Stevens has finished the year ranked 27th in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Standings, it was announced Thursday morning.
Stevens finished the 2012-13 school year with 466.50 points, placing amongst the top-30 athletic programs in the country for the second time in school history. The only time Stevens has ever placed higher was in 2010-11 when the department finished 13th. The program as a whole has now cracked the top-40 five-straight years, and this is the sixth time the Ducks have been in the top-50 dating back to June of 2005.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff and to the university for its outstanding support; as so many people played an important role in leading Stevens to an outstanding year in intercollegiate athletics. What I find most compelling is the wide range of teams and student-athletes who earned points for our program this year. We have much to be proud of and already are looking forward to 2013-2014.”
The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup ranks institutions on program-wide success at the national level and was developed as a joint effort between NACDA and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament and/or Championships in up to 18 sports – nine women’s and nine men’s.
Men’s soccer earned 64.00 points for Stevens in the fall, reaching the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship via the Empire 8’s automatic berth behind a shootout in the E8 final over Ithaca College. From there, Stevens went on to advance to the Sectional Semifinals or “Sweet 16” of the tournament before falling 1-0 at the hands of the University of Scranton. The Ducks finished with an overall record of 18-3-1 and final ranking of No. 10 (D3Soccer.com).
The department picked up 225.50 points from winter sports teams. Women’s indoor track & field tallied 13.50 points, men’s basketball earned 25.00 points, wrestling took 41.50 points, women’s swimming notched 72.00 points and men’s swimming recorded 73.50 points.
The women’s track & field points came on the shoulders of senior Alina Duran who became the first All-American in the history of the program by taking eighth in the weight throw. Duran’s finish netted the team a national placement of 58th which was good for the previously mentioned 13.50 points.
Men’s basketball earned its 25.00 points thanks to an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Ducks finished the year with a record of 22-6, appearing in the national tourney for the second time in program history. Stevens won the Empire 8 regular-season title before falling to Ithaca in the conference title game, solidifying a spot in the dance on selection Monday. The 20-plus win season was the third-straight for the Ducks.
Senior Joey Favia of the Stevens wrestling program placed fifth in his 165-pound weight class at the NCAA Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to earn All-America honors for the second-straight year. His finish netted the team 11.50 points and a placement of 32nd nationally. Favia, along with sophomore 141-poinder Mike Polizzi earned an automatic berth into the national meet by winning a weight class at the NCAA Regional meet in Gettysburg, Pa.
Women’s swimming continued a remarkable run of success by winning the Empire 8 title and taking seventh place at the NCAA Championships in Shenandoah, Texas. The Ducks have now finished in the top-10 the last three years taking seventh (2013), fifth (2012) and sixth (2011), and this season, eight swimmers compiled 17 All-America honors and 10 honorable mention All-America accolades. By finishing seventh, the program netted 72.00 Directors’ Cup points.
Men’s swimming also had an amazing year, earning a second E8 Championship and taking sixth nationally which was good for 73.50 points. Junior Simas Jarasunas became the first-ever men’s swimming National Champion by winning the 100-yard breaststroke and 12 student-athletes combined for 10 school-records, 19 All-America honors and 10 honorable mention All-America distinctions.
Men’s lacrosse, men’s volleyball and men’s tennis all brought home cup points this spring. The men’s lacrosse team earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round for a third-straight year. The team gave Tufts University an excellent battle, eventually succumbing to a strong Jumbos team to finish the year with an overall record of 13-5. The tourney run and excellent season netted 53.00 tallies.
Men’s volleyball also earned an at-large berth to the tournament after a fantastic regular-season. The Ducks finished with a 25-10 mark, falling in the National Quarterfinals to Baruch University. It marked the first appearance in the NCAA Tournament for Stevens as Division III Men’s Volleyball is in just its second year of existence as an NCAA sport. The Ducks brought in 60.00 points.
Lastly, was the Stevens men’s tennis team. The Ducks earned their fourth-straight Empire 8 title to earn an automatic berth to the national tournament. There, they rolled to a 5-0 win over Baruch, before downing 22nd-ranked Mary Washington to advance to the program’s first-ever appearance in a Regional Final. In that final the Ducks fell to No. 3 Amherst College to finish the year with an overall mark of 17-8 after facing one of the toughest schedules in the country. Men’s tennis totaled 64.00 points.
Williams College earned the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup title with 1,273.75 points and now has won 16-of-18 total, while Emory University, Middlebury College, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Washington University (Mo.) rounded out the top-five. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) finished 10th overall with 725.75 tallies and Empire 8 member Ithaca was No. 19 (563.00 points). In-state rival The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) finished one spot ahead of Stevens at No. 26 with 471.50 points, while another New Jersey rival – Montclair State – was one spot behind at No. 28. Nazareth College was the only other Empire 8 school in the top-100 at No. 79.
A total of 329 schools made the rankings this year. In order to appear in the Directors’ Cup standings, an institution must have competed and placed at/in a NCAA Championship event.
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