Fighting Knights capture honors for monumental year

Lance, the Fighting Knights mascot

The Fighting Knights’ combined successes in 2014–15 earned two impressive honors: 12th place in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup for Division II and the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Mayor’s Cup, men’s division.

For the year, Lynn saw eight of its 14 athletic programs reach the NCAA Tournament, highlighted by the men’s soccer program winning the school’s 23rd national title and the men’s golf team finishing as the national runner-up to NSU. Fighting Knights women’s golf claimed third place at the national championship, women’s tennis finished as national quarterfinalists and men’s basketball reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in a decade. Other programs qualifying for the NCAA postseason were baseball, women’s swimming and men’s tennis.

The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today, honors institutions with the greatest success in collegiate athletics overall. Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish in up to 14 sports—seven women’s and seven men’s.

Lynn’s 12th place honors were its highest finish since 2006. Lynn’s previous top 15 finishes occurred in 1997 (8th), 1998 (7th), 1999 (14th), 2005 (12th) and 2006 (10th).

Grand Valley State University (Allendale, Michigan) claimed top Learfield honors for 2015. Other SSC institutions placing in the top 20 were Saint Leo University (8th), Nova Southeastern University (14th) and Barry University (18th).

The SSC Mayors’ Cup is so named because it is sponsored by the mayors of nine communities where SSC-member institutions are located. The 2014–15 honors are Lynn’s first since 2005–06 and the third in university history.

In the men’s division, points are awarded based on final regular season conference standings in baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer and tennis. Points are awarded according to a team’s finish at its respective conference championship event for cross country, golf and swimming. Lynn’s accomplishment is even more impressive given that it does not field men’s cross country or swimming teams.

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