Women’s lacrosse will be added to USC’s athletic program in the 2012-13 season, Trojan athletic director Pat Haden announced.
It will become the 21st NCAA sport sponsored by USC and the12th women’s sport. Last year, USC announced the addition of women’s sand volleyball, to begin play in the spring of 2012.
“We are ‘all in’ for women’s lacrosse,” Haden said. “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,” he added. “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 Women of Troy’s games will be played at McAlister Field and in the Los Angeles Memorial 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 teams represent Stanford University (winner of this year’s federation tournament), the University of Denver, this year’s regular-season champion, as well as Oregon University, the University of California Davis, St. Mary’s and Fresno State.
“When I was hired in August, I said one of my goals was to build upon our successful women’s athletic program,” Haden said. “I’m excited that the addition of lacrosse will provide more opportunities for female athletes at USC.”
The Trojans currently field a club women’s lacrosse team under the direction of the USC Recreational Sports office.