"UMBC's intercollegiate sports teams created much excitement on campus this past year. We congratulate our student-athletes and
their coaches, and we look forward to celebrating more successes in
the year ahead."
--President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III
UMBC Athletics Wins Commissioner's Cup
June 24, 1999-Just a year after moving to the Northeast Conference, UMBC captured the NEC's top prize, the Commissioner's Cup. The award is given annually to the school that performs best in the league's 21 championship sports, and UMBC is the first school to win the Commissioner's Cup in its first year in the NEC.
UMBC earned first-place honors in women's tennis and men's golf in the fall, men's basketball and women's swimming in the winter, and women's lacrosse in the spring. The Retrievers also took second place in women's soccer and men's tennis.
"We're thrilled with the results," said UMBC Director of Athletics Dr. Charles Brown. "We are very happy to be a part of the Northeast Conference and to have made such a strong impact in our first year. Our goal has always been to win the Commissioner's Cup, and this is the result of the hard work of our student-atheletes, coaches, and administration."
The NEC Commissioner's Cup was instituted in 1987. Cup points are awarded in each NEC-sponsored sport. UMBC finished with 187 points, ahead of runner-up Central Connecticut State with 173 points. The 11 teams in the Northeast Conference are located in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, giving UMBC a strong presence in its primary student recruitment market.
A record number of UMBC student-athletes have grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher. Eleven earned perfect 4.0s in the spring 1999 semester.
1998-99 Sports Highlights:
The men's golf team won the NEC Golf Championship, breaking the tournament record by 23 strokes. UMBC's Pat Kotten was voted Northeast Conference Coach of the Year.
In women's tennis, UMBC (20-3) ousted the defending champion and #1 seed to win the NEC Championship and an automatic bid to the University's first-ever NCAA Tournament. The team was led by NEC Coach of the Year, Keith Puryear.
The women's volleyball team ended a perfect (8-0) regular season by capturing the 1998 NEC title and its first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Senior Lisa Cline was selected as the 1998 NEC Volleyball Player of the Year. She also was chosen as UMBC's Female Athlete of the Year.
UMBC won the NEC's first women's swimming & diving championship, placing first in 14 of the 20 events, including a sweep of the relay and diving events. The women's team went on to capture its first ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) championship, while the men's team successfully defended its ECAC title. Together, the men's and women's teams defeated over 30 Division I squads. Head Coach Sid Burkot was voted NEC and ECAC Women's Coach of the Year.
The men's basketball team set a conference record by opening the season with 15 consecutive league victories and won the NEC regular season league title, earning a 17-3 record against NEC teams and a 19-9 record overall. Head Basketball Coach Tom Sullivan was named NEC Coach of the Year.
The women's lacrosse team remained undefeated in NEC competition in two seasons of play. The Retrievers are now 14-0 lifetime versus league teams and hold back-to-back NEC Championships. Sophomore Julie Dorney was named Most Valuable Player in the NEC Tournament.
The men's lacrosse team won a record 11 games, including eight straight over such teams as North Carolina and Maryland and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row. Team members Chris Turner, Jason Quenzer, and Andrew Hampson earned All-America honors, and Quenzer and Hampson competed in the North-South All Star Game.
Four UMBC students earned NEC Scholar- Athlete honors, an award that requires a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.25. Tennis player Oscar Lopez, a mechanical engineering major, has a 3.91 grade-point average. Basketball player Monica Logan, a social work and Africana studies major, has a 3.67 grade-point average. Swimmer Meghann Donovan, a psychology major, has a 3.71 grade-point average. Soccer player Ted Lawler, a biological sciences/psychology major, has a grade-point average of 3.61.
Oscar Lopez, UMBC's Male Athlete of the Year, also earned First-Team Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America. He is the first UMBC Division I athlete to attain this status, which requires both outstanding academic and athletic achievements. Four other UMBC athletes were District 2 All-Americans - Ted Lawler (soccer), Kafui Dzirasa (track and field), Taryn McDonald (softball), and Caroline Koncilja (tennis).
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