Big Ten women’s lacrosse will feature teams that have won 23 national championships and 19 of the 32 NCAA championships, including eight of the last nine. Maryland has won 11 national championships, with 10 NCAA crowns, including seven straight from 1995 to 2001 and most recently in 2010. Northwestern has claimed seven NCAA titles, highlighted by five consecutive from 2005 to 2009 and most recently in 2012. Penn State has earned five national championships, including NCAA titles in 1987 and 1989. The Terrapins, Wildcats and Nittany Lions earned berths in the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship this season. Penn State advanced to the quarterfinals, Northwestern reached the national semifinals and Maryland was edged in triple overtime in the national championship game.
“To be a part of a conference from the ground up is exciting for our program and we are anxious to put our thumbprint on Big Ten lacrosse,” said Maryland women’s head coach Cathy Reese. “It is going to be a highly competitive league and with former Terps coaching at five of the six institutions, I believe there is a lot to be excited about as we make this transition in 2014-15 and begin a new chapter in the rich history of Maryland women’s lacrosse.”
With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers in 2014, the broad-based athletic programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will sponsor nearly 350 teams in 42 different sports with almost 9,500 student-athletes, more than any other conference. The Big Ten currently features 25 official conference sports, 12 for men and 13 for women, but is set to add men’s ice hockey as the 26th conference sport in the fall. Men’s and women’s lacrosse will become the conference’s 27th and 28th official sports in 2014-15.