NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) President James F. Birge and Director of Athletics Laura Mooney announce the addition of men's lacrosse to its varsity lineup with competition slated to begin during the 2019-20 academic year. This new program will bring the total number of varsity sports at MCLA to 14, divided evenly among programs for men and women.
Birge said that men's lacrosse is the perfect next addition to MCLA's growing Athletics program.
"Across the country, this fascinating sport – which combines the best qualities of hockey, basketball, and soccer – continues to increase in popularity among athletes and fans alike, and the Berkshires are no exception. The addition of men's lacrosse to MCLA's Athletics program no doubt will be a draw to a number of prospective students," Birge said.
Lacrosse continues to be one of the fastest growing sports in New England at both the high school and collegiate levels. According to U.S. Lacrosse, participation in organized lacrosse has tripled within the United State in the past 15 years. Over the last 20 years, there has been an increase of more than 100 programs, nationwide, in Division III alone.
"The Athletics Department is very excited about the addition of men's lacrosse," Mooney said. "We offer women's lacrosse and, based on the current trends and growth of the sport, offering it on the men's side is logical. This addition will allow us to continue to attract talented student athletes who will positively represent MCLA though athletic competition, while receiving a quality education."
MCLA has not announced a conference affiliation for men's lacrosse. The Trailblazers belong to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletics Conference (MASCAC); however, the MASCAC does not currently offer men's lacrosse. The Trailblazers also are affiliate members of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC), which does sponsor men's lacrosse.
A national search is underway as MCLA seeks a full-time, head coach, who would begin duties in August, when the recruitment process for student athletes will commence.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.
For more information, go to www.mcla.edu.