University of Detroit Mercy women’s lacrosse program is set to join the Mid-American Conference next school year in 2020-21, it was announced by the Cleveland-based league office Wednesday morning. The Titans join their fourth conference in the 12-year history of women’s lacrosse at the University.
“We are extremely grateful for our current and past conference affiliations in women’s lacrosse,” Detroit Mercy Director of Athletics Robert C. Vowels, Jr. said. “However, we could not pass up an opportunity to join the Mid-American Conference. We are excited about becoming a member of the Mid-American Conference in the sport of women’s lacrosse. The factors that made the move attractive are partnering with a conference that continues to look to the future and invest in women’s sports, geographic location of conference members, academic similarities and continuing to grow the sport of women’s lacrosse in this region of the country.”
“I am pleased our membership is adding the sport of women’s lacrosse to our offering of championships. Additionally, I want to welcome Detroit Mercy and Youngstown State as affiliate members,” said MAC Commissioner, Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, in a press release. “This is truly a historic day as women’s lacrosse has been a topic of conversation among our membership.”
Detroit Mercy is joined in the MAC by Akron, Central Michigan, Kent State and another affiliate member in Youngstown State for the 2020-21 school year with MAC member Eastern Michigan adding women’s lacrosse and competing the following academic year in 2021-22.
The Titans have been in the same conference as the rival Chippewas throughout their entire history (first in the ASUN Conference and then as members of the Southern Conference) and are joined by another Horizon League school in the Penguins as an affiliate member. Kent State is entering its second year as a program in 2019, Akron is set to debut in 2020, while Youngstown State will follow with its first season in 2021. Eastern Michigan will then join the other five teams for the 2022 campaign.
The Titans, the first Division I program in the state of Michigan, are currently entering their third season as members of the Southern Conference (2018-20) having earned two-straight co-regular season championships in the league. Detroit Mercy has also been part of the ASUN Conference (2013-17) as well as the National Lacrosse Conference (2009-12) in its history. Detroit Mercy’s first season as a women’s lacrosse program was in 2008-09, when the University competed in both men’s and women’s lacrosse for the first time.
“We are very excited to be joining the Mid-American Conference,” Titan women’s lacrosse head coach Megan Callahan ’13 said. “It will enhance our student-athlete’s experience with it being such a good and known conference and centralized to our location, so it will help with travel and academics. I do want to thank the administration at the Mid-American Conference and here at Detroit Mercy for pushing this and allowing us to be a part of the next big thing in Midwest lacrosse.”
The red, white and blue are coming off consecutive 4-1 marks in Southern Conference play to share two-straight regular-season crowns in the league. Detroit Mercy reached four-straight championship games (2013-16) as members of the ASUN Conference and in the past five seasons, have three 10-win campaigns, 46 total wins and a school-record 12 victories in 2016. The Titans swept the postseason awards during the first season of Southern Conference women’s lacrosse in 2018, earning Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year honors.