photo courtesy of Denver Athletics
Announced Monday morning (May 3) Denver women’s lacrosse will join its male counterparts in the BIG EAST conference effective immediately in the 2017 season. The Pioneers become the tenth team alongside Butler, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown, Marquette, Temple, Vanderbilt, and Villanova competing in the BIG EAST.
Denver’s transition east, marks the departure from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation after 13 years. During that time, the Pioneers won the conference title six times (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014). In every season with the MPSF, the Pioneers have made an appearance in the conference tournament.
Joining the BIG EAST conference further establishes Denver’s western dominant presence in the sport.
“We are very excited to have a second team join a conference with such a rich tradition of excellence,” Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes said in the program’s press release. “We look forward to hosting these teams in the Lacrosse Capital of the West. As I said when the men joined three years ago, the academic reputations of the institutions in the BIG EAST are consistent with the standards that we hold our own student-athletes to. It’s an honor to have both the men’s and women’s lacrosse programs in this elite conference.”
Against current members of the BIG EAST conference, Denver maintains a 7-6 record under Head Coach Liza Kelly who has guided the Pioneers for ten seasons.
“Being welcomed into a highly competitive 10-team conference speaks to the hard work of our past Pioneers,” Coach Kelly said. “The BIG EAST will give us the chance to boost our schedule and complete against universities that focus on the overall experience of the student-athlete.”