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Every New College Lacrosse Program Starting In 2018

These schools are officially all lacrosse schools.

World Games 2017 Day 8 Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images

“Grow the game” is one of the most used lacrosse phrases around the lacrosse community over the past few years. But it’s used a lot because, well, the game is actually growing.

This year, institutions from Division I all the way down to the NAIA levels are getting set to begin a new era with the addition of at least one lacrosse team to their list of sports teams. Let’s see who’ll we’ll be welcoming this year (h/t The Growth Blog).

2018 New College Lacrosse Programs

School Name State Gender League/Division
School Name State Gender League/Division
Anderson University Indiana Men's and Women's NCAA Division III
Arizona State University Arizona Women's NCAA Division I
Averett University Virginia Men's and Women's NCAA Division III
Brenau University Georgia Women's NAIA
Central Christian College Kansas Men's NAIA
Chatham University Pennsylvania Men's and Women's NCAA Division III
College of Idaho Idaho Men's NAIA
Columbia College Missouri Men's NAIA
Earlham College Indiana Men's and Women's NCAA Division III
East Carolina University North Carolina Women's NCAA Division I
Embry-Riddle University Florida Men's and Women's NCAA Division II
Felician University New Jersey Men's NCAA Division II
Grove City College Pennsylvania Men's NCAA Division III
Juniata College Pennsylvania Women's NCAA Division III
Marian University Wisconsin Men's NCAA Division III
Mars Hill University North Carolina Women's NCAA Division II
Mercer County Community College New Jersey Men's NJCAA
Newberry College South Carolina Men's NCAA Division II
Palm Beach Atlantic University Florida Men's and Women's NCAA Division II
Southern Wesleyan University South Carolina Women's NCAA Division II
St. Ambrose University Iowa Women's NAIA
Union College Kentucky Men's NAIA
University of Hartford Connecticut Women's NCAA Division I
University of Montevallo Alabama Men's NCAA Division II
William Peace University North Carolina Men's and Women's NCAA Division III
Wilmington University Delaware Men's NCAA Division II
Wofford College South Carolina Women's NCAA Division I
h/t The Growth Blog

Here are some interesting stats I found:

  • 18 of the 27 schools fielding programs are starting men’s teams, with 11 of those 16 solely starting men’s teams.
  • 16 of the 27 schools fielding programs are starting women’s teams, with nine of those 16 solely starting women’s teams.
  • Seven schools are fielding both men’s and women’s teams.
  • Divisions II and III have eight new programs each in 2018. Six are from the NAIA, four in Division I (all women), and one in the NJCAA (JuCo level).
  • In the next two years, four Division I schools will start lacrosse programs. Two are men’s teams (St. Bonaventure and Utah), and two are women’s teams (Akron and Kent State).
  • This year in Division I, there will be 71 men’s teams (no change from last year) and 115 women’s teams (St. Mary’s reclassified to club level this year). Division II will have 72 men’s teams and 110 women’s teams. Division III will have 241 men’s teams and 288 women’s teams.
  • In total, there are 384 total men’s NCAA teams and 513 total women’s NCAA teams.

Another year that brings a little over 25 new schools to college lacrosse, which is good. The smaller schools are growing rapidly, and there’s some that have desired to start programs, but have had to put their plans on hold (Quincy University in Division II).

As for men’s Division I, it’s the first year since 2008 that no teams were added. It’s the first time since 2012 that the number of teams has stayed the same (Michigan added the sport, Presbyterian dropped it). There’s two more teams coming soon, with St. Bonaventure and Utah being the lucky schools.

Having Utah adding the sport could possibly lead to bigger things for the sport if the team becomes successful. Fundraising will be a big part for starting new teams, especially with FBS schools. UConn could possibly be one of the next schools to follow suit.