As the calendar prepares to flip to a new year, Knights Online looks back at some of the top storylines from the last 12 months. With 20 varsity sports, our panel of judges couldn't fit everything into our top-10 list, but we think you'll enjoy this stroll down memory lane...and get excited about the prospects of what might happen in 2014. Happy New Year!
1. MEN’S SWIMMING: Erik Klontz Nabs Two More All-America Awards
When you finish second in the nation, it is pretty hard for you not to nab the top spot on this list.
The 2013 MIAC Swimmer-of-the-Year, Erik Klontz ’13 (Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) concluded his stellar career with All-America swims in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. He was the national runner-up in the shorter distance and placed seventh in the longer event as he became the sixth member of the Carleton men’s swimming and diving program to turn in multiple individual All-America performances at a single national championship. He was also part of the 200 free relay that received All-America Honorable Mention.
At the MIAC Championships, he broke the conference record in winning the 50 and 100 free as well as anchoring the victorious 200 free relay, the Knights’ first conference relay title in 25 years.
2. WOMEN’S SWIMMING: Sophie Pilhofer Takes Third at NCAA Championships
If placing second in the country earns you the top spot, then finishing third must mean you are next up on the chart. Sophie Pilhofer ’13 (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Visitation) became the 15th member of the women’s swimming and diving program to earn All-America status, and the ninth to do so in an individual event when she grabbed third place in the finals of the 50-yard freestyle at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships. After successfully defending her MIAC title at this distance, she was seeded sixth at nationals and placed third overall.
3. WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY: Youth is Served. Knights MIAC Champs Once Again!
Sparked by three runners in the top-10 and all five scorers finishing among the top-20, the Carleton women’s cross country squad claimed the team title at the 2013 MIAC Championships. This was the Knights’ fifth title over the last decade. Head coach Donna Ricks was recognized by her peers as they voted her the MIAC Women's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year.
After a second-place finish at regionals, the Knights capped the 2013 season with an 18th-place result at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships. Carleton easily possessed the youngest team in the field at nationals, counting four first-years, two sophomores and a junior among their seven racers.
4. MEN’S SOCCER: Knights Claim MIAC Playoff Championship, Return to NCAA Tourney
The Carleton men’s soccer program went 15-3-3 on the season, a year that included another MIAC Playoff title and a second consecutive and third-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III Championships.
The Knights topped rival St. Olaf in the conference semifinals, 1-0, on Brandon McGarrity’s (So./Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) second-half goal. Carleton then hosted Saint John’s in the finals, and Will Corcoran’s (Sr./Mahtomedi, Minn./Mahtomedi) two first-half scores were enough in the 2-1 triumph that sent the Knights back to the national tournament.
Senior defender Neil Bartholomay (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) was tabbed a NSCAA All-American, while McGarrity and Corcoran joined him on the all-region squad.
5. WOMEN’S GOLF: Holden Wins MIAC Crown, Knights One Shot Short Of Title
One shot is all that separated Carleton from its first MIAC Golf Championships title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
On the final day of the 54-hole championships, Shannon Holden (Fy./Simi Valley, Calif./Royal) provided the round of the season, firing a three-over par 75 to win the MIAC’s individual title by two shots at 13-over par 229. It’s the third-lowest total in conference tourney history, and she is believed to be the first freshman to win the MIAC’s individual crown. Her final round was the third-lowest round ever by a Knight at the MIAC Championships, as she is the first Carleton golfer to ever win an MIAC individual title and the first female to win a conference crown.
The nationally-ranked Knights are still in contention for an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships in May.
6. FOOTBALL: Big Comebacks Highlight Program Turnaround
While the season concluded with a dramatic 17-point fourth-quarter comeback for a 49-45 victory over Augsburg, the season’s top highlight was the 42-37 triumph over rival St. Olaf to reclaim the famed Goat Trophy for the first time since 2009.
Behind career days from seniors Conor Lynch (Sr./Salem, Ore./South Salem) and Anthony Kemper (Sr./Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake), the Knights erased a two-touchdown deficit.
The win over Augsburg permitted Carleton to wrap up the season with a 5-5 ledger, just the second time since 1996 that the Knights finished at or above .500.
Senior tight end Brian Frett (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) was one of the top receiving targets in the conference and was voted to the D3football.com All-Region team.
7. WOMEN’S TENNIS: Back-to-back Champs!
The Carleton women’s tennis team successfully defended its MIAC Playoff title and clinched the conference’s automatic berth in the NCAA Championships. The trip to the title included a fifth straight victory over Gustavus Adolphus, this one a 5-1 result in the semifinals, and a 5-0 triumph over University of St. Thomas in the finals.
The Knights made their fifth trip as a team to the NCAA tournament, advancing to the regional semifinal. Bridget Doyle ’13 (Mendota Heights, Minn./Visitation) and Anne Lombardi ’14 (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) were selected to participate in the NCAA Doubles Championship.
8. BASEBALL: Hayden Tsutsui Selected as D3baseball.com National Rookie-of-the-Year
Following a stellar first season—during which he batted .462, the sixth-highest figure among all NCAA players (Division I, II, and III)—with the Knights, Hayden Tsutsui (Northridge, Calif./Chatsworth) collected a plethora of post-season honors.
Not only an all-conference selection, he was tabbed as the MIAC's Rookie-of-the-Year.
Tsutsui was later voted to the D3baseball.com All-Midwest Region First Team and was the selection as the website's National Rookie-of-the-Year.
9. MEN’S BASKETBALL: Scott Theisen Voted to D3hoops.com All-West Region First Team
Carleton wing Scott Theisen ’13 (Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park) posted one of the top all-around seasons in the nation and was one of five players voted to the D3hoops.com All-West Region First Team.
He was the only NCAA Men’s Basketball player across any level (Division I, II, and III) to average more than 16 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals during the 2012-13 season.
He was also an All-MIAC selection and finished his career with a 31-point effort against No. 1 St. Thomas in the MIAC Playoffs, the Knights’ 11th trip to the postseason over the last 12 years.
10. MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY: Knights Return to NCAA Championships
For the first time in six seasons, the Carleton men’s cross country team earned a national ranking during the 2013 campaign. The year culminated with a bid to nationals and a 16th-place team finish at the NCAA Championships.