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Archive for February 5, 2019

Feb. 5, 2019 — Expansion in women’s lacrosse is never simple

It was 13 years ago when we wrote this.

Had we written this text for women’s lacrosse, we’d have been right about a couple of these, but the campuses that now have the game — everything from Shepard University in West Virginia to Hampton University in Norfolk, from Millsaps College in Mississippi to the nascent men’s varsity program at the University of Utah — are spreading, albeit unpredictably.

That being said, we’re going to try to take a whack at what we think the next 10 top universities to adopt varsity women’s lacrosse will be:

  1. Wake Forest — Would be an instant contender in the nation’s finest women’s lacrosse conference, plus an instant rival to Duke and UNC.
  2. Michigan State — With the quality of student-athlete now populating Michigan’s campus, I would think adding a women’s sport in East Lansing will go some way in creating a new history for the beleaguered athletic department.
  3. Illinois — Given the expansion of the sport in Illinois the last decade amongst the prep ranks, I’m befuddled that there isn’t a concerted effort to start a team in Urbana-Champaign to rival that of Northwestern.
  4. Tennessee — A school which is the gateway to the Deep South, and one which has always had a strong women’s athletics program.
  5. Georgia — Ditto.
  6. Providence — Given the sport’s reach in the Northeast U.S., it’s befuddling that this Big East school had not had the sport at the varsity level
  7. St. John’s — Ditto.
  8. Arizona — A team which could easily be brought into the Pac-12 to be a rival to Arizona State
  9. Florida State — Given the growth of the sport in the Sunshine State as well as the enormous money being plowed into the school’s athletic department, there’s no reason not to add this ACC school to the lineup.
  10. Miami — Ditto.

Now, I recognize that most of these picks are going to add to already-established conferences instead of a pick like, say, Boise State. But I think these 10 schools would solidify the presence of the sport not only in their conference, but in the location where the school sits.

If only that could happen in California in the next few years, we’d truly have a coast-to-coast game.