MEDFORD - Following an outstanding fall season, the Tufts University varsity athletics program is ranked second out of more than 400 schools in the NCAA Division III Fall Standings for the 2018-19 Learfield Directors' Cup. The Jumbos are the top-scoring team in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) through the fall.
The Learfield Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's NCAA Tournament finishes in up to 18 sports - nine women's and nine men's. Announced today, the fall standings include results for men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball. NESCAC schools are not eligible for NCAA play in football.
The Jumbos qualified five teams for NCAA competition during the fall 2018 season. That group combined to score 353.5 points, eight in front of third-place NESCAC foe Middlebury College (345.5). Washington-St. Louis is fourth (323) and Chicago (288.5) is fifth. Johns Hopkins University is the only school in front of Tufts in first place with a 475 score.
Head coach Josh Shapiro's NCAA championship winning men's soccer team scored the most Tufts points (100) for the fall. Field hockey, coached by Tina Mattera, advanced to the NCAA Final and scored 90 Directors' Cup points.
Women's cross country coached by Kristen Morwick had another good showing (12th) at the NCAA race and added 64.5 points. Head coach Martha Whiting and the women's soccer team returned to the NCAA Tournament and won a first-round game which secured 50 points for the Jumbos. Men's cross country rallied to earn an NCAA spot and picked up 49 points after head coach Joel Williams' team's 25th-place showing at Nationals.
The Jumbos will be looking to again earn a spot in the Directors' Cup top 10 with continued NCAA success in the winter and spring seasons. Last year's eighth-place final finish put Tufts there for the sixth straight year and 10th time overall. The 2016-17 third-place finish overall improved upon 2015-16’s fourth-place showing as Tufts' best in program history. The Jumbos finished in sixth-place in 2005-06 and 2009-10, which prior to 2015-16 and 2016-17 had been the best since the Directors’ Cup began in 1995-96.