Aug. 8, 2003
CAPE COD, MA - Commissioner Phil Buttafuoco announced the addition of Hobart College, Loyola College (Md.) and St. John's University as members of the ECAC Lacrosse League beginning with the 2005 season. These three members will join Georgetown University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Pennsylvania State University and Rutgers University.
"We are thrilled to add three strong institutions to our lacrosse league," said Buttafuoco. "We are proud of our league and how it enhances the experience of each student-athlete by recognizing their achievements on and off the field. We believe our league is one of the strongest in the nation and we look forward to adding these prestigious programs in 2005."
Hobart, an associate member of the Patriot League since 2000, finished third in 2003 with a 5-8 overall record and 4-2 league mark. In four seasons, Hobart posted a 19-5 conference record (.792), won two league titles (2000, 2002), and had 23 players earn all-league honors.
Prior to elevating its program to Division I in 1995, Hobart captured 12 consecutive and 13 overall Division III Championships (1980-91 and 1993), as well as Division II titles in 1976 and 1977. Hobart is coached by Matt Kerwick who will begin his third season at the helm. A 1990 graduate of Hobart, Kerwick earned four national titles as a player.
Loyola, a Division I independent, finished with a 7-6 overall mark in 2003. Head Coach Bill Dirrigl will begin his third season after having coached at Rutgers University in 2001.
The Greyhounds have 14 NCAA Division I tournament appearances from 1988-2001. They were the NCAA Runner-up in 1990 and earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament in both 1998 and 1999. Loyola has had at least one player named an all-America for 20 consecutive years.
St. John's added men's lacrosse to its intercollegiate program in December 2002. In early July, the Red Storm introduced Rick Sowell as their first head coach of the program. Sowell came to St. John's after stints at two of the top programs in collegiate lacrosse, serving as an assistant at Georgetown, and most recently as the head coach at Dartmouth College. He will take over a Red Storm program that will begin competing on the Division I level in Spring 2005.
This past season, four teams from the ECAC Lacrosse League were selected into the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship. In the newly expanded 16-team field, there were six automatic bids handed out which included Georgetown from the ECAC. There were 10 at-large bids which included Massachusetts, Rutgers and Penn State.
Under current NCAA legislation, six teams have to play together for two consecutive seasons for an automatic qualifier into the NCAA Championship. The ECAC Lacrosse League will be eligible for the bid in 2007.
The ECAC Lacrosse League will play its fifth season in 2004. Georgetown captured the league titles in 2000, shared it with Massachusetts in 2001, and earned it for the third time in 2003. Massachusetts earned a perfect 5-0 tally in league play earning the title in 2002.