The America East conference was initially established in 1979 as a men’s basketball-only conference. Since then, the conference has expanded to include 22 different sports, among them women’s lacrosse. Seven of the nine teams within the America East Conference participate in women’s lacrosse: Albany, Binghamton, Boston University, University of New Hampshire, Stony Brook, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Vermont. Each year, teams contend for a conference championship which was established in 1995. The tournament champion receives the America East Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
American Lacrosse Conference
The American Lacrosse Conference was established six years ago as a lacrosse-only conference that consists of five teams: Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, The Ohio State University, Penn State University, and Vanderbilt University. The respective conferences of these schools do not sponsor lacrosse, so in 2001 coaches from these institutions met to form the ALC conference. Beginning in 2007, the ALC will hold a conference tournament with all six teams participating. The champion of the tournament will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Atlantic 10 Conference
The Atlantic 10 Conference was initially established in 1975 as an eight school, men’s basketball-only affiliation. Since then, the conference has grown into a 14-university, 21-sport league; among them is women’s lacrosse. Eight of the fourteen universities field a women’s lacrosse team: Duquesne, George Washington, LaSalle, University of Massachusetts, Richmond, St. Joesphs, St. Bonaventure and Temple. Added as a championship sport in 1994, teams contend each year for a conference title and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Atlantic Coast Conference
The Atlantic Coast Conference was established in 1953 and was composed of seven charter members. Since 1953, the conference has grown to include 12 schools, with Boston College as the most recent addition in 2005. Currently, six of the twelve schools field a women’s lacrosse team: Boston College, Duke, Maryland, University of North Carolina, University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech. During the 2008 spring season, the University of Miami will become the seventh member of the ACC women’s lacrosse conference. While the ACC sponsors a women’s lacrosse championship each year, the conference does not receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Atlantic Sun Conference
For 35 years, the Atlantic Sun Conference has supported its member institutions in providing intercollegiate athletics programs committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets it mission by maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement, creating a balance between student and athlete. Adding an emphasis on sportsmanship in the competitive arena and fostering leadership opportunities through community service, the A-Sun, its member institutions and its student-athletes aim for an overall educational experience that is successful in Building Winners for Life.
The Big East Conference opened its doors in 1979, and has remained wide open ever since. 2006/2007 marks the conference’s second year as the country’s largest Division I-A conference, with sixteen teams under its umbrella. During the spring of 2001, the Big East added women’s lacrosse to its growing number of sports, which currently sits at 23. Louisville will play it’s inaugural season in 2008, making it seven of the sixteen teams within the conference that field women’s lacrosse teams. Only six play within the Big East conference, namely the University of Connecticut, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Syracuse, and now Louisville; Villanova plays out of conference. Loyola College is an associate member of the Big East women’s lacrosse conference after deactivating from the Colonial Athletic Conference in 2006. The 2007 season marked the first Conference tournament to determine the conference title and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Big South Conference
**Since its founding in 1983, the Big South Conference has matured into a competitive leader in college athletics, actively pursuing excellence on the field of play and in the classroom. The League’s growing presence as an NCAA Division I athletic conference is evident by athletic accomplishments on the national stage, innovative marketing and media partnerships, increased television packages, and quality athletic competition while intentionally fostering the academic, personal, social, athletic and leadership development of each student-athlete. This has evolved into the Conference’s mission of “Developing Leaders Through Athletics.” The 2012-13 academic year features the Big South’s largest membership (12) and sponsored sports (19) in its 29 years of existence.
Colonial Athletic Association
The Colonial Conference was established in 1985. Currently, eight of the twelve schools within the conference field women’s lacrosse teams, namely Delaware, Drexel, George Mason, Hofstra, James Madison, Old Dominion, Towson and William & Mary. Each year, teams contend for a conference championship and an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA tournament.
The Ivy League Conference was originally established in 1945 after the first “Ivy Group Agreement” was signed to affirm the observance of common practices within academic standards and eligibility requirements. It wasn’t until 1954 that the Ivy League was extended to all its sports, following the formation of the NCAA Division I athletic conference. The Ivy League is one of the few conferences in which all eight schools fund a women’s lacrosse team. These schools are Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Harvard, Brown, Yale, Columbia and UPenn. Each year, members of the Ivy League contend for a conference championship and the conference’s automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA tournament.
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
The Metro Atlantic Athelic Conference was established in 1980 by six charter schools and has since grown to include ten colleges. Currently, eight teams within the MAAC conference field women’s lacrosse teams, however Loyola College of Maryland currently competes in the Big East conference. Associate member LeMoyne also competes within the MAAC conference, for a total of seven teams: Canisius, Iona, LeMoyne, Manhattan, Marist, Niagara and Siena. The MAAC women’s lacrosse conference commenced in spring of 1997 and has sponsored a championship tournament since. While the MAAC is not granted an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, they are a potential “play-in” conference. Each year the NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse committee uses RPI statistics from the current season to determine which two conference champions will participate in a play-in game to advance to the NCAA tournament.