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Nittany Lions ranked in Top 10 in Learfield Directors’ Cup Standings | News, Sports, Jobs

The Penn State University Women’s Soccer team poses with their trophy after winning the Big Ten Championship. (Photo courtesy of Penn State University Athletics)

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State Athletics is off to another superb start in the Learfield Directors’ Cup, ranked No. 9, with scoring from two fall sports yet to be included in the compilation.

The Nittany Lions are seeing their 12th consecutive Top 10 fall finish, having placed in the Top 10 in the final fall standings in 21 of the 25 years the Directors’ Cup has existed. Penn State has posted 13 Top 5 finishes during the fall compilation and is in range to do so again this year.

The Nittany Lions will be in line to earn additional Learfield Directors’ Cup points this fall from the women’s volleyball team, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, and the No. 12 football team, which plays Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl on January 1, 2019.

The final fall standings will be announced in mid-January.

Stanford leads the Directors’ Cup with 396 points and is followed by Wake Forest (266), Princeton (263), Michigan (255), North Carolina State (243), North Carolina (240), Duke (226), Virginia (208), Penn State (207) and Notre Dame (205).

During the fall semester, the Penn State women’s soccer team captured its 19th Big Ten Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, losing, 1-0, to eventual champion Florida State. The field hockey, women’s cross country, and women’s volleyball teams all competed in their respective NCAA Championships and the football squad earned its third consecutive New Year’s/CFP bowl berth.

Five Penn State fall teams were ranked in their respective Top 15 nationally (final regular season or final ranking): women’s volleyball (6), women’s soccer (8), field hockey (9), football (12) and women’s cross country (13).

Penn State is among only nine institutions nationwide to have finished in the Top 25 in all 25 Learfield Directors’ Cup final standings.

Under the leadership of Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour, Penn State has one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men’s, 15 women’s). Penn State student-athletes have posted an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent the past two years, which ties the Nittany Lions’ all-time high. Eight teams earned a 100 percent graduation rate in the 2018 NCAA Graduation Rates Report.

The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 204 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, including women’s soccer student-athletes Kerry Abello and Emily Ogle and football student-athlete Blake Gillikin during the fall semester.

Penn State’s 50 NCAA Championships all-time (78 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. Penn State’s 31 NCAA titles since 1992-93, including a third consecutive NCAA Wrestling Championship, lead all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 108 Big Ten championships or tournament titles since capturing their first crown in 1992-93.

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