Elon, NC – Elon University’s Board of Trustees has approved the addition of women’s lacrosse as a varsity sport with competition to begin in the 2013-14 academic year.
“Women’s lacrosse is growing at an incredible pace and we are excited to add this opportunity for Elon student-athletes,” said Dave Blank, director of athletics. “Women’s lacrosse is becoming increasingly popular at all intercollegiate levels and we feel the sport is a strong fit for our athletic program.”
The women’s lacrosse program will be the 17th varsity sport and 10th women’s athletic program at Elon. A national search will begin immediately to identify a head coach, and the 2012-13 season will be utilized for recruiting, scheduling and player development. The average women’s lacrosse roster is made up of 28 individuals.
“Among the themes of the Elon Commitment strategic plan is a goal for the university to set conference standards in academics and gender equity,” Blank said. “The addition of women’s lacrosse is a key step toward achieving that goal, providing additional opportunities for female student-athletes to compete at the NCAA Division I level.”
NCAA Division I lacrosse currently features more than 90 women’s lacrosse programs and the sport boasts the top graduation success rates (GSR) among all NCAA Division I sports. According to NCAA figures released last May, women’s lacrosse posted a four-year class average GSR of 94 percent, which topped all 18 NCAA-sanctioned sports.
Elon becomes the sixth school in the state of North Carolina with a varsity program. In the Southern Conference, Furman recently announced the addition of women’s lacrosse to begin competition in 2014-15. Davidson began lacrosse in 1994 and currently competes in the National Lacrosse Conference.
Women’s lacrosse has been offered as a club sport at Elon since 2001. Seventy-two high schools in North Carolina now offer girls lacrosse. The five states with the highest number of high school lacrosse athletes are currently New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Maryland, which are all in the top 10 states represented in Elon’s Class of 2015.
This is the first addition of a varsity sport at Elon since the 2000-01 academic year, when women’s indoor and outdoor track and field began competition.