April 17, 2014
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
Providence College currently ranks 44th in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Division I Winter standings. The Friars have accumulated 311.00 points with a National Championship in women's cross country, a 16th-place finish by the men's cross country team, an NCAA Tournament run by the men's soccer team and solid individual performances for the women's indoor track team at the NCAA Championships. Most recently, the men's ice hockey and men's basketball teams added a total of 85 points for their respective NCAA Tournament appearances. The current set of rankings was released on April 17.
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded to collegiate institutions based on its performance in up to 20 sports. An institution can earn points in up to 10 men's sports and 10 women's sports.
The women's cross country team claimed Providence's second NCAA team title on Saturday, Nov. 23 with 141 points at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center (6k) located in Terre Haute, Ind. Senior Emily Sisson (Chesterfield, Mo.) was the Friars' top finisher with a seventh-place finish with a time of 20:17.5. Senior Laura Nagel (Napier, New Zealand) was the second Friar to cross the line (20:38.8), finishing 27th overall. Sophomore Sarah Mary Collins (Basel, Switzerland) finished in 39th with a time of 20:44.9. By virtue of their top-40 finishes, Sission, Nagel and Collins earned All-America honors.
On the men's side, junior Shane Quinn (Waterford, Ireland) was the Friars' top finisher with a 42nd-place finish, out of 254 competitors, posting a time of 30:47.8. Junior Benjamin Connor (Derby England) closely trailed, finishing 44th in a time of 30:51.4. The team's 16th-place finish (396 points) was its best finish since finishing ninth in 2006.
The men's soccer program earned an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament after posting a regular season record of 11-4-2. During NCAA play, the Friars defeated Penn on the road in penalty kicks (3-1) to advance to the second round. The Friars traveled to College Park, Md. to face then fifth-ranked Maryland, who topped the Friars, 3-1. The Terps went on to finish as the national runner-up.
The women's indoor track team recently added 17.5 points to the Friars' total in the standings, as Nagel and Sisson posted solid individual finishes at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship in Albuquerque, N.M. Nagel finished 13th in the 3,000 meters and claimed Second-Team All-America honors, while Sisson placed eighth in the 5,000 meters and captured First-Team All-America recognition.
The men's ice hockey team recorded 60 points for Providence in the Directors' Cup standings by virtue of advancing to the NCAA East Regional Final in Bridgeport, Conn. The Friars defeated Quinnipiac, 4-0, in NCAA First-Round play before falling to eventual National Champion Union in the NCAA Regional Semifinal, 3-1. Providence's victory over Quinnipiac marked the program's first NCAA Tournament win since 1991.
The men's basketball team, which captured the 2014 BIG EAST Tournament title, collected 25 points for its appearance in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. The Friars faced North Carolina and were edged, 79-77, in San Antonio, Texas. It marked the Friars' 16th appearance all-time in the NCAA Tournament and their first since 2004.
Providence's current ranking in the standings (44th) is first among non-FBS/FCS colleges and universities (non-football playing institutions). Providence is the only non-FBS/FCS institution ranked among the top-50. Denver ranks 59th (240.00), followed by St. John's (60th, 235.00 points). Additionally, there are just 10 Division I non-FBS/FCS institutions in the top-100.
The Friars also rank first among BIG EAST Conference members. Georgetown is the second-highest ranked team in the BIG EAST, currently sitting in 53rd place (273.20 points).
The final set of Division I winter standings will be released on April 24, with the completion of the women's gymnastics championship. Point totals for spring sports will be added to the standings beginning May 29, and the final Directors' Cup standings will be released on June 26-27.
BIG EAST INSTITUTIONS
Providence 44th 311.00
Georgetown 53rd 273.20
Villanova 57th 256.70
St. John's 60th 235.00
Marquette 89th 139.00
Creighton 94th 125.00
Butler 105th 110.00
DePaul 118th 89.00
Xavier 258th 5.00
Seton Hall n/a 0.0
DIVISION I (NON-FBS/FCS) INSTITUTIONS
*Providence 44th 311.00
Denver 59th 240.00
*St. John's 60th 235.00
Boston Univ. 83rd 153.50
Wis.-Milwaukee 86th 148.00
*Marquette 89th 139.00
American 91st 131.50
Cal St. Northridge 94th 125.00
*Creighton 94th 125.00
Portland 97th 122.00
* denotes member of BIG EAST Conference