at the Hall, the shot was a perfect example of what Hazell did throughout his career.
10. Jeremy Hazell returns from injury
Missing 13 games due to a broken wrist Jeremy Hazell returned to the court against DePaul on Jan. 12. Being his senior season, Hazell was supposed to be the face of the team under first year head coach Kevin Willard, but that changed when Hazell went down with an injury in the third game of the season. In his return against DePaul, Hazell went 10-17 from the floor and scored 23 points to lead all scorers in the Pirates 78-67 win.