Top Story - The women’s soccer team kicks off the 36th season of Division I athletics for Robert Morris University Friday afternoon when it takes on Syracuse as part of the 5th Embassy Suites Kick-Off Classic, which is hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University, in Fort Myers, Fla. Before the Colonials kickoff another season, RMUColonials.com takes a final look back at the 2010-11 season, another historic year of Division I athletics for RMU ...
The Streak Continued - Robert Morris didn’t take very long to extend one of its most impressive streaks in school history in the fall of 2010. The football team returned to the top of the Northeast Conference after a 10-year hiatus by posting a record of 7-1 in league play and shared the 2010 regular-season championship with Central Connecticut State. However, by virtue of a 42-24 victory over the Blue Devils at Joe Walton Stadium (11/6/10), RMU clinched the NEC’s inaugural bid to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Playoffs. It marked the 12th straight season that Robert Morris has sent at least one of its programs to an NCAA Tournament, dating back to the 1999-2000 campaign. A look at the programs that have appeared in the NCAA Tournament over the last 12 years ...
The Turnaround - While football continued RMU’s run of sending at least one team to the NCAA Tournament to 12 straight years, the men’s soccer team posted one of the most impressive turnarounds in school history. The Colonials finished with an overall record of 9-7-2 (.556) in 2010 and just missed qualifying for their first NEC Tournament appearance since 2006 by tying for fourth with Fairleigh Dickinson with a 5-3-2 (.600) league mark. The performance in 2010 came on the heels of a 2009 season in which Robert Morris struggled through a 3-13-3 (.237) campaign. The six-win improvement was led by 2010 NEC Rookie of the Year Daniel Calabretta, who recorded three game-winning goals in 2010. In 2011, the Colonials return eight starters among a group looking to take the next step.
I Can See for Myles - Records, as they say, are made to be broken. Former running back Myles Russ (2007-10) stamped his name among the elite in Robert Morris football history in his final season of eligibility, becoming the program’s all-time leading rusher. Thanks to 154 yards rushing in a 34-11 victory over Duquesne (10/30/10) at Joe Walton Stadium, Russ eclipsed the rushing record that was held by former running back and current assistant coach Sam Dorsett (1999-2003). Russ passed Dorsett with a six-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that gave the Colonials a 27-3 lead. Russ would finish his career with 4,271 rushing yards, which also ranks fourth all-time in the 15-year history of the Northeast Conference.
Run To The Hills - Another fall program that had an impressive season in 2010 was the Robert Morris women’s cross country squad. At the 2010 Northeast Conference Cross Country Championships in New Britain, Conn., the Colonials finished fourth with 115 points. It marked the program’s highest showing since finishing second at the 1987 ECAC South Cross Country Championships. Merel Van Steenbergen finished second individually for RMU, establishing a school record with a time of 17:35.8 in the 5K course. Steenbergen owns each of the top three times in a 5K race as well as the top time for a 6K course in school history and was named the 2010 NEC Freshman of the Year.
The Hardware - A total of 10 student-athletes from Robert Morris earned major awards from their respective conferences in 2010-11, including a pair from the football team. Senior running back Myles Russ was named the 2010 Northeast Conference Offensive Player of the Year, while senior linebacker Alex DiMichele took home NEC Defensive Player of the Year accolades. Freshman Merel Van Steenbergen was the lone Colonial to earn a pair of honors, being named both the 2010 NEC Women’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year and the 2011 NEC Women’s Indoor Track & Field Most Outstanding Rookie Performer. A look at the complete list of award winners ...
Myles Russ (Football)
2010 NEC Offensive Player of the Year
Alex DiMichele (Football)
2010 NEC Defensive Player of the Year
Denny Urban (Men's Ice Hockey)
2011 AHA Defenseman of the Year
Steve Mitchell (Men's Outdoor Track & Field)
2011 NEC Outstanding Field Performer
Trevor Moore (Men's Lacrosse)
2011 NEC Player of the Year
C.G. Mercatoris (Men's Golf)
2011 NEC Golfer of the Year
Daniel Calabretta (Men's Soccer)
2011 NEC Rookie of the Year
Merel Van Steenbergen (Women's Cross Country)
2011 NEC Freshman of the Year
Merel Van Steenbergen (Indoor Track & Field)
2011 NEC Outstanding Rookie Performer
Artemis Spanou (Women's Basketball)
2011 NEC Rookie of the Year
Thea Imbrogno (Women's Ice Hockey)
2011 CHA Rookie of the Year
Joe Walton (Football)
2010 NEC Coach of the Year
Katy Phillips (Women's Lacrosse)
2011 NEC Coach of the Year
Michael Smith (Men's Outdoor Track & Field)
2011 NEC Coach of the Year
2011 NEC Coaching Staff of the Year
Double Your Pleasure - Senior attack Trevor Moore of the men’s lacrosse team earned his second straight NEC Player of the Year accolade in 2011 after leading Division I in goals per game (3.33) while ranking fifth in the country in points per contest (4.07). On the 2011 campaign Moore compiled 50 goals and 11 assists for 61 points. Moore finished his career at RMU as the all-time leader in goals (134), assists (61) and points (195) and became just the third student-athlete ever at Robert Morris to be named their program’s NEC Player of the Year twice. Moore joined former quarterback Tim Levcik (1998-2001) of the football team and former outside hitter Katie Noble (1999-2002) of the volleyball program. Levcik was named the NEC Offensive Player of the Year in both 2000 and 2001, while Noble garnered NEC Player of the Year accolades in 2001 and 2002.
In Control at CONSOL - The Robert Morris men’s ice hockey team established a program record for victories in 2010-11, finishing the year with an overall record of 18-12-5 (.586). One of the biggest highlights of the season came in RMU’s debut at the CONSOL Energy Center, the new home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, as part of the RMU Hockey Showcase. The Colonials fell behind Air Force, 2-0, in the first period, but clawed back to earn a 3-2 victory when senior forward Nathan Longpre lit the lamp at the 17:39 mark of the third period. Senior Denny Urban, a local product out of Baldwin High School in Pittsburgh, was named the 2011 Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) Defenseman of the Year after dishing out a school record 32 assists, establishing a new single-season record in plus/minus at +14 and breaking his own school record for points by a defenseman with 40.
Three Minutes from a Three-Peat - Despite one of the youngest rosters in Division I, the Robert Morris men’s basketball team fell just three minutes short of an unprecedented three straight Northeast Conference Tournament championships before suffering an 85-82 loss in overtime at Long Island (3/9/11). Redshirt sophomore Velton Jones developed into the heart & soul of the Colonials, being named to the 2011 All-NEC Tournament Team after averaging 20.7 points and 5.7 assists in three games. Included in that stretch was a career-high 29 points in a 78-74 win over Wagner (3/3/11) in the quarterfinals and the eventual game-winning jumper with 4.3 seconds to play in a 64-62 win @ Quinnipiac (3/6/11) in the semifinals. Overall on the 2010-11 campaign Jones averaged 12.1 points per game and led the Colonials in assists (127) and steals (50) as RMU extended a school record with its sixth straight winning season with an overall record of 18-14 in 2010-11.
The Daytona 500 - The 2010-11 season featured the Robert Morris softball program claiming its fifth Northeast Conference regular-season championship with a record of 15-5 (.750). During RMU’s roll through the NEC, the Colonials helped head coach and director of athletics Craig Coleman, M.D., pick up career victory No. 500 in game one of a doubleheader sweep of Fairleigh Dickinson (3/27/11) in Teaneck, N.J. Robert Morris posted a 7-2 victory in the opening game, helping Coleman become the first coach in Robert Morris history to achieve the historic milestone.
Mitchell On The Move - Did any student-athlete have a better year in 2010-11 than sophomore Steve Mitchell? In the fall of 2010, Mitchell started all 11 games on the defensive line, recording 37 tackles in helping Robert Morris claim its sixth NEC regular-season championship and the league’s inaugural bid to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Playoffs. In the spring of 2011 he ignited the RMU outdoor track & field squad to a second-place finish at the 2011 NEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships with 133 points, the squad’s highest finish since winning the 2000 NEC Outdoor Track & Field title with 146.5 points. Mitchell was named the 2011 Most Outstanding Field Performer after claiming gold in the hammer throw and silver in the shot put. He posted a toss of 50.83 meters in the hammer and a throw of 16.29 meters in the shot, establishing a new RMU outdoor school record. To top it off, Mitchell owns a 3.55 cumulative grade point average as a management major.
It’s In The Hole - Arguably the greatest golfer in the history of the Robert Morris men’s golf program, senior C.G. Mercatoris saved his best for last in 2010-11. On the year, Mercatoris won four tournaments, including a two-stroke victory at the 2011 Northeast Conference Men’s Golf Championships. He became the first golfer in school history to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, finishing 31st at the 2011 NCAA Colorado Regional. For those efforts, Mercatoris was named the 2011 NEC Golfer of the Year, won the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Frank Fuhrer Award, earned a spot on the GCAA Division I PING All-Region Team and was an All-NEC First Team selection. In addition, he was named a Cleveland Golf / Srixon All-America Scholar for the second straight year after graduating with a 3.30 grade point average as a finance major. In 2010-11, Mercatoris averaged 72.8 strokes per round, a single-season school record, and his career mark of 74.7 strokes is also a Robert Morris record.
Membership Has Its Privileges - While Robert Morris had another banner athletic season in 2010-11, the program’s success wasn’t limited to what happened on the field, court or ice. Over the course of the 2010-11 year, RMU doubled its membership in the Academic All-America club. Sophomore Nolan Nearhoof of the football team, senior Amanda Graham of the volleyball program and softball senior Annie Dubovec each earned Capital One Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Nearhoof and Graham earned second team honors, while Dubovec was tabbed to the first team. Graham and Dubovec became the first female student-athletes in school history to earn Academic All-American honors. A look at RMU's Academic All-Americans ...
2004 (First Team)
2006 (First Team)
2011 (First Team)
Track & Field
2004 (Second Team)
2005 (Second Team)
2010 (Second Team)
2010 (Second Team)
Hard Work - The success of RMU’s trio of Academic All-Americans in 2010-11 is indicative of the athletic department’s ability to excel in the classroom as a whole. In all, 21 of University’s 23 athletic squads finished with team GPA’s of 3.0 or higher in 2010-11, with women’s tennis (3.630), women’s cross country (3.570), softball (3.560), men’s lacrosse (3.120) and football (2.900) posting the highest team GPA’s of any institution in the Northeast Conference. Overall, the 20 sports that are members of the NEC from Robert Morris combined to post an overall GPA of 3.256, the second highest in the conference and trailing only Saint Francis (Pa.) (3.270). RMU also had four student-athletes named the NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in their respective sport, tied for the most in the conference with Fairleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart. Nearhoof (Football), Graham (Volleyball) and Dubovec (Softball) each earned the honor, and they were joined by junior Kiel Matisz in men's lacrosse.
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