WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut State University is the only reporting institution within the United Soccer Coaches (USC) to have both its men’s and women’s collegiate soccer programs qualify for a Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award during the 2019 season.
The award is given to USC – formerly the National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America (NSCAA) -- members at four levels. Teams honored at the platinum level went an entire season without a player or coach receiving a yellow card or red card. Teams honored at the Gold (1-10%), Silver (11-30%) and Bronze (31-50%) levels are based on a percentage calculated by the total number of yellow cards received by players and coaches divided by the team's total number of games played. One red card disqualifies a program from receiving the honor.
Both the Eastern men and women were assessed nine yellow cards throughout the course of their 2019 seasons. The men were assessed only four percent of the Little East Conference’s total of 222 yellow cards – six less than their nearest LEC competitor and 33 less than the most penalized institution in the conference. The men and women both earned an ethics award for the sixth time in the last eight years. The men have received a Bronze Award each year. The women earned a Bronze Award for the second time and also were accorded Gold Award status once and Silver Award recognition three times.
The women are under the direction of 20-year head coach Chris D’Ambrosio and the men under 13-year head coach Greg DeVito.
The ethics awards recognized a total of 95 collegiate teams across the country for exhibiting fair play, sporting behavior and adherence to the laws of the game.
In 2018-19, the Eastern men’s program combined its exceptional record on the pitch with its lofty academic standing and ethical conduct under DeVito to become one of only two men’s teams in all divisions of college soccer --- NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA -- to earn an inaugural Team Pinnacle Award, which was presented for the first time this fall to reflect the 2018-19 academic year.
To qualify for the Pinnacle Award, programs must have received either the Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze version of the Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award in the fall of 2018, achieved recognition in the classroom as a recipient of the Team Academic Award (minimum team GPA of 3.00); and recorded a winning percentage of at least.750. That team was penalized with eight yellow cards, earned a USC Team Academic Award (min. 3.00 GPA) and had a 15-4 record for a 78.9 percent winning percentage.