#BestOfLax: Vote for LM's Biggest Team Breakthrough of 2012
Lacrosse Magazine's "Best of Lacrosse 2012" series recognizes the players, coaches, teams and moments that shined above all others in our sport this year. We want to know what you think. Fans can vote for their favorites in 10 categories. The results of each poll will be published alongside staff selections in the December issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Voting ends Monday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. Eastern.
See any snubs? Make your case by commenting at the bottom of this page or at #BestOfLax on Twitter.
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Nominees for Best Team Breakthrough
The Raiders had their best season in program history, going 14-4 and rising as high as No. 8 in the national rankings. Colgate also defeated No. 1 UMass in the first round of the national tournament, giving the Raiders their first NCAA tournament win ever. Junior Peter Baum became the first Raider to win the Tewaaraton Award.
The Gators reached their first final four, and became the first team to beat Northwestern twice in one season during the Amonte Hiller era. Florida handed the Wildcats their only two losses of the year, including a 14-7 drubbing in the ALC title game. It was the first ever conference championship for the Gators in just their third year of varsity play.
Iroquois Nationals (Under-19)
The Iroquois under-19 men's team defeated the U.S., 15-13, in the preliminary round of the 2012 FIL U19 World Championship. It was the first-ever victory for an Iroquois team over an American team in field competition. Warren Hill had 13 saves in the win and Hank Delisle led the Iroquois with three goals and one assist. The team lost the U.S. in the medal round and finished the tournament with the bronze.
Unranked by many (but not all) at the beginning of the season, the Greyhounds steadily rose to prominence, earned a No. 1-ranking and claimed their first NCAA championship. Mike Sawyer was the first men's player from Loyola to be named a Tewaaraton finalist, too.
The Ducks won a program-best 14 games and defeated MPSF juggernaut Stanford twice to earn their first conference crown. Oregon didn't quite make the NCAA tournament, but came very close, losing to Navy in OT in the play-in game.