Women's Lacrosse Added as 18th SUNY Plattsburgh Varsity Sport
SUNY Plattsburgh will add women's lacrosse as its 18th varsity sport, with the team set to begin NCAA Division III competition in 2018-2019.
The team will compete in the State University of New York Athletic Conference, with all 10 conference members fielding women's lacrosse teams. The rest of the SUNYAC includes The College at Brockport, Buffalo State, SUNY Cortland, Fredonia, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oneonta, Oswego State and SUNY Potsdam.
"The addition of women´s lacrosse has been a point of discussion for many years here at Plattsburgh and was certainly high on my list of priorities when I accepted this position in June," said Mike Howard, director of athletics. "This complements all of our existing programs and positions us well as we look to expand our recruiting footprint throughout the entire Northeast.
"The sport of lacrosse is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing sports on the high school level, and I am hopeful that this program, similar to all of our other Cardinal teams, will play a key leadership role in the continued growth of the game at the youth and high school level in our region. It also provides a tremendous opportunity for young women who are looking seriously at SUNY Plattsburgh and are passionate about continuing to play the sport they love. It's a win-win situation for all of us."
Women's lacrosse has seen the largest rise in sponsorship among any sport at the Division III level over the past 10 years, according to the NCAA, seeing a 78 percent increase from 2005-2006 to 2015-2016. During that span, 120 new programs have been added.
This marks the first addition of a sport at SUNY Plattsburgh since baseball was reintroduced in 2001.
"SUNY Plattsburgh is excited to be adding a women's lacrosse team to our lineup of sports for the 2018-2019 academic year," said Bryan Hartman, vice president for student affairs. "This addition builds upon our strong tradition in Cardinal athletics of providing student-athletes a well-rounded experience focused on success in the classroom, on the playing field and through leadership and service opportunities. This decision also helps the institution as a whole by bringing students for the Plattsburgh experience who otherwise would have attended elsewhere."
The team will utilize the Field House complex as its facility for both practices and home games. The state-of-the-art field, which is lighted, has a sand and rubber mixture, topped with plastic blades of grass, providing consistent playability, superior durability and traction. It also serves as the home facility for men's and women's soccer as well as men's lacrosse.
On the women's side, SUNY Plattsburgh currently sponsors basketball, cross country, ice hockey, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. On the men's side, it sponsors baseball, basketball, cross country, ice hockey, indoor track and field, lacrosse, outdoor track and field and soccer.
A national search for the program's head coach will be conducted in June.