Dec. 16, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 8

BC Athletes Chalk Up Success On the Field and in the Classroom

Boston College's athletic success this fall has extended well beyond the football field.

While the gridiron Eagles captured their school record sixth consecutive post-season bowl bid - a Dec. 30 match-up against North Carolina in the Continental Tire Bowl - a number of other fall sports teams have joined them in earning post-season play and national acclaim.

Also, a recently released study of bowl-bound teams showed BC and Notre Dame were the best at educating African-American and white football players.

The report, compiled by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, found both teams graduated at least 77 percent of all football student-athletes and at least 74 percent of black football student-athletes.

Twenty-seven of the 56 teams that will play in bowl games graduated less than half their players, the study noted.

Institute Director Richard Lapchick, who authored the study, said: "If there were a Top 10 ranking for graduation rates among bowl teams, Notre Dame and Boston College would have played for the National Championship."

Elsewhere in BC athletics, Coach Ed Kelley's men's soccer team advanced to the "Final 16" of the NCAA tournament before bowing to defending national champion Indiana, 1-0. The 15th ranked Eagles earned a bye in the first round of the NCAA playoff and then defeated Big East Conference rival Connecticut, 1-0, in the second round of national championship play.

Kelley's BC team has qualified for the NCAA tournament four times in the past five seasons.

On the women's soccer side, Boston College also advanced to the NCAA "Final 16" before being eliminated by Princeton, 2-0. The drive into the third round of the national championship playoff followed victories over Florida State and Central Florida in earlier NCAA play, and marked the best showing for Coach Alison Foley's team since 1999.

Coach Sherren Granese's Eagle field hockey team earned the nation's No. 13 ranking before losing to No. 8 Michigan State, 4-0, in the first round of NCAA championship play. The team finished the season with a 17-6 record.

The women's volleyball team, coached by Andrea Leonard, advanced to the semifinals of the Big East Conference championship, losing to Notre Dame, 3-1. It was the Eagles' first foray into the semifinal round in 11 years, and the squad finished with 20 wins (20-12) for the first time in team history.

Maria Cicero '05 of Elmhurst, Ill., placed 15th in the NCAA cross-country championships held on Nov. 22 at Indiana State University, earning All-America honors for the third time in her career.

Cicero, who missed the 2003 season because of an injury, is eligible to compete again next fall.

-Reid Oslin

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