Best of Harvard Winter Sports, Part I

Published by Daniel A. Grafstein on March 13, 2012 at 3:12AM

Freshman Amanda Sobhy had a dominant rookie campaign and never dropped a game all season en route to an individual national title.

It wasn’t easy, but we survived another Boston winter. As the season, which included its fair share of scandal and controversy off the field, draws to a close, we look back on the true bright spots for Harvard athletics. From Linsanity’s explosion onto the front pages of the New York Post and Sports Illustrated to three national squash championships to the men's basketball team reaching the biggest stage in college sports for the first time in 66 years, it was a great few months for Harvard sports.

In such a wonderful winter, there were a number of distinguished nominees for each of the season's awards. After much debate, here is the best of the winter in Harvard sports.

Most Valuable Player: Amanda Sobhy

It is not often that a world champion comes to Cambridge. But then again, nothing about Amanda Sobhy’s season here has been typical. After making history by becoming the first 16-year-old to win four professional tournaments, she easily handled the college circuit and emerged victorious in the CSA Individual Championships. Harvard coach Mike Way said of the accomplishment, “I think that [Sobhy and Ali Farag, her counterpart on the men’s team] are probably the two strongest players ever to play in college squash.”

Most Improved Team: Men’s Hockey

Last year's losses were converted to ties and wins for this group. After starting 0-2-1 in regular season play, the Crimson found its groove behind freshman goaltender Steve Michalek and veteran forwards Alex Killorn and Marshall Everson. After being picked to finish last in the ECAC in one preseason poll, the team finds itself in the ECAC’s final weekend after crushing Yale in a deciding Game Three.

Most Improved Player: Lyndsey Fry

The sophomore nearly doubled the 22 points she had accumulated entering the month of February and finished with 42 points on 20 goals and 22 assists. In doing so, Fry surpassed all teammates in the points column except junior Jillian Dempsey. Fry put the exclamation on her progression in the squad’s final regular game when she accounted for all of the scoring in a 4-0 shellacking of Yale. Alongside Dempsey, Fry’s efforts were recognized as she made the All-ECAC Third Team.

Rookie of the year: Amanda Sobhy

Did we mention she's a freshman?!?

Stay tuned for biggest surprise and play of the winter, among others. The answers may surprise you.