June 26, 2014
The Vanderbilt lacrosse team has found a new conference home.
Beginning with the 2015 season, the Commodores will compete in the BIG EAST Conference. Vanderbilt and Florida will be new members of the BIG EAST, joining Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgetown, Marquette, Temple and Villanova.
“We are excited to announce our affiliate membership with the BIG EAST,” coach Cathy Swezey said. “It is a conference with great tradition and highly competitive lacrosse. We look forward to the new challenges we will face and to the new rivalries.”
Vanderbilt moves over from the American Lacrosse Conference, which dissolved in May after 13 years. Florida, the only other school in the Southeastern Conference to have women’s lacrosse, will be a familiar foe for the Commodores as the Gators spent the last five years in the ALC.
“We’re excited to welcome Florida and Vanderbilt as affiliate members of the BIG EAST Conference,” said Chris Schneider, BIG EAST Associate Commissioner for Olympic Sports. “Both programs have proven histories of success and will reinforce the strength and high level of play BIG EAST women’s lacrosse is known for.”
Marquette and Villanova will be new opponents for the Commodores. Vanderbilt is 3-0 against Cincinnati, 2-1 versus Connecticut, 2-4 against Florida, 0-6 against Georgetown and 0-1 versus Temple.
Both Florida and Georgetown made the NCAA Tournament last year. Florida won the ALC regular-season and tournament titles and reached the Elite Eight. Georgetown advanced to the second round.
Vanderbilt will begin its 20th season as a lacrosse program in 2015. Swezey has guided the Commodores for 17 of those years, accumulating 137 wins, two conference championships, six NCAA Tournament appearances and a trip to the 2004 NCAA Final Four.