Ivy League Cancels Spring Sports, Including Lacrosse, Due to COVID-19


Princeton's Michael Sowers, a returning Tewaaraton Award finalist, was on pace to set the NCAA's single-season scoring record.

With further developments in the outbreak of COVID-19, the Ivy League has canceled all athletic events for the remainder of the spring — a decision with massive repercussions for college lacrosse.

[Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates Related to Lacrosse]

Several Ivy League institutions recently announced that they were clearing campuses of students and moving to remote learning as a precautionary measure in the wake of the new coronavirus, with more than 1,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. as of Wednesday.

“Given this situation, it is not feasible for practice and competition to continue,” the Ivy League Council of Presidents said in a joint statement issued Wednesday.

The 2020 season was shaping up to be a banner season for the Ivy League, especially in men’s lacrosse. Five teams are ranked in the Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Top 20, including three teams in the top five. No. 2 Princeton and No. 3 Cornell are both unbeaten.

No. 5 Yale is 3-1 and was a preseason favorite to reach championship weekend for the third straight season.

“I am devastated,” Yale coach Andy Shay said when reached for comment by US Lacrosse Magazine. “I just don’t want to talk about it.”

No. 20 Brown upset defending NCAA champion Virginia just three days ago in front of a packed house while unveiling its new Center for Lacrosse and Soccer at Stevenson-Pincince Field.

“Totally blindsided by the announcement,” Bears coach Mike Daly said in a text message. “Devastated for our team and especially our seniors.”

The Ivy League is also home to some of the top individual performers in college men’s lacrosse, including returning Tewaaraton Award finalists Michael Sowers (Princeton) and TD Ierlan (Yale), as well as consensus No. 1 NLL draft pick Jeff Teat (Cornell). All three players are seniors.

Dana O’Neil of The Athletic tweeted that the Ivy League likely will request a blanket waiver for an additional year of eligibility for all spring sports athletes.

Sowers was scoring at a record pace, averaging 9.4 points per game with 16 goals and 31 assists through just five games. Ierlan, who already owns most NCAA faceoff records, leads Division I in faceoff percentage (76.4). Teat, the country’s No. 13 scorer with 5.4 points per game, is coming off of a three-goal, three-assist performance in the Big Red’s win over previous No. 1 Penn State.

On the women’s side, No. 6 Dartmouth is undefeated (5-0). No. 17 Princeton (3-2) was a top-10 preseason team whose only losses are to No. 4 Stony Brook and No. 16 Virginia.

Dartmouth senior Katie Bourque ranks seventh in Division I with 4.2 goals per game (21 on the season). Princeton’s Kyla Sears, a junior, is seventh in points per game (9.8).

Then there is Penn, ranked No. 11 and featuring a Tewaaraton candidate of its own in senior Gabby Rosenzweig.

US Lacrosse Magazine will continue to report on this and other coronavirus-related cancelations as they develop.

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