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Archive for October 1, 2018

Oct. 1, 2018 — Is women’s lacrosse in the American West about to feed upon itself?

Last spring was the first season for the Pac 12 in women’s lacrosse. There were only six teams competing, mind you, but that didn’t stop the conference from competing in a postseason championship with an Automatic Qualifier bid at stake.

The problem is that the rest of the teams in the old Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) clattered all over the place like an overenthusiastic break at the start of a game of billiards.

Denver University joined the Big East as an affiliate member. Saint Mary’s became a club lacrosse program. Only three MPSF teams remained in operation, and the squads — Fresno State, San Diego State, and the University of California, Davis all finished between 47th and 88th for their Ratings Percentage Index; all far, far out of consideration for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

And now there’s a report from The Fresno Bee that head coach Jessica Giglio and the program are under investigation for having an abusive culture.

This site is not even going to hint at the guilt or innocence of the coaching staff; we saw situations when coaches have been fired, and coaches who have been completely exonerated, even in the last 12 months.

Instead, what should be focused on is the two-track development of organized collegiate women’s lacrosse. Right now, it’s the club lacrosse scene in the western half of the United States that is absolutely blooming. From the University of Washington to the University of San Diego, from Utah State to Northern Arizona, the pay-to-play club sides vastly outnumber their fully-funded varsity sisters west of the Mississippi.

It always seems as though whenever momentum to bring more varsity programs to the region is on the upsweep, the cause takes a step back. I’ll refer you to one paragraph in the linked Fresno Bee story:

The MPSF, according to a conference spokesman, is committed to holding a conference tournament in 2019 at UC Davis and in 2020 at Fresno State, but has made “no decisions” regarding women’s lacrosse beyond that.

I don’t like the sound of that.

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