Athletics Top the Field

In 1993-94, the men's soccer team was the University standout. In postseason play, the team not only won an unprecedented third consecutive NCAA Division I National Championship (its fourth in five years); it also made it to the White House. In February, the Cavaliers were honored by President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore in a special reception. Several members of the team didn't stop there. Tony Meola, John Harkes, and Claudio Reyna all joined Team USA for World Cup play this summer, tying Switzerland and upsetting Colombia before losing to Brazil, who went on to win the World Cup. For the coming season, the Cavaliers were again ranked first in both the ISAA and Soccer America preseason polls.

The Cavalier football team, which was ranked nineteenth in the College & Pro Football Newsweekly preseason poll, played the 1994 Carquest Bowl on New Year's Day. The 1993-94 men's basketball team also played postseason ball, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This was the University's sixteenth postseason appearance in seventeen seasons.

Women's teams turned in especially strong performances. The women's basketball team won its fourth consecutive ACC regular season championship and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Midwest Regional. Under the leadership of coach Fred Binggeli, who is entering his tenth year at the University, the women's cross country team finished seventeenth in the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Binggeli was named ACC Coach of the Year for both women's cross country and women's indoor track.

The University's women athletes also made great strides off the playing field. As a result of a plan implemented two years ago, the percentage of financial aid offered to women athletes is now equal to the percentage of women in the University's athletic program. With the addition of women's crew as a varsity sport in 1995-96, the University will take a major step toward its next goal, increasing the number of women participating in intercollegiate athletics until it equals the percentage of women in the student body.

Debbie Ryan, women's basketball coach for more than a decade, is one of the reasons that women's sports programs at the University have been able to move forward. Ryan, a graduate of the Curry School of Education, this year pledged $50,000 to the Virginia Student Aid Foundation to help the group rebuild University Hall and establish more scholarships for nonrevenue sports.

Go on to the VIII. Tapping New Leaders
Return to Table of Contents