Sports in Worcester, Massachusetts - Collegiate Sports

Collegiate Sports

Worcester's colleges have had long histories and many notable achievements in collegiate sports:

  • The Holy Cross Crusaders, led by future basketball hall-of-famers Bob Cousy and Tom Heinsohn, were NCAA men's basketball champions in 1947 and NIT men's basketball champions in 1954. Here is a list of college athletic achievements from the many colleges and University of Worcester.
  • The Holy Cross Crusaders football team played in the 1946 Orange Bowl, losing 13-6 to Miami (FL).
  • Holy Cross won the 1952 NCAA College World Series, beating the University of Missouri 8-4. To date, the 1952 Crusaders remain the only college team from the Northeast to win the College World Series.
  • In one of the biggest upsets in NCAA hockey history, the Holy Cross men's hockey team made history by defeating the Golden Gophers of the University of Minnesota in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Division I Tournament by the score of 4-3 in overtime.
  • Holy Cross's Gordie Lockbaum is widely acknowledged as the last major college football program player to regularly play both offense and defense. Lockbaum finished third in the 1987 Heisman Trophy balloting, after finishing fifth in 1986. Lockbaum's son, Gordon Lockbaum Jr., was a star player on the 2002 Worcester Little League World Series team (See above).
  • The Assumption College Greyhounds lay claim to being the only college baseball team to ever have two future baseball hall-of-famers (Jesse Burkett and Rube Marquard) on its staff at the same time (1931–32).
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute's "WPI Engineers" football has had three undefeated, untied seasons (1938, 1954 and 1983) and two Freedom Football Conference (FFC) Championships (1992 and 1993).
  • The 1965-66 WPI Engineers basketball team was defeated by Army 71-62 on December 8, 1965. The win marked the first career coaching victory for a young coach named Bobby Knight.
  • WPI football has the distinction of being Worcester's first college football team, debuting in 1888 with back-to-back losses to Harvard of 70-0 and 68-0
  • The Clark University Cougars earned 10 consecutive NCAA Division III tournament berths, including two finishes as national runner-up in 1984 and 1987.
  • Clark's women's basketball team earned back-to-back NCAA Division III Final Four appearances and were NCAA Northeast Champions in 1982 and 1983.
  • The Worcester State College Women's Soccer team advanced to the 3rd round of the NCAA Tournament in 2007, which was the most successful NCAA appearance of any team in Worcester State history. They beat the #5 ranked William Smith College by a score of 2-0 in the first round. After not receiving a national ranking all year, Worcester State ended the season at #21.

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