WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Eastern Connecticut State University is among only two institutions in the country to have both its men’s and women’s soccer programs qualify for a 2017 United Soccer Coaches (USC) Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award. The USC was formerly known as the National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America (NSCAA).
Programs receiving awards were based upon being members of the USC organization and the institutions submitting requested information to the USC by the December 1 deadline.
While 104 different four and two-year soccer institutions earned either a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze Award based upon yellow cards accumulated by players and coaches per match over the course of this past season (a single red card disqualifies institutions from consideration), only two had both its men’s and women’s program qualify, Eastern being joined by Anderson University.
The Eastern men were one of only three men’s programs nationwide to earn the award and were joined by Anderson and Calvin College, also members of Division III. The Eastern men qualified for a Bronze Award for the fourth time in six years, based upon having averaged only 0.39 recorded yellow cards per match (7 in 18 matches).
The Eastern women collected the Ethics Award for the fifth time in six years, earning a Gold Award for the first time after averaging a recorded .10 yellow cards (two in 20 matches). The Eastern women were among three Little East Conference women’s programs to earn an award, with Plymouth State University also qualifying for a Gold Award (.06 average/1 recorded card in 16 matches) and UMass Dartmouth a Silver Award (0.19/4/21).
In 11 years under head coach Greg DeVito, the Eastern men have been the least penalized team in the Little East Conference by a wide margin, averaging only 10.6 total recorded cards per year and accumulating only three recorded red cards in that span. The team has led the LEC in least recorded cards accumulation nine times and been second the other two seasons under DeVito. Including Eastern, LEC teams averaged a recorded 19.3 cards in 2017, with the Warriors accumulating only seven.
The Eastern women have been issued only one recorded red card under 18-year head coach Chris D’Ambrosio – none in the last 284 matches. The Warriors have averaged only 4.8 recorded cards per year under D’Ambrosio, including an average of only 3.3 recorded per year over the last 12 years. This past fall marked the seventh under D’Ambrosio that the team was issued two or less.
Prior to 2015, awards qualification was based upon total recorded yellow cards received over the course of the year, rather than the average number received per match.
Programs honored at the platinum level (ten this year, all women’s programs) did not receive a recorded yellow card or red card during the season. Programs are also honored at the gold (1-10%), silver (11-30%) and bronze (31-50%) levels.