Stonehill College has won the 2014-2015 Northeast-10 Conference Presidents’ Cup, it was announced at the Conference’s annual awards banquet at in Saratoga Springs, New York, tonight. It marks the fifth year the College has won the Presidents’ Cup and fourth over the last six years, and the 11th straight year the College has finished in the top three of the final standings.
“Congratulations to the student-athletes, coaches and administrators at Stonehill College on capturing this year’s Presidents’ Cup,” said Northeast-10 Commissioner Julie Ruppert. “In a 15-team Conference as deep and competitive as the Northeast-10, the success necessary to earn this honor requires tremendous dedication and commitment from the entire campus community, and all of Stonehill should share in the celebration of this accomplishment.”
The Presidents’ Cup is presented annually to signify overall athletic excellence in the Northeast-10 Conference and is awarded to the institution that compiles the most points based on the placement at the conclusion of the regular season of each of its programs which compete in league championships. Points for men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field and men’s golf are awarded based on placement in respective conference championships.
Stonehill captured its fifth Presidents’ Cup overall in wire to wire fashion as it led the standings following the fall and winter sports seasons as well. Stonehill accumulated a program-best 207.5 points during the academic year, posting a dominating 18.5 point margin of victory over two-time defending Presidents’ Cup champions Adelphi University (189.0 points) in second place. Stonehill’s 207.5 points are the most accumulated in one year since Bentley University compiled a record 237.5 points in 2001-02. The Skyhawks margin of victory is the highest since Bryant University won the 2007-08 Presidents’ Cup by 32.5 points. Assumption College finished third in this year’s Presidents’ Cup standings with 149 points, followed by Merrimack College (145) and Franklin Pierce University (144) to round out the top five. Stonehill also won the Presidents’ Cup in 2005-06, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.
“Congratulations to our student-athletes who consistently demonstrate a commitment to success both in athletic competition and also in their academic endeavors,” said Rev. John Denning, C.S.C., President of Stonehill College. “The President’s Cup is recognition of their dedication and discipline in pushing themselves to be better students and athletes. It is also a major tribute to their parents, coaches, athletic personnel, professors, and others who encouraged and mentored them, teaching them about teamwork, perseverance, focus, time-management, magnanimity in victory and grace in defeat, and so much more. We are all so proud of our student-athletes on this wonderful accomplishment.”
The Presidents’ Cup caps another successful year across Stonehill’s athletic department, which saw each of its 16 teams with a postseason tournament in the Northeast-10 qualify for the second time in the school’s 35 year affiliation with the Conference. Stonehill won seven NE-10 Championships, with regular season titles in volleyball, women’s basketball and ice hockey as well as postseason championships for women’s cross country, field hockey, women’s tennis and women’s indoor track and field. The volleyball regular season championship marked the 100th NE-10 title in school history and the athletics department also collected 12 NCAA Tournament bids for baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, field hockey, women’s lacrosse, women’s tennis, volleyball and women’s outdoor track & field. The NCAA Tournament success has Stonehill ranked 17th in the most recent Division II Learfield Sports Director’s Cup, with baseball and women’s outdoor track & field still to be accounted for.
In addition to the seven NE-10 Championships, Stonehill earned second place Presidents’ Cup points for men’s basketball, field hockey, men’s cross country, softball and women’s outdoor track & field, while third place finishes went to baseball, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s indoor track & field. Women’s lacrosse finished fourth in the NE-10 regular season standings, while men’s outdoor track & field placed fourth at the NE-10 Championship, football finished sixth and women’s soccer was eighth in their regular season standings.
Stonehill student-athletes earned 17 All-America honors in their respective sports, including senior Maria Curit who collected three All-America awards for the indoor and outdoor 800-meter run as well as with the Skyhawks 4x400-meter relay at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships. Senior Tori Faieta became the women’s basketball team’s first All-American since 2000, while the NCAA national semifinalist field hockey program collected three All-America awards, as did the women’s lacrosse team.
Stonehill’s student-athletes also performed in the classroom, with 19 earning NE-10 Academic All-Conference honors (through the winter sports program) to date, including senior All-Region cross country and track & field runner Bryan Wilcox who also earned the NE-10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award for men’s cross country for the second straight year as well as indoor track & field, while junior Trisha Pierson collected the honors for women’s indoor track & field. Wilcox is also among ten Skyhawks who have been named to Capital One Academic All-District teams.
“It is a tremendous honor to win the 2014-2015 Northeast-10 Presidents’ Cup,” said Cindy MacDonald, Interim Director of Athletics at Stonehill. “This honor is a tribute to the hard work, dedication and commitment of our athletic staff, coaches and most importantly our student-athletes. As an institution we are proud to be a member of the NE-10, which offers the very best in intercollegiate athletic competition and a strong emphasis on academic success. We look forward to bringing the Presidents’ Cup back to campus and celebrating this achievement with those who made it possible.”
Stonehill, which participates in 19 of the 24 total sports offered by the Conference, compiled an overall mark of 217-102-6 (.677) in team competition during the course of the 2014-2015 academic year, including a 136-52-4 (.719) clip in NE-10 play, with 12 of 13 team sports finishing .500 or better. The Skyhawks led the Presidents’ Cup by 6.5 points following the fall season, blowing that gap to a remarkable 24 points after the winter sports season before settling for the record 18.5 point final spread.
NE-10 Team Championships (7)
Women’s Cross Country
Women’s Tennis (Tournament)
Field Hockey (Tournament)
Volleyball – 100th NE-10 Championship all-time
Women’s Indoor Track & Field
NCAA Tournament Appearances (12)
Women’s Cross Country
Men’s Cross Country
Women’s Indoor Track & Field
Men’s Indoor Track & Field
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
Erika Kelly - Field Hockey
Emily Sideris - Field Hockey
Elizabeth Thornton - Field Hockey
Patrick Cooney - Indoor Track & Field
Maria Curit - Indoor Track & Field (800m & 4x400m)
Jeana Esernio - Indoor Track & Field
Jordan Gray - Indoor Track & Field
Teague Grubel - Indoor Track & Field
Leanne Kent - Indoor Track & Field
Nick Kirkpatrick - Indoor Track & Field
Dan Zawalich - Indoor Track & Field
Tori Faieta - Women’s Basketball
Lizzie Lane - Women’s Lacrosse
Ashley Armstrong - Women’s Lacrosse
Kelly Healey - Women’s Lacrosse
Maria Curit - Outdoor Track & Field
Capital One Academic All-District (10)
Brian Harrington – Football
Anthony Masucci – Football
Colin Smith – Football
Christian Baglini – Baseball
Emily Anderson – Cross Country/Track & Field #
Trisha Pierson – Cross Country/Track & Field #
Trent Fontanella – Cross Country/Track & Field #
Nick Kirkpatrick – Cross Country/Track & Field #
Robert Smith – Cross Country/Track & Field #
Bryan Wilcox – Cross Country/Track & Field #
# - still eligible for Academic All-America honors to be announced later this month
With 20 intercollegiate sports, Stonehill boasts one of the top athletic and academic programs in the country. In addition to winning its fifth NE-10 Presidents' Cup for the 2014-15 academic year, the Skyhawks have received the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award for Academic Achievement each of the first three years of the program's existence of honoring programs with an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90-percent or better. Stonehill has earned a 96% Academic Success Ranking (ASR) by the NCAA, which considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes, good for eighth among all NCAA Division II institutions, with 12 Skyhawk teams receiving a perfect rating of 100%. In addition, the Skyhawks are ranked third in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings for Division II used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs. Stonehill has been named host of the 2016 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship at W.B. Mason Stadium.