November 18, 2010

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The pressure's on, as Texas forwards make life difficult for the USC defense trying to clear from its end of the field. Texas defeated USC, 20-13, at the Santa Barbara Shootout. © Dirk Dewachter
The pressure's on, as Texas forwards make life difficult for the USC defense trying to clear from its end of the field. Texas defeated USC, 20-13, at the Santa Barbara Shootout. © Dirk Dewachter

USC Adds Women's Lacrosse for 2012-13

from staff reports

USC, currently a member of the WDIA club system, will go varsity in women's lacrosse in time for the 2013 season.

© Dirk Dewachter

The University of Southern California has added women's lacrosse to its powerful lineup of NCAA Division I sports.

USC announced Thursday that lacrosse will become the 21st sport and 12th women's sport sponsored by the university, confirming an earlier report by Lacrosse Magazine Online. The news that USC was considering adding lacrosse first broke on the athletic department's Twitter page in October, which quoted athletic director Pat Haden.

"We are all in for women's lacrosse," Haden said in a formal announcement Thursday. "USC president Max Nikias was fervently behind the addition of this wonderful and exciting sport, which has made drastic inroads lately on the West Coast. We are adding women's lacrosse with the intention that USC will compete for a national championship.

"Everything is in place for us to be able to do so. We have the commitment and support from all levels of the university. We will fully fund the program and provide the maximum number of scholarships allowed by the NCAA. We will hire an outstanding coaching staff and recruit student-athletes who will represent USC well both on the field and in the classroom, and in fact we already are well into the process of identifying potential coaches and top players. We will schedule teams from both coasts and will not shy away from competition. We can't wait to get the women's lacrosse program going at USC."

Said Nikias: "Lacrosse is the quintessential North American sport, the oldest of its kind on the continent, going back centuries to its native origins. It also is a wonderful source of spirit and competition within contemporary intercollegiate athletics. I'm pleased that USC is now able to add women's lacrosse to an already-unsurpassed athletic heritage."

The Trojans will play at McAlister Field and in the historic Los Angeles Coliseum.

USC has begun a national search for a head coach, with the intention of making the hire this spring.

The team will compete as part of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, becoming the seventh women's lacrosse team in the conference. The other MPSF teams are Stanford (winner of the 2010 MPSF tournament) and 2010 MPSF regular season champion Denver, plus Oregon, UC Davis, St. Mary's and Fresno State. Current MPSF member California-Berkeley has announced that it will discontinue its women's lacrosse program after the 2011 season.

"When I was hired in August, I said one of my goals was to build upon our successful women's athletic program," said Haden. "I'm excited that the addition of lacrosse will provide more opportunities for female athletes at USC."

USC currently fields a club women's lacrosse team, under the direction of the USC Recreational Sports office and as a member of the US Lacrosse Women's Division Intercollegiate Associates (WDIA).


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