Best Varsity Team
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 01:05
1. Women’s Basketball
The women’s basketball team achieved numerous firsts this past season, winning the CAA Championship and a NCAA tournament game. With a 31-2 record, including a perfect 18-0 conference record, the Hens finished the year ranked No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and reached as high as No. 8 during this year.
The team started 10-0 before losing to No. 5 Maryland. They rebounded by winning their next 22 games and earning a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, the Hens’ highest seed ever. The Hens won their first NCAA tournament game with ease, defeating the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 73-42.
Junior forward Elena Delle Donne, Delaware’s first women’s basketball player to be named a first team All-American, led the country in scoring with 28.1 points per game. She ranked 17th in rebounds per game, averaging 10.2. She was also named the CAA Player of the Year, with junior guard Lauren Carra being named a third team All-CAA player. Delle Donne led the team in most categories and finished in the top 20 in numerous national categories.
Head coach Tina Martin won her 300th game at the school and was named CAA Coach of the Year for guiding the Hens to the conference title. The Hens ranked 29th in scoring offense and 35th in scoring defense. They finished in the top 20 in several other categories as well, including rebound margin.
Though the Hens were ousted, 70-64, in the second round of the NCAA tournament by Kansas, hopes for next year are high. An estimated 11 players return as the squad looks to build on a record-breaking 2011-2012 season.
2. Men’s Soccer
Men’s soccer had a historic season, winning the CAA championship for the first time and reaching the NCAA tournament. At 13-6-4, the Hens finished fourth in the CAA in the regular-season, but turned it on in the conference tournament. The team upset No. 20 James Madison and No.18 Old Dominion to win the CAA, beating both opponents on penalty kicks.
The Hens defeated Virginia in the NCAA tournament’s first round before losing to No. 4 UCLA in the following round. The team finished No. 27 in the final NSCAA/Adidas poll.
Senior midfielder Evans Frimpong was the National Soccer Coaches Association of America second team All-American and a finalist for the Hermann Player of the Year trophy. He was also named the CAA Player of the Year. Sophomore forward Roberto Giménez was first team All-Conference and senior midfielder Darren O’Connor was named third team All-Conference. Sophomore midfielder Vincent Mediate received CAA Tournament MVP honors.
Frimpong led the team with 29 points and Giménez finished second with 27. Senior goalie Kris Devaux recorded six shutouts and had allowed 1.15 goals per game. The Hens look to defend their conference title in the upcoming 2012 season.