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Moravian College drops lacrosse programs for men and women; cites financial reasons

Friday, 19th February 2010

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 2/19/10
From Press Releases and Staff Reports

Moravian College President Christopher M. Thomforde has announced that the College will discontinue competing in lacrosse at the NCAA Division III intercollegiate level at the conclusion of the spring 2010 season. The discontinuation of both the men’s and women’s athletic teams is part of the College’s affordability initiative in response to ongoing financial challenges spurred by the troubled national economy.

To maintain a balanced budget and increase financial aid to students for fiscal year 2011-12, Moravian implemented a comprehensive strategic review process to prioritize and reduce programmatic expenses.

The College anticipates increasing its budget dedicated to financial aid by approximately 20 percent in comparison to 2008-09, making a quality Moravian education more affordable and accessible for the students it seeks to enroll. In order to increase aid and balance the budget, the College will defer hiring personnel in new positions, eliminate and/or restructure some existing staff positions, and discontinue men’s and women’s lacrosse.

There are six members of the women’s team from Philadelphia: senior midfielders Katie Wise (Abington) and Jillian Pagliei (Council Rock North), senior attack Paige Warbrick (Souderton), junior midfielder Sarah Carman (Pennridge), and sophoimore attack players Shannon Algeo (Spring-Ford) and Allison Hess (Souderton). Pagliei led the team with 41 goals last year while Carman had 38, and Wise and Warbrick each had 24 – that represented the top four scorers on the team, which went 6-10 overall. Algeo and Hess also were regulars.

There are four Philly players on the men’s roster: junior attackman Christopher Mohapp (Central Bucks South), junior midfielder Daniel Cress (Henderson) and freshman defensemen Don Rauchut (Penn Charter) and Nathaniel Ferraro (Methacton). Mohapp was fifth on a 4-12 team in scoring last year with 8 goals and 17 assists.

“After undergoing a comprehensive process to assess and evaluate the athletic programs offered at Moravian, we have decided to discontinue lacrosse, rather than diminish the quality of all of our athletic teams by administering across-the-board reductions,” Thomforde explained. “This process looked closely at the vitality and overall quality of each athletic team in terms of history and tradition, competitive success, budget implications, and other criteria.”

The discontinuation of lacrosse reduces the number of varsity athletic teams from 20 to 18. “By concentrating our focus on existing programs, we will continue to remain highly competitive and provide a quality experience for our student athletes,” Thomforde noted.

In the weeks leading up to the announcement, administrators held discussions with the Athletic Department and coaches, and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and held an open forum with all student athletes.

“Moravian College is in a healthy position to be able to respond to the economic challenges faced by institutions of higher learning,” Thomforde noted. “We have made choices in a strategic manner to discover the right balance for the use of our resources to make a Moravian education accessible to all students, regardless of their background—but doing so requires us to control costs and shift resources to financial aid that benefits the large majority of students.”

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America’s sixth-oldest college.


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