The Colgate Scene
March 1999
Table of contents
by Bob Cornell
Heather Murphy, one of 16 first-year players on the women's ice hockey team, is the ECAC's leading scorer and helped lead Colgate into the national rankings in January and February. Four seasons ago the Red Raiders won three games, the next season five and last year, as a varsity program, the team won nine games. With six matches left to play, Colgate, coached by Brad Houston, has already won 12 games this season.

Board reaffirms commitment to Patriot League, Division I

Colgate's Board of Trustees at its January meeting expressed continuing support for the Patriot League and reconfirmed its commitment to maintaining Division I athletics at the college.

     Colgate is one of the charter members of the Patriot League, with Bucknell, Holy Cross, Lafayette and Lehigh. Originated as the football-only Colonial League in 1986, the Patriot League was expanded in 1990 to a 22-sport conference for men's and women's Division I sports, adding Army and Navy in most sports except football. Those teams remain the nucleus of the league, with Towson and Fordham Universities playing as associate members in football, and Fairfield University and Ursinus College as associates in field hockey.

     Patriot League teams are guaranteed advancement into the NCAA championship playoffs in 11 sports. In addition to NCAA opportunities and scheduling advantages, the league also provides athletes with the chance to compete for league championships and to be recognized for individual and team honors.

     The resolution passed unanimously by Colgate's board reads: "Whereas the Patriot League has provided an optimal setting for intercollegiate sports for past and present student-athletes, be it resolved that the Board of Trustees of Colgate urges university leadership to exert all and every effort to ensure the long-term viability of the league. Be it further resolved at this time, the Board reconfirms its past commitments to maintain a competitive Division I athletic program."

     At the time Colgate's trustees were meeting in January, trustees at Lafayette College were undertaking a well-publicized three-month self-study that culminated in their reaffirmation of Lafayette's Division I program and Patriot League membership.

ONCE AROUND AND IN: Fifty-two Colgate student-athletes were named to the 1998-99 Patriot League Fall Sports Academic Honor Roll. To be selected to the honor roll, the student-athlete must meet two criteria: 1) earn a varsity letter in his or her sport and 2) have a 3.20 or higher grade point average during the in-season academic semester.

     Heading the list of Colgate student-athletes named to the honor roll were senior men's soccer player Robert Damico (4.00 GPA) and freshman cross country runner Chris Sweetland (4.00 GPA).

Colgate, which has led the Presidents' Cup race after the fall in six of the league's nine seasons, is second this year, just one point behind Bucknell. Bucknell captured three team championships during the fall season to tally 36 points, while the Red Raiders won the women's soccer title, and had two second-place and two third-place showings, to earn a total of 35 points.

     On the strength of its football championship and runner-up finishes in golf and men's soccer, Lehigh sits in third place with 30.5 points. The College of the Holy Cross posted its best fall since 1993, and is in fourth place, with 28.5 points. The United States Military Academy and Lafayette are tied for fifth place, with 24.5 points. The United States Naval Academy, which only competed in four Patriot League sports during the fall, rounds out the rankings with 19.5 points.

     The Presidents' Cup is awarded annually to the institution which accumulates the highest point total over the course of the academic-athletic year. Points are awarded based upon tournament finishes by each institution, or, if there is no post-season tournament in a particular sport, then points are awarded based upon the final regular season standings.

The athletic department has established a program where alumni, parents and supporters of our athletic program can donate frequent flyer miles. The miles will be used by our coaches for recruiting and professional travel.

     "This new program will be a tremendous benefit to our coaches," said Director of Athletics Mark Murphy. "It will allow us to recruit on a national basis. With the changes that the Ivy League schools have made in determining financial need, it is imperative that we begin to recruit from a larger geographical area. This program will also allow our coaches to spread their budget dollars farther."

     To donate frequent flyer miles, call Cindy Chamberlain at 315-228-7611.

The men's soccer standouts Rob Damico, Josh DiMarzo and Scott Jackson were named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-New York State second team. The three Red Raiders were also named all Patriot League and helped the Red Raiders to a 9-7-2 record. Colgate placed three players on the team for the first time since 1960.

     Jackson, senior team captain, controlled the center midfield for the Red Raiders in all 18 matches this season and scored a game-tying goal against Holy Cross. He was named to the all-tournament team at the Richmond Nike Challenge Cup in September.

     Damico, a senior forward, finished his career as the fifth- most prolific scorer in Colgate men's soccer history. He tallied 52 points over the past four seasons on 19 goals and 14 assists. He had 25 points in 1997, the fifth-highest single-season total in Red Raider history, and led the team in scoring with five goals and six assists for 16 points in 13 games before an injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

     DiMarzo, a junior, was named Patriot League Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week on two separate occasions this season. From his position at back, he directed the Red Raider defense that allowed just 1.39 goals per game. He has been chosen as the team captain for the 1999 season.

Three Colgate football players were named to Division I-AA All-America teams. Senior wide receiver Corey Hill, senior offensive guard Luke George and junior quarterback Ryan Vena were selected this fall.

     Hill earned first team All-America status on the Football Gazette team, while Vena was a second team selection and George took third team honors. George was also named third team on the Associated Press and The Sports Network teams, while Hill was named third team by the Associated Press.

     "This is a great honor for three outstanding football players," said head coach Dick Biddle. "They have been an important part of the program's turnaround from 0-11 in 1996 to NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances the last two seasons."

In other Patriot League news, Hobart College has joined the league as an associate member for men's lacrosse. The Statesmen will begin play in the year 2000.

     Connie Hurlbut, the executive director of the Patriot League, has resigned to accept the position of director of basketball operations for the Women's National Basketball Association.

[IMAGE] Goalie Shep Harder '00 doesn't usually greet opposing skaters with a smile but his hand-painted mask shows his true colors -- maroon through and through
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