June 12, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- With the new era of Big Ten Men's and Women's Lacrosse on the horizon, the league office announced today (Thursday) postseason championship dates, host sites and tournament formats for the first two years of the newly formed conferences.
Next spring, Rutgers -- which along with Maryland will officially become a member of the Big Ten Conference on July 1 -- has the privilege of hosting the first-ever Big Ten Women's Lacrosse Tournament, April 30-May 3, 2015, in Piscataway, N.J.
In year two of Big Ten Women's Lacrosse, the conference tournament will come west to Evanston when Northwestern University hosts the 2016 Big Ten Women's Lacrosse Championship (May 5-8). It will mark the second time in three years that Kelly Amonte Hiller's Wildcats will battle for a league title on their home turf, having also hosted the final American Lacrosse Conference Championship last month at Lakeside Field.
All six Big Ten women's lacrosse programs -- Northwestern, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers -- will compete in the annual conference tournament. Two quarterfinal matches will be played on Thursday, with the first-round winners advancing to meet one of the top two seeds in Friday's semifinals. The league championship game will then be held on Sunday.
With the addition of Maryland's 2014 NCAA title, future members of the Big Ten Women's Lacrosse have combined to win nine of the last 10 national championships dating to 2005, with Northwestern claiming seven and Maryland two.
On the men's side, Maryland (2015) and affiliate member for men's lacrosse Johns Hopkins (2016) will host the first two Big Ten Men's Lacrosse Championships, which will consist only of the top four of six league programs.
Last summer's announcement of the forming of a Big Ten Men's and Women's Lacrosse Conference brought the Big Ten's list of officially sponsored league sports to 28. It also marked the first women's sport to be added to the league's portfolio since women's rowing in 1999-2000.
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