NEC Won't Sponsor Men's Lacrosse in 2023; MAAC Absorbs Three Teams

Saint Joseph's won its first Northeast Conference championship Saturday.

The Northeast Conference will not sponsor men’s lacrosse in 2022-23, commissioner Noreen Morris said in a statement released on social media Monday. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, meanwhile, announced it would absorb LIU, Sacred Heart and Wagner as affiliate members for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

Morris cited the Atlantic 10’s impending addition of men’s lacrosse, which would remove conference champion Saint Joseph’s and reportedly Hobart from its membership after Bryant (America East) and Mount St. Mary’s (MAAC) also realigned. The A-10 has not yet formally announced the addition of men’s lacrosse as a sponsored sport, a move first reported by USA Lacrosse Magazine contributor Jeremy Fallis in February.

“Ongoing conference realignment coupled with the Atlantic 10’s decision to sponsor the sport of men’s lacrosse has created a challenging dynamic for the Northeast Conference men’s lacrosse membership,” Morris stated. “We are disappointed that the NEC will not sponsor the sport in 2022-23, but we are committed to bringing men’s lacrosse back under the NEC umbrella in the near future.”

Seven of eight NEC teams already have found new homes. Morris indicated in her statement that the eighth team, Merrimack, is also in discussions with “other [Division I] regional leagues.”

The MAAC, which also added VMI as an associate member, will have 10 teams in 2023 and 2024, making it the largest men’s lacrosse conference in the country.

“In this period of significant conference realignment, the MAAC aims to provide a transition process for regional lacrosse programs that need temporary league affiliation,” commissioner Rich Ensor said.

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