MANCHESTER, N.H. – For the first time since the trophy's inception in 2014, Saint Anselm College came out on top of the head-to-head battle with its cross-town rival Southern New Hampshire University, winning the 2017-18 edition of the Queen City Cup.
The two institutions, located less than seven miles apart and members of the NCAA Division II Northeast-10 Conference, met in 16 sports this past year and racked up points with each victory over the other. The Hawks edged the Penmen by a 21-15 margin in 2017-18.
On Thursday, members of the Hawks athletics department met with Joyce Craig, the mayor of Manchester, to accept the cup. Director of Athletics Daron Montgomery, College President Dr. Steven DiSalvo and the Hawks' two NE10 Coaches of the Year, softball's Jill Gagnon and field hockey's Carolyn King-Robitaille, were also on hand.
Southern New Hampshire took a 12-6 lead through the fall semester despite the Hawks picking up victories in volleyball and field hockey. A third-place finish by the Saint Anselm men's golf team at the NE10 Championship also bolstered the Hawks position in the cup standings.
Saint Anselm swamped the Penmen during the winter sports season, capturing seven out of a possible eight victories in men's and women's basketball and men's ice hockey. The lone loss to the Penmen was a one-point men's basketball defeat on Nov. 29, 2017. That narrow result proved to be the team's only loss at home during the 2017-18 academic year.
With the score deadlocked at 13 heading into the spring sports season, the Hawks opened with back-to-back wins against the Penmen in men's and women's lacrosse at brand-new Penmen Stadium. Despite sweeping the Hawks in baseball, Southern New Hampshire dropped three out of four to the Hawks softball team that finished the season as the runner-up at the NCAA Division II Championship.
In total, the Hawks won 12 of the final 17 head-to-head matchups in the series, including a dominant 11-of-13 game winning stretch for Saint Anselm from Nov. 29 to Apr. 11.
The Queen City Cup title adds to what was a highly-successful year for athletics on the Hilltop. Saint Anselm recorded its highest finish in the NE10 President's Cup, presented annually to signify overall athletic excellence in the league, in 12 years. Saint Anselm also had it's highest finish in the Learfield Directors' Cup, finishing near the top-third of all NCAA Division II institutions.