Fresh on the heels of their first season in the Patriot League, the BU women Terriers have made history. They brought home a league record seven conference championships, surpassing the previous record by two. Their accomplishment has earned BU the Patriot League Women’s Presidents’ Cup, awarded annually to the member school with the best overall performance. Army won the Men’s Presidents’ Cup, and Navy took the overall Presidents’ Cup.
During the 2013-14 academic year, BU women’s varsity soccer, tennis, rowing, cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, and softball claimed titles while the women’s lacrosse and field hockey teams made it to their conference title games, but lost.
“It’s been a tremendous year for the entire athletics department,” says softball head coach Kathryn Gleason. “It’s inspiring to walk through our offices every day and see all those championship trophies on display. Our programs didn’t just make a mark in the Patriot League—we set a new standard for the entire department.”
Gleason says that her team’s conference title and a seventh NCAA bid will have a tangible effect on the program’s future. “Making an NCAA regional tournament appearance and having our games aired on ESPNU has given our program so much exposure,” she says. “Now, when I hit the road to recruit this summer, I can speak to our presence on the national stage and point to our success in the Patriot League.”
Women’s rowing team head coach Stacey Rippetoe credits her athletes’ tenacity throughout the season for their success. After winning the Patriot League championship, the Terriers went on to their second consecutive NCAA Championships. “We ran into a lot of challenges, but I think extreme stubbornness carried us through,” says Rippetoe. “We have a vision for our team, and we don’t stray away from it no matter what. I admire the athletes’ dedication to working towards those goals every day, even throughout the off-season, because the secret to being successful in this sport is doing the work when no one is looking.”
No program made as much of a splash in the new conference as the women’s track and field and cross country teams this season, in large part because of the performance of Rosa Moriello (CGS’13, SMG’15), whose efforts helped capture all three of the Terriers’ conference titles in the sport.
After sitting out last season with several injuries, Moriello trained hard all summer. The Patriot League Female Runner of the Year went on to place first in the 6,000-meter cross country finals last fall, set a new record in the 3,000-meter run at the Patriot League Indoor Championships this winter, and helped the Terriers clinch an Outdoor Championship in early May.
Moriello is one of three Terrier runners extending the postseason by placing at the NCAA preliminaries in late May, in Jacksonville, Fla. On May 30, the standout track athlete set a personal best in the 5,000-meter run to finish third in her heat and advance to the finals. Along with high-jumper Allison Barwise (SAR’14) and men’s distance runner Rich Peters (COM’14), she is competing at the Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, being held this week in Eugene, Ore.
Despite her individual achievements, Moriello is most proud of the teams’ accomplishments. “I’ve always dreamed about winning all three seasons. We came close during my high school career and during our seasons in America East, but it never happened,” she says. “We knew we had a great chance to win cross country, and I think the confidence built from there. We have some of the best facilities in the country, and our coaches are so supportive—they really make us believe we’re going to win. We clearly made a statement about our teams, and let everyone know that we’re in the Patriot League.”
“We are extremely proud of the success of our coaches and student-athletes for their contributions in this inaugural year,” says outgoing assistant vice president and director of athletics Michael Lynch, who led BU to a record six straight America East Commissioner’s Cups and oversaw BU’s transition to the Patriot League. “Our women have made their mark and we look forward to much continued success.”
Rosa Moriello (CGS’13, SMG’15), Allison Barwise (SAR’14), and Rich Peters (COM’14) are competing at the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., being held this week, through June 14. The men’s schedule of events is available here, the women’s here.
Nate Weitzer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.