Eight Inductees Highlight 2021 UMaine Sports Hall of Fame Class – University of Maine Athletics

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Orono, Maine – The University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame will induct seven new individual members plus the 1998 women’s basketball team this fall, adding standouts from football, men’s and women’s ice hockey, softball, baseball, men’s track & field, and women’s basketball to the 213-member hall.

Honorees include Brittney Cheney, three-time All-Conference softball selection; Jack Cosgrove, UMaine’s all-time football coaching wins leader and three-time conference coach of the year; Aaron Dashiell, two-time Associated Press All-American football player; Rick Lashua, two-time NCAA Baseball Regional All-Tournament Team selection and the 1984 New England Player of the Year; Riley Masters, a two-time All-American in the mile event; Gustav Nyquist, 12-year NHL veteran and two-time Hobey Baker finalist; Raffi Wolf, two-time women’s ice hockey Olympian for Team Germany; and the legendary 1998-99 women’s basketball team, which captured Maine’s first, and only, NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament victory.

The Class of 2021 Hall of Famers was selected by the UMaine Sports Hall of Fame committee and approved by UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy and Athletic Director Ken Ralph. The induction dinner and ceremony will be held on Friday, Sept. 17 at 5:30 p.m. at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer, Maine.

Cheney earned a selection to the America East All-Conference teams each of her four years, earning a spot on the league’s second team and all-rookie team in her first season before being named first team all-conference in her last three seasons in Orono. In her senior campaign, Cheney guided the Black Bears to a 35-19 mark and an America East regular season title. In 2004, Cheney and the Black Bears won the America East tournament crown to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. As a senior, Cheney hit .367 with 61 hits, 29 runs, 12 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, and 34 RBI while striking out just 11 times and going a perfect 20-for-20 in stolen base attempts. Cheney, who led Maine in team batting average in two seasons, boasted a career mark of .329 with 104 runs scored, 198 total hits, 18 home runs, and 100 RBI to go along with a .502 slugging percentage and 40 stolen bases.

Cosgrove, the winningest coach in University of Maine football history, spent 23 years at the helm of the Black Bears program and earned all-conference honors as a quarterback during his four-year (1974-77) playing career at Maine. Cosgrove, who tallied 123 wins as head coach, is a three-time Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year finalist and a three-time conference coach of the year. Cosgrove guided the Black Bears to five NCAA berths and captured three conference titles, including back-to-back Atlantic-10 crowns in 2001 and 2002. In 2001, Cosgrove was named the American Football Monthly I-AA National Coach of the Year, after leading Maine to a 9-3 mark and advancing to the second round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs. In 2011 and 2013, Cosgrove was rewarded as the New England Football Writers’ FCS Coach of the Year. Under his direction, the Black Bears earned their first-ever victories over Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) competition with wins at Mississippi State (2004) and at UMass (2013).

A two-time Associated Press All-American defensive back, Dashiell led the Black Bears in tackles in 1998 (100) and 1999 (105).  Dashiell is only the fourth Black Bear in the history of the football program to be named a Division I-AA All-American twice in a career. A two-time first team all-conference selection in 1998 and 1999, Dashiell earned the team’s Walter Abbott Outstanding Defensive Player accolade in 1998 and was recognized as the team’s Most Valuable Player the year after. In 2018, Dashiell was named the Assistant Director of Athletics/Student-Athlete Development at Holy Cross.

Lashua, the 1984 New England Baseball Player of the Year, was a key component in guiding the Maine baseball team to four consecutive appearances in the College World Series from 1981-84. Lashua, a two-time NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team selection, hit .337 in four College World Series appearances with the Black Bears. Maine’s centerfielder during the magical four-year stretch, Lashua appeared in more NCAA postseason games (22) than any other Maine baseball player in the history of the program. A first team All-New England selection in 1984, Lashua hit a combined .352 with 174 hits, 27 doubles, eight triples, and 19 home runs during his final three years in Orono.

Masters, a Bangor, Maine native and two-time All-American in the mile, produced one of the most impressive athletic careers in University of Maine history. At the time of his departure from UMaine, Masters held four school records in the 1,500-meter, 3,000-meter, 5000-meter, and the mile. He captured gold in the 3,000-meter run at the 2010 America East Indoor Championships and was also a two-time America East cross country individual champion. Masters broke the legendary four-minute mile barrier for the first-time in his career when he ran 3:58.17 at the Boston University Valentine Invitational in 2010 and bested the mark again later that year with a 3:59.07 time at Columbia’s Last Chance meet. Masters had numerous impressive finishes at the NCAA championship and regional level, placing fifth in the mile at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championship and ninth in the same event in 2011.

Nyquist, an American Hockey Coaches Association East First Team All-American in 2010, appeared in 113 games at the University of Maine while registering 43 goals and 94 assists for 144 points during his three year career in Orono. Nyquist was a two-time finalist for the Hobey Baker award, finishing in the top-10 in 2011 and in the top-three in 2010. During his sophomore year, Nyquist produced 19 goals and 42 assists for 61 points in 39 games as he led the Black Bears in points in all three of his seasons. An AHCA East Second-Team All-American in 2010-11, Nyquist earned a pair of Hockey East First Team All-Conference recognitions and a spot on the Hockey East All-Tournament Team in 2010. The Detroit Red Wings drafted Nyquist in the fourth round, 121st overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Nyquist recently wrapped up his 10th season in the NHL, spending his first eight seasons in Detroit before a short stop in San Jose and one year with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Through his 10-year professional career in the NHL, Nyquist has produced 146 goals and 202 assists for 348 points in 570 career games.

Wolf, the first UMaine women’s ice hockey to be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame, represented her native country, and the Black Bears, as a two-time Olympian after earning a spot on Team Germany for the 2002 and 2006 winter games. Wolf continues to have her mark throughout the Maine record books where she ranks third in career goals (55), fifth in career points (92), second in most goals in a season (31), fourth in most points in a season (43), and tied for first with 17 career power play goals. Wolf set Maine’s school record for most points as a rookie when she tallied 43 during the 1998-99 season. Wolf also notched two points on a pair of assists for Team Germany at the 2002 Salt Lake City games.

The 1998-99 women’s basketball team, coached by Joanne Palombo-McCallie, is long remembered as one of the most successful and historic programs in University of Maine history. The Black Bears finished the season 24-7 before earning an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. In the first round, the No. 10 Black Bears upset No. 7 Stanford, 60-58, to earn Maine’s first-ever basketball victory in the NCAA Tournament. The Black Bears, who earned the America East regular season crown with an impressive 17-1 mark in league play, were led by Jamie Cassidy, who averaged 23.8 points and 8.5 rebounds, and captain Amy Vachon who set the school-record with 234 assists (7.5/game) that season.

-UMaine-

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