Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/12/08
Both Villanova lacrosse programs will enter the Big East Conference in the 2009-2010 seasons.
The announcement was made late Wednesday after the Big East announced it will sponsor men’s lacrosse for the first time and form a seven-team league.
The Villanova women, who have been an independent the past two years, will enter the Big East as well and become the ninth team in the conference. The Big East next year is adding women’s programs Louisville and Cincinnati. Villanova formerly was a member of the Patriot League.
The seven schools that will participate in the newly formed men’s league are Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova. The teams will play a six-game single round-robin regular season schedule. The Big East will apply for an automatic bid to the 16-team championship field.
Syracuse won the 2008 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse national title, the program’s 10th, after earning an at-large bid as a Division I Independent. Notre Dame also garnered a berth into the national tournament as an automatic qualifier from the Great Western Lacrosse League. Currently, Georgetown, Rutgers and St. John’s are part of the ECAC, Providence is a member of the MAAC and Villanova plays in the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Villanova men’s and women’s lacrosse teams are both established programs among the 24 varsity sports at the University. The men’s lacrosse team has competed in the Colonial Athletic Association since 2002 and qualified for the league’s postseason conference tournament in five of the past six seasons.
“We are very excited about the formation of the men’s lacrosse league,” Villanova head coach Mike Corrado said. “It is an honor to have a conference such as the Big East take interest in the seven men’s lacrosse programs that will join the new league. This is a great step for the future of our program and for the college lacrosse world.”