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Most memorable moments of 2007

By mrasor Published: December 30, 2007

It's hard to characterize 2007.
Looking back on the year, you might call it an utter disappointment. The basketball team failed to reach the postseason. The football team won four games. The soccer team got upset in the first round.
On the other hand, you could call it a success with Keith Dambrot winning 26 games and having the best men's basketball team ever to play at Akron. The athletic department revealed its gem of a stadium. The soccer team returned to national rankings and got great play from two freshmen.
Here is the list of most notable moments from the year. Please add your memories for each one.
1) Penno's Prayer -- You won't see many heartbreaks like this in sports. Cedrick Middleton's free throw went off the front rim. Then 6.6 seconds seemed like an eternity as the ball found Doug Penno, who found backboard and twine. If you want to torture yourself, watch the Youtube video. I don't think I have ever written with such anger. What I wrote
2) Miracle at Kalamazoo -- You won't see many finishes like this game, either. Andre Jones took a pitch and cut out Western Michigan's heart. "Everything but a band on the field," ESPN's commentator said about its top play of the week. If you want a reason to drop the noose from Penno's Prayer, watch this video. Unfortunately, the rest of the season was a huge downer. In the MAC, however, you never can say next season won't be better. What I wrote
3) Zips flush Flashes four times -- Is there anything sweeter than beating the Golden Flashes THREE times in one basketball season, including eliminating them in the MAC Tournament? Naa. Top it off with a victory in the teams' final meeting in the Rubber Bowl. That should silence the Kent State fans for at least 12 months. Winning at the MAC Center will prove to be essential to the team's confidence during this conference season. Here's a video of the KSU band solemnly playing at The Q. I assume it was after the fate of its team was known. What I wrote
4) Stadium revealed -- Since 2004, we have heard promises of a new stadium. A concrete announcement came in July. It seemed like a great day for everyone involved. Well, except for the property owners who are losing their homes and businesses. This stadium will be the MAC's finest. If it does open in 2009, the Zips will have no excuse for not competing at the highest level of any mid-major team. I had to threaten legal action in order to receive the rendering before the announcement, and that was fun. What I wrote
5) Soccer success -- The Zips returned to the level of success under Ken Lolla. Akron should sustain it too, because two of the key players Anthony Ampaipitakwong and Steve Zakuani were freshmen. The team lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but Caleb Porter will have the Zips contending for the foreseeable future.

    Honorable mentions
    Zippy made an improbable run for the Capital One Mascot Challenge championship. We will learn tomorrow if the marsupial beat Goldy Gopher. I say "improbable" because I assumed Akron would have no chance to beat several BCS schools in a fan voting contest. I know for a fact a handful of dedicated Zips fans were carrying the load.
    The women's track team won another MAC Championship. The men finished second, which is their highest place ever.
    Golf coach Tom Porten smacked his tee-ball out of bounds by bolting to Kent State to be an assistant.
    Akron suffered through severe incompetance at quarterback. Chris Jacquemain turned into Rex Grossman after the first quarter of most games. Carlton Jackson ran well, but was a turnover machine. Both guys were suspended.
    The university did not renew volleyball coach Mike Sweitzer's contract. He had held the job for 17 seasons.
    The university added women's golf. Jenny King comes from Kentucky to lead the Zips, who will begin play in 2008-09.
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