Editor's Note: This week, we'll be looking back at Syracuse sports in 2015 by announcing our selections for different superlatives, which were voted on by the TNIAAM staff. We started with Best Moment and now it's on to Best Play.
2015 was a mixed bag when it came to how entire seasons went down for Syracuse Orange squads. Men's basketball and football had extremely rough years overall. Meanwhile, field hockey, cross country, men's soccer and women's lacrosse were among the Orange teams who found success from beginning to end.
But we're not here to talk about what went down across an entire season. We want to know what was the one play, the one singular moment during a game that was head-and-shoulders above all else for the Orange. What's the one play we'll think back on years from now to remember what it was like to be a Syracuse fan in 2015?
We had four final nominees after whittling things down. First up was the Riley Dixon fake and ensuing run for a first down vs. the LSU Tigers. Not only was it classic #DixonForHeisman but it ended with The Air-Punch Heard Round The Dome. A defiant moment when it felt like Syracuse might actually be able to hang with the mighty Tigers and fulfill the promise of a 3-0 start.
Next up was Ben Polk's game-winning header against Boston College that sent Syracuse men's soccer to the College Cup (0:49 mark). A thrilling score that took a program already on the rise and brought it to the next level.
Also up for consideration was Kayla Treanor's 2OT sudden-death goal that gave Syracuse it's first ACC Championship en route to another Final Four run. A hard-fought victory secured by the team's very-best player.
Finally, we had to include the Field Hockey team, specifically Zoe Wilson's go-ahead goal vs. North Carolina in the 59th minute of National Championship game. Something about beating North Carolina for championships really defined 2015. This goal cemented Syracuse's first-ever Field Hockey National Title and secured a legacy for the players and coach Ange Bradley.
In the final vote, while Ben Polk's score made a valiant effort, it was no match for Riley Dixon and his magical leap, which received 60% of the vote. Ironic, perhaps, that the only play that didn't result in a post-season victory is the one that wins but such is the power of Riley.
Congrats to Riley Dixon one yet another accolade. See you tomorrow with more 2015 Best Of's.