The Northeast Conference, which is the main sponsor of sports like basketball, baseball and Championship Sub-Division football, has announced it will sponsor six of its schools in lacrosse starting in 2010. The schools will be Mount St. Mary’s, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, Wagner and Bryant. Wagner and Mt. St Mary’s will be leaving the MAAC conference. Quinnipiac leaves the GWLL, Robert Morris the CAA with Sacred Heart, and Bryant is coming from Division II.
The MAAC is notorious for having crappy teams, their representitive in the NCAA Tournament was Canisius, who lost to Syracuse 20-3 in the first round. They will still have seven teams in the conference after MSM and Wagner leave. The CAA is also fairly bad, they had Hofstra as an AQ this year who lost to Hopkins in the first round. They can be competitive though, Towson and Delaware have each been to the Final Four in recent years, and they have the ability to beat the big programs. There will be five teams left in the new CAA. Quinnipiac leaving the GWLL leaves the league with five teams for now, but Detroit-Mercy will probably take their place. With three teams in this years NCAA tournament, the GWLL is seen as a good conference, but its mostly because of Notre Dame and Ohio State.
The NEC lacrosse conference will just be another AQ taking away a better option for an at large bid. If they were in existence now, I would imagine that Denver or Navy would not have been in the tournament this year, but Mount Saint Mary’s would have. I think they are the best candidate for an AQ when the NEC gets one. Bryant has a good chance to have a good program with Mike Pressler as a coach. And maybe Wagner can win a few games now!