WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams College came from thirteenth place in the fall and third place after the winter with a second consecutive spring season surge to win the 2018 NCAA DIII Directors' Cup. Williams tallied 513.5 points this spring and a year ago the Ephs registered a record 630 points to come from behind to win their 21st Directors' Cup.
This year the Ephs' winning point total was 1,126.5 points (an average of 70.4 points per sport) accrued by 16 out of a possible 18 sports. Second place MIT tallied 1,001.5 points on 17 sports to finish second.
The NESCAC placed four teams in the top ten in the final results:
Williams has now won 21 of the 23 NCAA DIII Directors' Cups awarded and NESCAC has won 22 of the 23 as Middlebury won in 2012. The Ephs have now won six straight Directors' Cups. The Ephs' longest win streak is 13 from 1999-2011.
The 2017-18 academic year was the first under the newest scoring system in the Directors' Cup. This year each school needed to count among the maximum 18 scoring teams the sports of men's soccer, women's soccer, men's basketball and women's basketball. If any of those four teams did not advance to an NCAA Tournament then there would be one less scoring opportunity for that school for each team that did not advance to an NCAA Tournament.
Williams scored in women's soccer and men's basketball leaving them with just 16 scoring opportunities out of a maximum of 18. While not scoring in one sport in the fall and the winter left the Ephs behind winter leader and cross-state foe MIT causing some concern it also inspired the Eph spring teams to perform well.
MIT owned a 53-point lead over the Ephs (714.50 to 651.50) after the winter season. Through the winter MIT had scored in 12 sports, while Williams had scored in 11.
In the new scoring system after the four required sports are accounted for each school gets to add in its next highest scoring sports (maximum of 14), regardless of gender. In the scoring system in place until 2016-17 each school could count 18 sports, no required sports, but only nine sports per gender.
The necessity of a spring surge was prompted by a low scoring fall campaign by Williams. Scoring in just three sports in the fall: men's cross country, women's cross country and women's soccer the Ephs had tallied only 233.50 points and were in 13th place. Williams trailed leader Johns Hopkins by 149.5 points.
When MIT supplanted Johns Hopkins at the top of the scoring chart after the winter season the Ephs had climbed 10 places to third, but still were 101.50 points behind the pace set by MIT.
When the Ephs' women's golf team finished second after a two-hole playoff in the first spring scoring event scoring 90 points Williams had sliced the MIT lead to 11.50 points. MIT currently fields 41 Varsity sports, but not women's golf, while the Ephs field 32 Varsity sports of which only 29 can count for Directors' Cup points. Men's and women's squash are not NCAA sports and the NESCAC has elected not to participate in NCAA Football post-season play.
MIT softball defeated Williams in the Super Regional played in Williamstown to advance to Oklahoma City and gain a few points on the Ephs, but the Ephs countered with better results in the NCAA men's and women's tennis tournaments and also in men's and women's track and field championship to narrow the gap. The Williams women's crew team capturing sixth place at the NCAA DIII Rowing Championship for women was also key as it added 64 points.
This year six Eph teams finished 5th or better and 10 teams finished in the top ten nationally and 15 Eph teams finished in the top 20.
Eph teams scoring in 2017-18:
Women's Soccer – 1st – 100 points
Women's Golf – 2nd – 90
Women's Indoor Track & Field – 2nd – 90
Women's Swimming & Diving – 3rd – 85
Women's Tennis – 3rd – 83
Women's Outdoor Track & Field – 6th – 73.5
Men's Tennis – 5th – 73
Women's Cross Country – 8th – 70.5
Men's Swimming & Diving – 10th – 67.5
Men's Outdoor Track & Field – 11th – 66
Softball – 9th – 64
Men's Cross Country – 13th – 63
Women's Crew – 6th – 64
Skiing – 13th – 51
Men's Basketball – 17th – 50
Men's Indoor Track – 34th – 36
NCAA DIII Top 10
1 -- Williams – 1,126.5
2 -- MIT – 1,001.5
3 -- Claremont Mudd Scripps – 939.50
4 -- Emory – 936.50
5 -- Middlebury – 905.0
6 -- Washington – St. Louis – 883.50
7 -- Johns Hopkins – 803.25
8 -- Tufts – 787.50
9 -- Amherst – 773.50
10 -- Ithaca – 760.50