Broncs top MAAC Commissioner's Cup standings through winter seasons

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: March 24, 2017
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Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – On the strength of championship campaigns from the men’s soccer, men’s swimming & diving and men’s indoor track & field teams, Rider University athletics ranks first in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Commissioner’s Cup standings through the winter sports season. The Broncs currently top all three standings – overall, men’s and women’s. The women’s basketball, women’s swimming & diving and women’s indoor track & field teams have also taken second-place finishes this season to push Rider to the top of the standings. The commissioner’s cup serves as a symbol of broad-based athletic excellence within the league.

Rider has compiled 110.25 points in the overall standings, ahead of Monmouth (94.25) and Quinnipiac (86.50) in second and third, respectively. The Broncs’ (46.25) and Iona (45.00) have created some separation in the men’s commissioner’s cup race ahead of third-placed Monmouth (36.50) and the rest of the field. Meanwhile, the Broncs (64.00) lead Quinnipiac (60.50) and Monmouth (57.75) in the women’s standings. 

"I am very proud of what we have been able to achieve competitively so far this year," said Rider Athletic Director Don Harnum. "Success is earned and owned by the hard work of our talented coaches and student-athletes. Collectively, they have pushed each other to new heights while helping create a positive and competitive culture within the athletic department."

Rider enjoyed a banner fall season, with the men’s soccer team winning its second-straight MAAC Championship to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Christian Flath was named Rider’s first NSCAA All-American since 1972. Women’s Soccer, field Hockey and volleyball also advanced to the MAAC Championships to help buoy the Broncs to the top of the standings. All three squads had a MAAC major award winner. Women’s soccer’s Bethany-May Howard earned MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year, while field hockey’s Daane Koch was selected MAAC Rookie of the Year and volleyball’s Veronica Koval was named MAAC Setter of the Year. 

In the winter season, men’s and women’s swimming & diving brought home first and second-place finishes, respectively. The men’s championship represented the Broncs’ sixth-straight league title. Zack Molloy earned his second-straight MAAC Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet, while Head Coach Steve Fletcher earned his sixth MAAC Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year honor and his eighth coach of the year honor altogether (six men’s, two women’s). Freshmen Justin Carey and Natalie Carter earned MAAC Rookie Swimmers of the Meet, while Meg Tomayko took MAAC Rookie Diver of the Meet. 

The men’s indoor track & field team made a dramatic push to its first-ever MAAC Championship on the final day to knock off three-time defending champion Monmouth. Junior Tyree Adams was named Rider’s first MAAC major award winner since 2011, taking Men’s Field Most Outstanding Performer after winning the long jump and finishing fifth in the triple jump and sixth in the high jump. Head Coach Bob Hamer was also honored with both the MAAC and USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year Awards. The MAAC honor is Hamer’s fifth to go along with men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor honors in 2013.  

The women’s basketball team enjoyed its most successful season in its 20 years in the MAAC, posting a 24-9 record overall and a 16-4 mark in the MAAC before advancing to the WNIT. The Broncs won a pair of MAAC Tournament games to earn a spot in the MAAC Championship Game before falling to Quinnipiac, which will compete in the Sweet 16 this weekend. Robin Perkins was named MAAC Player of the Year, while Head Coach Lynn Milligan was selected MAAC Coach of the Year by her peers. 

Though not included in the MAAC Commissioner’s Cup standings as a member of the Eastern Wrestling League (EWL), Rider Wrestling also enjoyed a highly-successful season. The Broncs finished second in the EWL, while senior Ryan Wolfe and juniors Chad Walsh and BJ Clagon were crowned EWL Champions. Wolfe, Walsh, Clagon and Michale Fagg-Daves earned berths to the NCAA Championships, with Wolfe and Walsh earning All-America accolades with seventh-place finishes. Their accomplishments marked the 16th and 17th times Head Coach Gary Taylor has mentored one of his student-athletes to All-American status. Retiring after the season, Taylor passed Minnesota’s J Robinson for third all-time in dual coaching wins and finishes with 442. 
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