Youngstown State caught national headlines three times in the first three months of the academic year as the football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams all earned early-season victories over teams from BCS conferences. Those big victories combine as the runner-up for the top storyline in Penguins athletics in 2012-13.
The football team scored one of the biggest upsets in the country last season when it opened the season with a 31-17 victory at Pittsburgh, who was competing in the Big East Conference for the final season. The Penguins beat an opponent from a Bowl Championship Series conference for the first time in school history and beat a team from the FBS for the first time since 2000. The Guins outgained the Panthers (381-369), had more first downs (23-17) and won the time of possession (35:10 – 24:50). The defense forced two turnovers and had a huge fourth-down stop in the third quarter. Youngstown State was trending nationally on Twitter during the second half of the contest.
The women's basketball team knocked off Pittsburgh at the Petersen Events Center two months later, giving an indication of the season it was about to have. The Penguins outscored the Panthers 43-17 in the second half and won 64-50. It was YSU's first win over a team currently in a BCS conference since 1997 and its first victory over a current Big East team since 1991. Brandi Brown scored 11 of her game-high 16 points in the second half, and Melissa Thompson hit three of YSU's eight second-half 3-pointers. Pitt had beaten YSU 89-37 just three years prior.
The men's basketball team joined the party just three days later with a 68-56 victory at Georgia in a game that was broadcast on ESPNU. The win marked the Penguins' first win over a team from the Southeastern Conference. Kendrick Perry scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half, and he was part of a tenacious defense that limited the Bulldogs to three field goals in the first half. The Penguins led by 11 at halftime and used a 13-4 run midway through the second half to take an 18-point lead.
The Youngstown State baseball team also beat West Virginia 10-7 in February for its first victory over a Big 12 team. The Penguins broke open a 4-4 tie by scoring six straight runs, including five in the seventh, to go up 10-4. Josh White had three hits, and Drew Dosch scored three times for the Penguins.
#3: Football and Basketball Teams Win 31 Home Games
In the 40th anniversary season of Beeghly Center and the 30th anniversary season of Stambaugh Stadium, the Youngstown State football and basketball teams combined to win more than 80 percent of its home games in 2012-13. That is the No. 3 story in Penguins athletics in the last academic year. [ Read More ]
#4: Women's Basketball Turnaround Catches National Spotlight
Three years removed from an 0-30 season, the women's basketball team won 23 games to finish second in the Horizon League and earn a berth in the Women's National Invitational Tournament, which is the No. 4 story in Penguins athletics in 2012-13. [ Read More ]
#5: Trio Leads Tremendous Turnaround in Women's Tennis
Led by Paula de Man, Margarita Sadovnikova and Marta Burak, the Youngstown State women's tennis team advanced to the Horizon League Championship match and won more matches in 2012-13 than it did in the previous three seasons combined. That is the No. 5 storyline in Penguins athletics in 2012-13. [Read More ]
#6: Men's Basketball's Memorable Season Culminates with Tournament Wins
The Youngstown State men's basketball team had one of its most successful seasons as a Division I program, and, with its berth in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, it is the No. 6 storyline in Penguins athletics in 2012-13. [ Read More ]
#7: Ashley Dow Becomes First YSU Swimmer to Win Two League Titles
Sophomore Ashley Dow became the first Penguin swimmer in school history to win two individual titles at the Horizon League Championships, which is the No. 7 story in Youngstown State athletics in 2012-13. [ Read More ]
#8: Dosch Repeats as Second-Team Academic All-American, Gets Drafted By Orioles
In a span of eight days, Youngstown State baseball player Drew Dosch repeated as a Second-Team Academic All-American and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the seventh round. Dosch's successes earned him eighth place on the list of top 10 moments and storylines of YSU athletics in 2012-13. [ Read More ]
#9: Farmers National Bank Field Built for YSU Soccer
Youngstown State added a new facility gem on its campus, and the Penguins soccer team will play its inaugural season at Farmers National Bank Field this fall. The construction of the new soccer field and softball complex along Fifth Avenue is the No. 9 story in YSU athletics in 2012-13. [ Read More ]
#10: Allison Mitzel Takes Medalist Honors at Horizon League Golf Championship
Youngstown State sophomore women's golfer Allison Mitzel shot 71 and 73 in the final two days of the Horizon League Championship to win the conference title by seven strokes, earning her the No. 10 spot in the top 10 moments and storylines of Penguins athletics in 2012-13. [ Read More ]