After the end of the fall sports season, Williams sits in second place in the Directors’ Cup for NCAA Div. III standings, behind only Cortland State University. The cup is awarded to the college with the best athletics program in each division, based on the performance of 18 teams – nine men’s and nine women’s. The Ephs have swept the board the last 10 years and have been champions 12 times in the 13-year history of the NCAA’s competition.
The Cortland Red Dragons currently lead the table with 353 points to the Ephs’ 326 points. “It’s way too early to be worried,” Dick Quinn, director of Sports Information, said. “This time last year we were in third place coming out of the fall season and the spring teams posted a record 505 points to win easily.”
Last spring’s winning tally was partly due to a third-straight national championship for women’s crew and a national title for women’s tennis.
President Schapiro is looking for a ninth Directors’ Cup title before his departure to Northwestern University and is confident the Ephs will step up to the challenge this spring. “I’m one of many avid fans of Williams sports, and we are all very proud of our teams,” he said.Ã‚Â ”I know we are currently in second place but it seems that our students rise to the occasion year after year.Ã‚Â I bet there will be a year when we don’t win the cup, but I don’t think this is it.”
Women’s soccer had a successful 2008 season, winning the NESCAC title and making it to the final four of the NCAA championships. The team’s run is certainly part of the reason the Ephs are in such a strong position in the cup, but two-time All-American Gabrielle Woodson ’09, understands that one team is not responsible for the College’s triumph.
“Winning the cup is indicative of an overall successful athletic program, not one specific team,” she said. “The women’s soccer team is very proud to contribute to winning the cup, but we know winning it is an effort put forth by all athletic teams at Williams College.”
It is still fairly early to make predictions, as the winter and spring seasons still remain, but there is hope that the Directors’ Cup will remain in the purple valley for the 11th consecutive year. The standings will be updated on March 19 to include the results of the winter season.