Hobart Lacrosse to Join the Northeast Conference in 2014

Hobart is leaving the Eastern College Athletic Conference, which it joined prior to the 2005 season. In nine seasons, Statesmen have earned four first team all-conference awards, 16 second team awards, placed two on the all-rookie team, garnered one Rookie of the Year award and one Coach of the Year award.

Hobart played a highly competitive schedule in 2013, facing three of the NCAA tournament's final four teams as well as the 2012 national champion. The Statesmen finished the year with a 6-8 record, a two-win improvement over 2012. Hobart scored impressive upsets of then No. 15 Colgate, then No. 20 Bellarmine and then No. 3 Syracuse.

On March 5, the Statesmen trailed the Raiders 8-7 in the fourth quarter, but scored late to force overtime and won in extra time for the first time since 2004. In Louisville, Ky., a month later, Hobart weathered a late Bellarmine rally that tied the game and necessitated OT. A goal with 49 seconds left marked the Statesmen's first ever double overtime win. Just three days later, Hobart scored late to top the Orange 13-12 in the Carrier Dome.

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Somerset, NJ -- Hobart College has accepted an invitation from the Northeast Conference (NEC) to join as an associate member in the sport of men's lacrosse, it was announced on Monday by NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. The Statesmen will begin NEC play in the spring of 2014, joining current men's lacrosse-playing members Bryant University, Mount St. Mary's University, Robert Morris University, Sacred Heart University and Wagner College.

“We are thrilled that Hobart lacrosse is joining the NEC family; not only do they bring a long history of success on the lacrosse field, but they have consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to the core values of educating and developing student-athletes,” said Morris. “The NEC coaches and administrators are dedicated to building a premier men's lacrosse league, and we are taking another big step in the right direction with the addition of the Statesmen.”

Hobart, which had been a member of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) since 2005, brings one of the nation's most storied lacrosse programs to the NEC. The Statesmen have won 16 national championships, including 12 straight at the Division III level from 1980 to 1991. Having competed in all three NCAA divisions, Hobart made the move to Division I in 1995 and has appeared in the NCAA Tournament four times, most recently in 2004. Overall, the Statesmen have amassed a 732-464-20 record since the program's inception in 1898.

“After careful consideration of the generous offers available to the program, the Northeast Conference is the best fit for our student-athletes,” said Hobart and William Smith Colleges Vice President for Student Affairs Robert Flowers. “We have been impressed with the league's commitment to academic and athletic excellence as well as its principles of sportsmanship and student-athlete community involvement. These priorities mirror the mission of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.”

Hobart sports a 3-3 all-time record against NEC programs, splitting four games with Robert Morris and two with Bryant. When the Statesmen square off with Mount St. Mary's next spring, they will be going up against Hobart Hall of Famer Tom Gravante '88, the Mount's longtime head coach.

In addition to five regular season NEC games in 2014, Hobart will also maintain its long-standing rivalries with non-conference foes Colgate, Cornell, and Syracuse. The Statesmen finished with a 6-8 mark in 2013, which included top-20 wins over then No. 3 Syracuse, then No. 15 Colgate and then No. 20 Bellarmine.

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