May 7, 2014

Purchase to Add Men's & Women's Lacrosse in '16

from press release

PURCHASE, N.Y. – The Purchase College athletic department is proud to announce that we will be offering men's lacrosse as an official NCAA Division III intercollegiate sport for 2015-16, said Athletic Director Chris Bisignano today.

The addition of men's lacrosse will boost the ever-growing department to 17 varsity sports in two years and it also complements the recently added women's lacrosse team, which just completed its second full season – one that was filled with several highlights, most notably the program's first victory, its first conference win and two all-conference distinctions for the team's top two players.

Adding men's lacrosse to a program that now includes women's lacrosse will not only enable Purchase to recruit quality student-athletes from the region and nationally, but it will also allow the department to continue to build on its recent success, Bisignano said.

At the heart of that expected success will be the program's new leadership. A national search for the first-ever head coach for the new varsity program will begin immediately.

"We are very excited to be able to add varsity men's lacrosse to our offerings here at Purchase," Bisignano said. "Lacrosse has a long history here at Purchase, five years as a club team, and we are happy to now elevate it to the next level."

The past decade has brought a lacrosse boom to the Westchester area and Bisignano is thrilled to be able to offer a varsity program that will attract prospective students.

"It is the next step for our department to take," added Bisignano. "We just completed the addition of a second turf field, which provides us with ample facility space."

The Skyline Conference currently has four men's lacrosse teams and three associate members from the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). The Skyline welcomes Purchase's new lacrosse team and hopes other conference schools will add men's lax to their programs in the near future.

"We feel like we can be competitive fairly quickly, especially given the surrounding area and its love of lacrosse," Bisignano said. "We look forward to establishing something very special with this new addition. The Skyline has a rich history of lacrosse and we look forward to competing and becoming part of that tradition."

The Panthers are an NCAA DIII member institution, competing in the Skyline, with 16 intercollegiate sports, including baseball, softball, men's golf, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's swim, men's and women's volleyball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's soccer and women's lacrosse.

Men's lacrosse is now set to become No. 17 on that list. The search committee will begin the process of hiring a new head men's coach immediately to give the respective new staff adequate time to recruit students for the inaugural season in 2015-16.

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