NEW YORK—Taking advantage of one of its most successful fall seasons in school history, Columbia Athletics achieved its highest-ever ranking in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings as it concluded the 2017 fall campaign rated No. 36 nationally, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics announced Thursday afternoon.


Columbia also ranked as the second highest institution in the Ivy League behind Princeton, which currently sits in ninth place in the overall standings. Ivy League schools currently ranked among the Learfield Cup rankings include: No. 9 Princeton (242.50 points), No. 36 Columbia (129.50 points), No. 51 Dartmouth (95.0), No. 117 Yale (28.0) and No. 122 Harvard (25.0). Stanford currently leads the competition with 468.0 total points.


Columbia earned its ranking based on an NCAA Tournament First Round win and NCAA appearance by the men’s soccer team and successful national finishes in men’s and women’s cross country. The Lions also received strong seasons from the football and women’s soccer squads.


The Learfield Directors’ Cup is an award given annually by NACDA to the colleges and universities in the United States with the most success in college athletics during each academic year. Points for the Directors’ Cup are based on NCAA championship participation and success. Final results are typically announced in late June.


Overall, Columbia Athletics enjoyed one of its most successful fall seasons in school history. Here are a few of Columbia’s achievements from Fall 2017:




*Women’s cross country captured the 2017 Ivy League Cross Country title.


*Two sports programs earned NCAA postseason berths: women’s cross country and men’s soccer.


*Two coaches earned Ivy League Coach of the Year awards: women’s cross country’s Dan Ireland and football’s Al Bagnoli.


*18 Columbia student-athletes earned First Team All-Ivy League honors.


*Men’s soccer appeared in its 14th all-time NCAA Tournament, finished second in the Ivy League with a 5-1-1 record and finished 12-3-2 overall. The Lions were ranked among the nation’s top-25 teams during the majority of the season. The team won its first-round NCAA Tournament match, a 2-1 overtime win at William & Mary, but dropped its second-round game to No. 1 ranked Wake Forest, 1-0. Seven members of the Columbia men’s soccer team earned All-Ivy League honors, including five First Teamers including Offensive Player of the Year Arthur Bosua, Alex Bangerl, Dylan Castanheira, John Denis and Vana Markarian. Four were All-Region picks. An All-American selection, Bosua was named one of 15 finalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy, which recognizes the NCAA Division I college soccer player of the year.


*Women’s cross country earned its seventh all-time NCAA Championship appearance. The Lions qualified automatically with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA’s Northeast Regional meet. The Lions finished in 28th place at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. Nell Crosby earned First Team All-Ivy League honors and led the Lions with a fourth-place individual finish at the Ivy League championships.


*Ryan Thomas claimed the individual Ivy League men’s cross country championship. Columbia’s men’s Cross Country team finished in second place in the Ivy League championship team competition. It placed fifth in the NCAA Northeast Regional meet. Three Lions earned First Team All-Ivy League honors including Thomas, Kenny Vasbinder and Brian Zabilski.


*Football recorded its best-record in 21 years with an 8-2 overall and 5-2 Ivy League record. The Lions also finished in second place, their best finish in Ivy League play since 1996. The Lions also put together a seven-game win streak, Columbia’s longest win streak since 1935. Columbia began its season with six straight wins for the first time since 1996.


*Football had a school-record 12 players named to All-Ivy League teams including First Teamers Josh Wainwright, Lord Hyeamang, Cameron Roane and Parker Thome. Second Team picks included Anders Hill, Landon Baty and Bewley Wales, while honorable mention picks included Will Allen, Michael Murphy, Markham Paukune, Dominic Perkovic and Ronald Smith II.


*Football Head Coach Al Bagnoli was named the Ivy League Coach of the Year. He was also named a finalist for the two National Coach of the Year Awards: Eddie Robinson Award/STATS FCS and AFCA. He also become just the third coach in school history to earn AFCA Region Coach of the Year honors.


*Women’s Soccer came within one game of winning the Ivy League championship. It finished second in the Ivy League with a 5-1-1 record and concluded the year with a 9-5-2 overall record. Eight players earned All-Ivy League honors including Natalie Ambrose, who was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. First Team selections included Ambrose and Natalie Neshat.


*Field hockey finished with a 9-8 overall record and 4-3 Ivy League slate. The squad placed three members on the All-Ivy League team including First Teamer Maeve Doherty.


*Volleyball placed two players on the First Team All-Ivy League squad in Anja Malesevic and Chichi Ikwuazom. The Lions finished 10-13 overall and 5-9 in Ivy League play.