I finally got STO running last night. I uninstalled the Intel Network Connections software, extracted the driver files from the .zip file, went into Device Manager and had it scan the driver directories until it found one. Once it was installed, the game loaded like a champ, totally fine.
Can we get this added to a sticky or a FAQ or something? STO does not like the Intel management applications on Z77 motherboards. I hope this gets fixed in the future!