BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- For the 15th time in program history and first time since 2014, Bridgewater State University has captured the prestigious Howard C. Smith Cup. The Smith Cup is awarded annually to the member institution of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) which compiles the most points based on the placement of each of its programs competing in the 15 league championship sports.
The Smith Cup is named in honor of former Massachusetts State College Trustee Howard C. Smith, who in 1970, urged the athletic directors of the eight state institutions to hold a series of meetings to discuss the possibility of forming an intercollegiate conference. In June of 1971, Smith’s dream became a reality as an affirmative agreement was reached and the MASCAC was created.
Bridgewater State finished the 2018-2019 academic year with 108.5 points out of a possible 148 (73.31%) in the Smith Cup standings. The Bears topped the MASCAC standings in field hockey and men’s outdoor track & field, and tied for first in softball while finishing second in men’s cross country, football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s outdoor track & field and women’s lacrosse.
"We are honored to be able to bring the Smith Cup back home to Bridgewater State," said BSU Director of Athletics Dr. Marybeth Lamb. "The Cup represents the best the MASCAC and Division III has to offer, our scholar-athletes working hard and performing at high levels in their sport."
"At Bridgewater, we pursue excellence in athletics, academics, and the community," Lamb added. "We all come together to help our students achieve their goals."
Coming in second is Westfield State with 113.5 points out of 160 possible (70.94%). The Owls came in first in baseball and women’s outdoor track & field while tying for first in women’s basketball. They were second in women’s cross country and men’s basketball, and tied for second in men’s ice hockey.
Worcester State is next in third with 103.5 points out of a possible 160 (64.69&). The Lancers sat atop the MASCAC standings in women’s cross country, volleyball, women’s soccer and ice hockey while tying for first in women’s basketball. They were also second in field hockey and men’s outdoor track & field.
Sitting in the fourth spot with 92.5 points out of 160 possible (60.06%) is Framingham State. The Rams were first in men’s soccer, football and women’s lacrosse plus tied for first in softball. They claimed the third spot in baseball and fourth in women’s cross country, women’s soccer, women’s basketball and a tie for fourth in volleyball.
Landing in fifth is Fitchburg State. The Falcons had 74.5 points out of 160 available (46.56%) after finishing first in men’s cross country, second in baseball plus tied for second in men’s ice hockey, third in field hockey and men’s basketball and tied for third in softball.
Salem State is in the sixth spot with 54 points out of 120 available (45%). The Vikings were first in men’s basketball, tied for second in volleyball, third in men’s soccer, fourth in men’s ice hockey while tying for fourth in baseball.
Rounding out this year’s standings are Massachusetts Maritime and MCLA in seventh and eighth, respectively. The Buccaneers finished the year with 26 points (23.21%) out of 112 possible points. They were tied for fourth in football and fifth in women’s cross country, men’s outdoor track & field and women’s lacrosse. The Trailblazers had 19.5 points (17.41%) out of 112 available points. They were tied for fifth in softball and sixth in volleyball.
Since it was first awarded in 1972, Bridgewater State has won outright or shared the Smith Cup 15 times. Salem State had its named etched on the cup 19 times over the first 26 years, while Westfiield State rounds out the top three with 14 Smith Cup titles.
The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, the nation’s first Division III men’s and women’s playing conference, has a rich and storied tradition of competitive success while celebrating excellence in the classroom. MASCAC core member schools include Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, MCLA, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Salem State University, Westfield State University and Worcester State University. Two other institutions, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Plymouth State University, are affiliate members of the conference in the sports of football and men’s ice hockey, while Western Connecticut State University joined the conference as an affiliate member in football beginning in 2013-14.