Inaugural Big Ten Women's Lacrosse League Set for 2014-2015

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (June 3, 2013) The Big Ten Conference announced today that Rutgers University will join with Maryland, Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State to form the inaugural women's lacrosse league for the 2014-15 academic school year.

"Our move to the Big Ten puts us in, what will be, the No. 1 lacrosse conference in the country," said head coach Laura Brand-Sias. "We are excited for the challenge and anxious to showcase everything our program and student-athletes have to offer in such a prestigious and respectable league."

Men's and women's lacrosse will become the 27th and 28th Big Ten sponsored sports. Big Ten rules allow for a conference championship when six institutions sponsor a program in any given sport. Big Ten women's lacrosse will feature teams that have won 23 national championships and 19 of the 32 NCAA championships, including eight of the last nine.

"We are excited to announce the launch of Big Ten men's and women's lacrosse and the addition of Johns Hopkins as a sport affiliate member," said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany.

"Johns Hopkins is an outstanding institution with a legacy of success in men's lacrosse that is simply unmatched in intercollegiate athletics. Lacrosse is an emerging sport among our current schools and is a long-held passion among our East Coast institutions. With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers in all sports and Johns Hopkins for men's lacrosse, we will have the requisite number of institutions to make men's and women's lacrosse official conference sports, building upon our tradition of broad-based sports competition. We look forward to the start of the first Big Ten men's and women's lacrosse seasons in 2015."

"As a proud alumna of Rutgers University, I am excited about the lacrosse program being able to be a part of such a prestigious conference as the Big Ten," said 2010 All-American Brooke Cantwell. "The possibilities that this opportunity gives Rutgers Athletics are endless and I cannot wait to see what the future holds. Go Scarlet Knights!"

"This move is a really dynamic transition for Rutgers Athletics," said 2013 All-American Lily Kalata. "Big Ten s are all elite programs. It will make for a very competitive and exciting schedule."

"This is a great opportunity for Rutgers women's lacrosse to prove how good we are," said 2012 First Team All-Region selection Ali Steinberg. "I couldn't be happier for the girls and the program and I know the team will do big things in the future."

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EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Big Ten Conference announced Monday the adoption of men's and women's lacrosse as the conference's 27th and 28th official sports beginning in the 2014-15 academic year, ushering in a new era for Northwestern's seven-time NCAA champion women's lacrosse program.

The Big Ten women's lacrosse conference will consist of Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan -- which will debut its varsity women's lacrosse program in the 2014 season -- and Big Ten newcomers Maryland and Rutgers. Big Ten rules allow for a conference championship when six institutions sponsor a program in any given sport.

Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany and the Conference also announced that Johns Hopkins University has been accepted as a sport affiliate member for men's lacrosse only beginning in 2014-15, the first such affiliation of its kind in the history of Big Ten athletics.

"This is an extremely exciting announcement for the entire lacrosse community," said Northwestern head coach and five-time National Coach of the Year Kelly Amonte Hiller. "Gaining the support, stability, TV coverage and brand association of one of the most prestigious college conferences in the country is an enormous step forward for our sport. We are thankful to Commissioner Delany for his leadership in making Big Ten women's lacrosse a reality and look forward to competing for a Big Ten championship in 2015."

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