BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston Athletics posted their best-ever finish in the final standings of the 2016-17 Division III Learfield Directors' Cup. Behind the strength of a program-record five Little East Conference Championships, UMass Boston finished 41st out of over 430 schools and first amongst all LEC teams.
The Beacons racked up 398.25 total points, which marked their most in program history. Seven different teams scored points for the Beacons, including four during the spring.
The Learfield Directors' Cup is an annual competition amongst NCAA schools that weights a school's success on how their teams do during NCAA Tournament play. Teams earn points for reaching the NCAA Tournament and then pick up more points proportionally to how far they make it into the NCAA Tournament. Schools can score points in up to 18 total sports.
UMass Boston finished first amongst Little East Conference teams and ninth overall in New England. Four of the top eight schools in the standings reside in New England, including Williams College, who won their 20th overall Director's Cup.
The Beacons started the year in the top 50 and never fell below 60th, thanks to strong production across the board.
In the fall, Men's Soccer and Volleyball both won their respective LEC Tournaments and then made a run in the NCAA Tournament.
Men's Soccer earned their first-ever NCAA win over Kean University (3-0) and then pushed all the way to the Sweet 16, before falling 1-0 to eventual national champion Tufts University. They earned 64 points for their tournament run.
Volleyball added 50 points of their own, after making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In the first round of the regional, UMass Boston defeated undefeated Johnson & Wales University (33-0) 3-0 to advance to the Second Round. The Beacons fell 3-1 in the Second Round against Tufts, who would make it all the way to the Elite Eight.
In the winter season, UMass Boston Women's Track & Field and freshman Wadeline Jonathas (Gonaives, Haiti) kept the momentum going. Jonathas earned a pair of top two-finishes at the Indoor Track & Field Championships, including winning the 400M dash to earn 69 total points.
UMass Boston made a huge jump in the spring season, as four different teams scored points.
Men's Tennis kicked off the spring season by winning the program's third Little East Conference Tournament Title. The tennis team finished a perfect 6-0 during the LEC Regular Season and then defeated Bridgewater State University and rival UMass Dartmouth in the LEC Tournament to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament Field. While UMass Boston would eventually fall 5-1 to Nichols College in the First Round, they still claimed 25 points.
Softball added on 50 points after earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. The Beacons earned a share of their first-ever LEC Regular Season Title and then went on to win three-straight elimination games to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The first-time entrants finished 2-2 in the Springfield Regional, before falling to eventual College World Series participant Amherst College in the Regional Final.
Baseball led all UMass Boston teams with their fifth-place finish and 78 total points. The Beacons won three-straight elimination games in the LEC Tournament to claim their second LEC Tournament Title and third-overall trip to the Big Dance. Baseball swept through the New England Regional with four-straight wins to earn their second-ever trip to the College World Series. UMass Boston would go 1-2 in Appleton, Wisconsin to earn a fifth-place finish.
Jonathas and Outdoor Track & Field capped off the 2016-17 season with another big showing at Nationals. The four-time All-American not only won the national championship in both the 200M and 400M dashes, but also set new Division III records to earn an impressive 62.25 points.
Previous Finishes in Learfield Directors' Cup Standings
2015-16: 60th overall (316.25 points)
2014-15: 203rd (89.50 points)
2013-14: 109th (180.50 points)
2012-13: 128th (155 points)
2011-12: 181st (94 points)