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Cougars Grab Early Cup Lead

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December 17, 2010
Gary Pine

AZUSA, Calif. -- As somewhat expected, Azusa Pacific has grabbed the early lead in the 2010-11 Directors’ Cup race in the NAIA.

The Cougars have scored 276 points through 5 of the 6 NAIA fall championship events scored to date. What wasn’t so expected was the Cougars’ relatively large 56-point lead, the largest gap between any 2 positions out of the 100 schools on the leader board thus far.

Azusa Pacific registered 83 points with a third-place finish in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Championship Tournament, 72 more for a sixth-place showing in women’s cross country, and collected an additional 64 points for volleyball’s finish of ninth place at the national tournament. The Cougars collected 32 points and 25 points for postseason efforts from men’s cross country and men’s soccer, respectively.

Southern Oregon University, which won the NAIA men’s cross country national championship, is second with 220 points. Lee University, out of Cleveland, Tenn., is third with 219 points on the strength of an NAIA title in women’s soccer to go along with a third-place finish in women’s volleyball.

Still to be scored is football following its national championship game on Saturday (Dec. 18). Azusa Pacific will pick up another 25 points for its NAIA football playoff participation to expand its lead and finish the fall season with 301 points when the final fall standings are released on Thursday (Dec. 23). Azusa Pacific is the only school in NAIA history to place a team in all 6 NAIA fall sports championship events in the same year.

By comparison, the reigning 6-time champion Cougars had 231 points and were in second place following last year’s fall competition.

Click here to view the current Directors’ Cup standings for the NAIA.