The Binghamton University men’s and women’s soccer teams’ successes on the field last season were clear for all to see. Now, their success off the field has earned some notice, too, as both teams earned Team Academic Awards from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for the 2009-10 academic year.
A 3.0 overall team grade point average is the minimum standard in order to receive the honor.
The men’s team has now met that mark for eight straight years as head coach Paul Marco’s squad attained a 3.12 GPA in the 2009-10 year.
“The guys that we have coming in are pretty serious about their academics and are pretty well disciplined in time management,” Marco said. “Then we just try and bring out the best in them no matter where they are, whether it’s in the classroom or out on the field. When you’re honored for things like that it really is a great accomplishment and you feel pretty good.”
Edging out the men by earning a 3.15 GPA, the women’s team received the award for the seventh time in the last eight years.
“One of the priorities in our program is to do the best in everything we do, whether it’s training, working out on our own, lifting or in the classroom,” said head coach Sarah McClellan. “I’m really proud of the team to do well and to stay committed to their studies throughout the season, and we look forward to keeping that as one of our foundations here in the program.”
According to the NSCAA website, Binghamton is one of only 132 schools in the nation to have both its men’s and women’s teams recognized for their academic efforts. No other team in the America East Conference earned that distinction, though fellow state school SUNY Geneseo did.
“That’s tremendous. It’s difficult to get a 3.0 at Binghamton if you’re not a student-athlete, but as a student-athlete I think that’s a real honor for both programs,” McClielan said. “It’s not an easy task here at Binghamton so it’s a really great honor for the University.”
Marco said he believes Binghamton’s academics are what distinguish it from other SUNY schools.
“It’s who we are,” he said. “It’s an expectation, and when you achieve high levels of success like that it will attract more student-athletes who are serious about their academics and serious about athletics.”