Richard Stockton College will be expanding its athletics offerings with the addition of women’s lacrosse as an intercollegiate sport. Women’s lacrosse will become the 18th varsity sport overall and 11th women’s sport for Stockton Athletics. The timeline for implementing the Osprey women’s lacrosse program includes the hiring of a full-time head coach this fall and the beginning of intercollegiate competition in Spring 2014.
The Stockton women’s lacrosse team will join the New Jersey Athletic Conference, becoming the seventh NJAC institution to offer the sport. The seven-team conference will meet the NCAA minimum number of members required to give the NJAC champion an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament beginning in 2014.
By adding women’s lacrosse, Stockton is joining a nationwide surge in the popularity of the sport. Lacrosse is the fastest-growing sport in America for high school girls according to U.S. Lacrosse, which reports that the number of schools sponsoring teams increased 48.2 percent between 2006 and 2011. NCAA statistics show the number of Division III institutions that offer women’s lacrosse escalating from 169 in 2006-07 to 216 this year.