MAC to Sponsor Women’s Lacrosse in 2020-21
The Mid-American Conference announced Wednesday that it will sponsor women’s lacrosse beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
Central Michigan will be one of five programs competing in the MAC in 2020-21, joining Kent State and Akron as well as new affiliate members Youngstown State and the University of Detroit-Mercy. Eastern Michigan is set to join in 2021-22.
“I am pleased our membership is adding the sport of women’s lacrosse to our offering of championships. Additionally, I want to welcome Detroit Mercy and Youngstown State as affiliate members,” MAC commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher said in a release. “This is truly a historic day as women’s lacrosse has been a topic of conversation among our membership.”
Established in 2016, CMU’s lacrosse program previously competed in the Atlantic Sun and Southern conferences.
“We are excited that lacrosse has officially been added as a Mid-American Conference sponsored sport and we appreciate commissioner Steinbrecher’s leadership and vision throughout this process,” CMU athletic director Michael Alford said in a statement. “This move represents an opportunity for all Central Michigan sports to exist under the MAC umbrella and to expand the ability to showcase our program and the sport of lacrosse throughout the Midwest. We would like to thank the Atlantic Sun and Southern Conference for supporting CMU lacrosse in our efforts to establish and grow our program through its first five years of existence.”
Under the direction of now fifth-year head coach Sara Tisdale, the Chippewas went 11-7 in 2018 and captured their first regular-season conference championship, winning the Southern Conference.
“We are grateful that the MAC and commissioner Steinbrecher had this vision all along and made the decision to do this when the timing was right,” Tisdale said. “The sport of lacrosse has grown so much in the Midwest, so I believe that 2021 is the year for us to make that jump and join all of our other sports here at Central Michigan in the MAC. This will make the rivalries really exciting; they’re familiar opponents. For us to be in the MAC and be on the same page as the rest of our sports, it makes it almost like one brand, one Central Michigan, and we are excited to be a part of that brand.”
CMU is set to open its 2020 season at Notre Dame on Sunday, Feb. 16.