First Big Ten Lacrosse Schedules for 2015 Announced

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. Nearly 13 months after its initial announcement, the Big Ten Conference officially added men's and women's lacrosse on Tuesday. With it, the Nittany Lions embark on an exciting inaugural season in the league's 27th and 28th sports. Also announced on Tuesday are the sites and weekends of the 2015 opponents.

The announcement on Tuesday corresponds with the formal inclusion of full-time members Maryland and Rutgers as the 13th and 14th Big Ten institutions. Both are lacrosse playing schools in men's and women's lacrosse along with Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan. Johns Hopkins joins the men's contingent as a sport-affiliate member, while Northwestern rounds out the women's lineup.

"Our staff is excited to be a part of the inaugural Big Ten lacrosse conference," said Jeff Tambroni, head men's lacrosse coach. "It is an honor to be associated with such an impressive group of lacrosse playing schools."

"I am so excited for the future of Big Ten women's lacrosse," said Missy Doherty, head women's lacrosse coach. "As our sport expands across the country, it has been great to see so many institutions value and embrace the sport. As a result, we now have lacrosse represented in one of the best conferences in the country. We're looking forward to embracing our new role as a Big Ten program."

The 2015 conference schedule for each team was announced with action kicking off the weekend of March 27-29. The Penn State men host Ohio State that weekend before traveling to Maryland (April 3-5) and Johns Hopkins (April 10-12).

The Nittany Lions welcome Rutgers to Happy Valley for the 63rd all-time meeting on the weekend of April 17-19. PSU's first Big Ten regular-season concludes in Ann Arbor the weekend of April 24-26 against Michigan.

On the women's side, the Nittany Lions will play five conference games, including two at home and three on the road. The Big Ten season will commence with a trip to Rutgers the weekend of March 26, while Penn State will host its first conference match-up against Ohio State the following weekend. The Nittany Lions will then host Michigan before traveling to Northwestern and Maryland.

The 2015 Big Ten women's tournament will be held at Rutgers April 30-May 3 with all six teams competing, while the men's tournament will be held April 30-May 2 at Maryland with the top four teams competing for the title.

The Big Ten men's lacrosse conference boasts an impressive number of NCAA Tournament appearances (94), NCAA Tournament victories (123), NCAA semifinal appearances (51) and championships (11) among the six members. This past season, Maryland reached the semifinals and Hopkins the quarterfinals, while in 2013 Ohio State, Maryland and Penn State all received national seeds.

Penn State went 7-6 last season with the eighth-toughest schedule in the country as Tambroni led the Nittany Lions to their third-straight winning season. The last time PSU connected three winning seasons in a row was 1997, which was the last of a 12-straight winning-season stretch.

As for the women, the Big Ten becomes the most prestigious conference in the country as its teams have captured a combined 24 national titles, including 20 of 33 NCAA championships. Penn State has claimed five national championships, including NCAA crowns in 1987 and 1989, while Maryland (12 titles) and Northwestern (7) are multiple winners.

Under the direction of Doherty, the Nittany Lions recorded their fifth straight 10-win campaign in 2014 and advanced to the NCAA tournament in three straight seasons for the first time since 1995-97. During her four seasons, Doherty has coached eight IWLCA All-Americans and 18 all-conference members.

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2014-07-01



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