TOWSON, Md. - For the first time in the history of its athletics program, The University of Scranton was awarded the 2019-20 Landmark Conference Presidents' Trophy, conference commissioner Katie Boldvich announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Despite the spring season being canceled in mid-March due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, the Landmark Conference still decided to award the Presidents' Trophy for the academic year, as 14 of the 22 conference championships were completed.
Scranton garnered 127 points in the final standings to edge out Catholic (113 points) to take the Presidents' Trophy for the first time since joining the Landmark as a founding member in 2007-08. Since then, Scranton has finished second in the Presidents' Trophy standings on five different occasions, the last coming after the 2017-18 season.
"Winning this year's Landmark Conference Presidents' Trophy is an incredible honor" said University of Scranton President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. "It adds to the rich history of intercollegiate athletics we have at The University of Scranton, and is a true testament to the hard work our student-athletes, coaches, administration, and staff have put into achieving excellence. I am grateful for their dedication to the University during what has been an unprecedented academic year."
"Winning the Landmark Conference Presidents' Trophy for the first time is special," said Director of Athletics Dave Martin. "I would like to congratulate all of our student-athletes and coaches, and our staff and administration. This truly is a testament to their hard work and their dedication.
"This year didn't go as planned, per se, and we faced a lot of challenges in the spring. But, I'm so absolutely proud of the way our student-athletes, coaches, and staff have approached everything. It's fitting that our year ends this way."
The Presidents' Trophy was created in the inaugural year of the conference to recognize the best overall athletics program. The Trophy is awarded based on a formula that rewards institutions for regular season conference standings as well as results in Landmark postseason competition.
Bonus points are awarded based on competition in the Landmark playoffs. The Landmark Championship team earn five bonus points and the runner-up earn two bonus points. The remaining two playoff teams earn one bonus point each.
To start the athletic year, the Royals put together a strong fall campaign to put themselves in second place in the Presidents' Trophy standings in November.
In all, four teams qualified for the Landmark playoffs in their respective sports (volleyball, men's soccer, women's soccer, and field hockey), while both women's cross country (third) and men's cross country (fourth) garnered top-four finishes at Landmark Championships. Field hockey would go on to win their first Landmark Conference championship ever, while women's soccer captured their third Landmark title in four years (seventh all-time).
Meanwhile, because of the cancellation of spring championships, the Landmark went on to award both men's and women's golf championships for the year based on the results from the conference's Fall Preview events in October. On the men's side, Scranton placed second, while the Royals' women's team finished third.
The winter season saw as much success for Scranton, as they moved into first place in the Presidents' Trophy standings in March before the athletic year was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the hardwood, women's basketball won their fourth straight Landmark Conference championship and eighth title overall. Meanwhile, the men's basketball team got back to the Landmark playoffs and reached the conference title game for the ninth time since joining the conference.
In the pool, the women's swimming & diving team finished second at the Landmark Championships for the second time in four seasons, while on the track, Scranton's women's track & field team garnered a third-place finish at the indoor conference championships. The men's swimming & diving (fourth) and men's track & field teams (fifth) also garnered high finishes at their respective events, as well.
Rounding out the 2019-20 Landmark Conference Presidents' Trophy standings were: Elizabethtown in third (101.5 points), Susquehanna in fourth (101 points), Moravian in fifth (79 points), Drew in sixth (61.5 points), Juniata in seventh (51 points) and Goucher in eighth (37 points).
For the full release on the 2019-20 Landmark Conference Presidents' Trophy, click here: https://landmarkconference.org/general/2019-20/releases/05262020-presidents-trophy-final
Fans are reminded that you can also follow University of Scranton Athletics all year on both Instagram and Twitter @RoyalAthletics.