WASHINGTON - The BIG EAST women's lacrosse lineup will have a new look for the 2019 season. Already an affiliate member in the sport of field hockey, Old Dominion will be added to the BIG EAST women's lacrosse roster, joining Butler, Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova and fellow affiliate Denver.
The American Athletic Conference will sponsor its first season of women's lacrosse in 2019, as current BIG EAST affiliate members Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Temple and Vanderbilt will shift to AAC play. Old Dominion currently competes in the ASUN in women's lacrosse, an 11-team league which will divide its programs with the Southern Conference starting in 2018 to form two six-team leagues.
The SoCon will feature Central Michigan, Delaware State, Detroit Mercy, Furman, Mercer and Wofford, which begins its first season of women's lacrosse in 2018. The ASUN includes Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Stetson, Coastal Carolina, Howard and Kent State. Kent State's inaugural season will be 2019, while East Carolina's first season in 2018 will be as an independent before joining the AAC for 2019. Automatic bids into the NCAA Championship are awarded to conferences with a minimum of six teams.
The BIG EAST, AAC, SoCon and ASUN will all receive automatic bids for the 2019 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship. Florida has claimed the BIG EAST's last three NCAA automatic berths, winning a trio of BIG EAST Championship crowns.
"The growth of women's lacrosse has allowed conferences to review their membership and create alignments of likeminded institutions," said Chris Schneider, BIG EAST Associate Commissioner of Olympic Sports. "We are excited for the opportunity to expand our relationship with Old Dominion and look forward welcoming their women's lacrosse program to the BIG EAST in 2019. I'd like to thank AAC Associate Commissioner Jim Siedliski and ASUN Associate Commissioner Mike Hagen for their professionalism and collaboration in the process."
Butler just completed its inaugural season of women's lacrosse in 2017, while Denver finished its first season as a BIG EAST affiliate with a run to the conference title game. Georgetown has six BIG EAST finals appearances to its credit, including its 2010 championship season. Villanova made its first conference postseason appearance in 2015, and Marquette has made noticeable strides despite still being a relatively young program. Old Dominion posted a 9-9 record in 2017 and earned the program's first NCAA berth in 2016 with a 16-4 overall mark.
2019 Women's Lacrosse Conference Lineups
American Athletic Conference