Brandi Chastain Encourages Soccer Fans to Follow 2014 Capital One Cup Race
Florida State and Stanford sit atop the men’s and women’s standings, respectively, as the race for the Capital One Cup enters the home stretch
The race for the No. 1 spot in the Capital One Cup standings and a combined $400,000 in student-athlete scholarships is gaining momentum and the leading schools have clearly emerged after a thrilling winter sports season. On Monday, April 28, Capital One Financial Corporation, an official NCAA Corporate Champion, announced the official winter standings for the Capital One Cup, which is awarded each year to the best men’s and women’s NCAA Division I athletics programs in the country.
Several schools, including Florida State, Connecticut and Notre Dame, hold top-10 positions for both men’s and women’s standings. This makes each school a legitimate contender for a sweep of the men’s and women’s Capital One Cup trophies when the competition concludes after the spring athletics season.
U.S. Women’s Soccer Team hero and sports icon Brandi Chastain is an Advisory Board Member for the Capital One Cup, and will be on hand to help present the Capital One Cup to the winning schools. She encourages everyone to join in and watch the race to see who will be the champion and to watch closely as the end of the Spring Season approaches.
Chastain is very proud to be a sports ambassador for the Capital One Cup. She loves college soccer and immediately agreed to serve on the Advisory Board when asked to be the Soccer Ambassador because she saw it as a perfect fit. She is very proud that Capital One recognizes women in sports separately from men. Men’s sports dominate the press, and this has been the norm, but the Capital One Cup recognizes all sports, both men’s and women’s.
A trailblazer in women’s soccer since her days as a youth and college player, Chastain helped lead her Santa Clara University Broncos team to a pair of NCAA Division I quarterfinal appearances. However, it was her game-winning penalty kick in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final against China and her subsequent bra-baring celebration that cemented her place in the sports conscious.
“I started to play because I loved the game, not because I was going to be a professional,” Chastain told SoccerNation editor Diane Scavuzzo in a recent interview. She believes that her success comes through her passion and dedication to the game, and she hopes to inspire other players to follow their dreams.
Chastain loves the essence of sports, which she believes gives all players the opportunity for self-expression, fun and the valuable experience of being a member of a team. She believes that sports are undervalued in today’s culture, which is more obsessed with winning and losing than with participation and the lessons that can be learned from the game.
Below are the official Capital One Cup standings after as of May 21, 2014, with the top-10 point earners (including ties) in men’s and women’s athletics listed. The complete standings can be found at: www.CapitalOneCup.com or Facebook.com/CapitalOneCup.
|Men’s Cup Standings||Women’s Cup Standings|
|1. Florida State||68 points||1. Stanford||90 points|
|2. Connecticut||66 points||2. Connecticut||80 points|
|3. Notre Dame||62.5 points||3. UCLA||74 points|
|4. North Dakota State||60 points||4. Penn State||72 points|
|5. Michigan State||51 points||5. Wisconsin||46 points|
|6. Florida||50 points||6. Texas||44 points|
|7. Cal||43 points||7. North Carolina||40 points|
|7. Michigan||43 points||8. Florida State||39 points|
|9. Auburn||41 points||9. Notre Dame||38.5 points|
|9. Kentucky||41 points||10. Florida||38 points|
The exciting conclusions to both the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball National Championship encapsulated a wild and crazy March Madness® filled with incredible upsets and poignant moments. For the second time in 10 years, the Connecticut Huskies won both the men’s and women’s basketball championships, catapulting the school’s athletics programs high into Capital One Cup men’s and women’s standings.
On the strength of its BCS National Championship, and a top-10 finish in indoor track & field this winter, Florida State now leads the men’s standings. Connecticut ranks second after its NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship, while Notre Dame ranks third, boosted by a NCAA Men’s College Cup® soccer title in the fall and a top-10 finish at the NCAA Fencing National Championship this winter. On the women’s side, Connecticut temporarily rose to the top of the standings after winning the NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship and securing a Field Hockey championship title, overtaking Penn State, which led after the fall standings. However, in recent days Stanford has leapt over both schools to take the top position.
“This is what college athletics is all about – the unpredictability of NCAA championships and teams playing at a high level, as evidenced by the Connecticut men’s basketball team becoming the first ever No. 7 seed to win the NCAA Tournament,” said Capital One Cup Advisory Board member and CBS college basketball analyst, Clark Kellogg. “Florida State and Notre Dame have held steady in the men’s standings while Connecticut could take it all on both the men’s and women’s side. What makes the Capital One Cup race so thrilling is how multiple sports across multiple seasons contribute to the ultimate winning program.”
“Connecticut’s historic win over Notre Dame is an example of a team that kept dominating throughout the season and didn’t let up for a second during the tournament,” said Capital One Cup Advisory Board member and former basketball star at USC, Lisa Leslie. “For Connecticut to achieve perfection and show the poise to overcome an undefeated and highly skilled Notre Dame team in the title game was special. With the heart and determination already shown by women’s athletics programs this season, I’m excited to follow the remaining NCAA championships and the race for the Capital One Cup.”
“This is always an exciting time as every game and match takes on even greater importance as we head toward the end of the college sports season,” said Marc Mentry, Senior Vice President at Capital One. “We are anticipating a competitive and action-packed spring sports season, which will determine who will reign supreme in the race for the Capital One Cup.”
Schools earn points based on their teams’ top 10 finishes in NCAA Division I championships and in final official coaches’ polls across 20 women’s and 19 men’s sports as they compete to win the Capital One Cup trophy and a combined $400,000 in scholarships for student-athletes. The Capital One Cup winners will be determined at the end of the spring season and will be honored at the ESPY Awards in July. Last year, new winners emerged when UCLA won on the men’s side and North Carolina claimed the women’s Capital One Cup. Stanford women and Florida men earned the Capital One Cup the first two years of the program. This is the fourth year of the Capital One Cup.
About Capital One: Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., had $204.5 billion in deposits and $297 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2013. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index.
Capital One, an NCAA Corporate Champion, began its affiliation with college sports with the sponsorship of the 2001 Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl (now the Capital One Bowl) and ESPN’s Capital One Bowl Week. In addition, Capital One sponsors the ABC College Football Halftime Report, Capital One All-America Mascot team, Capital One Academic All-America Program, and supports all 89 NCAA Championships including the Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, and numerous other collegiate athletics programs.