Pace University views athletics and recreation as an integral part of the educational experience. The athletics program is designed to bring students together through participation in a variety of varsity, intramural, club, and recreational sports while serving as a focal point for all students, faculty, staff, and alumni. As with other non-academic activities, athletic activities add another dimension to university life.
Intercollegiate and intramural sports give students of Pace University a chance to compete at many levels of ability and interest. There are currently 14 varsity teams, a spirit squad made up of cheerleading, dance, and pep band, club men’s soccer, club co-ed golf, and a wide variety of intramural sports.
The 75,000 square-foot, $17 million Ann and Alfred Goldstein Health, Fitness and Recreation Center has been a recognizable landmark of the Pace community since its opening in 2002. The multipurpose, state-of-the-art facility, located on the Pleasantville campus, includes a 2,400 seat arena, an eight lane natatorium, a walking/jogging track, a weight room, an aerobics room, an athletic training facility, locker rooms, and a health care center.
Also, in collaboration with the university, the athletics department recently completed construction of four new facilities. Pace Stadium, a new multipurpose field with lights, Field Turf and 1,100 seats for football, women’s soccer, men’s lacrosse, and women’s lacrosse opened in the fall of 2015. Peter X. Finnerty Field, home of our baseball and field hockey teams, now has Field Turf and lights and a new softball field was also built on the Pleasantville campus. In the spring of 2016, the 14,010 square foot, multi-million dollar Joseph R. Ianniello Field House officially opened, providing Pace student-athletes with a state of the art facility that includes a new strength and conditioning center, locker rooms and a sports medicine component.
Pace University maintains a successful intercollegiate program for students who qualify under the rules of the university, NCAA, and Northeast-10 Conference. Men’s intercollegiate varsity sports include basketball, baseball, cross country, lacrosse, football, and swimming and diving. Women participate in basketball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, and volleyball. The co-ed spirit-squad also provides opportunities with the pep band, and cheer and dance teams. Pace University competes at the NCAA Division II level, with membership in the Northeast-10 Conference (NE10).
In the fall, the Setters begin the school year with six teams competing. The Pace football program has put together great success in recent years, tallying a 13-7 record in their last two seasons. In 2019, the Setters had 12 all-conference selections. The women’s volleyball squad has won the NE10 Championship twice since joining the conference and has competed in the NCAA Division II Championship eight times overall. The women’s soccer program was started in 1997 and recently put together its most successful season in 2019. The Setters earned their first-ever national ranking that year, while also setting a new school record for regular-season wins (11). They have had more than 30 All-Conference players, as well as 19 All-Region selections along with an All-American selection in 2014. Men’s and women’s cross country compete against some of the most talented Division I and II programs in the East Region at various meets. Field Hockey is the newest program at Pace. In only their fourth year in 2018, the Setters won the Northeast-10 Conference Regular Season championship with a 13-0 record before advancing all the way to the NCAA Division II National Semifinals. Pace finished the year as the top-ranked team in the East Region.
During the winter season, the men’s and women’s basketball teams play their home games at the Goldstein Health, Fitness, and Recreation Center on the Pleasantville campus. The women’s team advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in 2001 and the Sweet 16 in 2011. The men’s squad, which was ranked nationally in 2019 for the first time in more than 20 years, won their first NCAA tournament game in 2002 and was an NCAA Tournament participant in 2007. The swimming and diving teams compete in the competitive NE10, and have had eight divers and a pair of women’s swimmers earn berths in the NCAA Division II national qualifiers in recent years.
The baseball team has won at least 29 games in five of the last nine seasons and earned a bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament in 2013. In addition, the baseball program has had a number of its players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft and go on to play professionally. The men’s lacrosse program completed one of their most successful seasons in 2019, registering the second-most wins in program history (13). Pace also qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time in 2017, finishing the season ranked No. 5 in the country. In only its fifth full season, the women’s lacrosse team qualified for its fourth consecutive NE10 Tournament in 2021 and finished with a No. 19 national ranking. In addition, both lacrosse teams play in one of the top Division II conferences in the country, which has featured multiple National Champions in the last decade. Finally, the softball team has become one of the top programs in the NE10, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in two of the last five seasons, and winning the NE10 Championship in 2016.
The Athletic Department embraces its role in the area of recreation and wellness and its impact on student life. The Pleasantville campus has more than 52,000 student visits and the New York City campus has 42,000 visits for fitness and wellness per year, with approximately 1,980 participants in intramurals in Pleasantville and more than 350 in New York City. Health and Wellness credit and noncredit courses are offered on both campuses. The addition of turf athletic facilities with lighting provides growth in participation of students in intramurals on the Pleasantville campus. Co-ed leagues are currently offered for: Outdoor soccer, outdoor flag football, indoor soccer, softball, ultimate frisbee, handball, futsal, dodgeball, whiffle ball, volleyball, basketball and badminton.