(New Haven, CT) – Albertus Magnus College announced a major renovation to the College’s outdoor athletic field, the addition of a turf playing surface at the New Haven, Connecticut campus. The upgrades will occur during the summer of 2011. The renovated field will remain home to Albertus’ highly successful men’s and women’s soccer programs, and the College will also sponsor men’s and women’s lacrosse as their 13th and 14th varsity sports.
“This is a very exciting step for Albertus Magnus College and our Athletic Department. The addition of a turf field and lacrosse represents a new era for Albertus Athletics. Our student-athletes will have the opportunity to compete on a world class facility, our programming options for our community will grow exponentially, and men’s and women’s lacrosse represent new and exciting spring sports to be enjoyed by our supporters. This decision gives our programs the opportunity to compete at a higher level,” said President Julia M. McNamara.
Lacrosse is a field sport that is known as the oldest sport played in North America, having been invented by Native Americans during the 1600’s and regarded as the fastest growing sport in the United States. In Connecticut, there are more than 150 high school varsity programs for boys and girls, with dozens of schools fielding club programs. The College’s prime New Haven location will attract lacrosse players from across New York and New England.
“I’m thrilled with the addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse at Albertus Magnus College,” said Director of Athletics Michael Spinner. “I believe that we have the campus, location and support to successfully field both teams competitively. Looking at the way boys’ and girls’ lacrosse have grown among the schools from which we typically attract students, I think we will generate significant interest from our traditional recruiting areas.” Spinner is a former All-American lacrosse goalie, who played lacrosse collegiately at Pace University, and served as a men’s and women’s lacrosse coach at the high school and college levels for the last 12 years.
Both lacrosse programs will compete as club teams during the 2011-2012 academic year, with the plan for both programs to ascend to varsity status one year later, and compete in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, of which Albertus Magnus is a member for all sports.
Spinner was quick to point out that the addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse is the latest in a series of exciting developments for the Albertus Magnus Athletic Department.
“There is great momentum for athletics at Albertus Magnus College. Last year, our men’s basketball team won the GNAC Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This year, our men’s soccer team advanced to the GNAC Championship Game, and was one goal away from the NCAA Tournament. Our teams overall are either in the hunt for a GNAC Championship or taking major steps towards that end, and I think the College is doing a lot of great things to enhance the athletic program. What will not change is our commitment to the philosophy that student-athletes are student’s first. Athletics are an integral part of their Albertus experience.”
A search for Head Coaches of the Albertus Magnus College Men's and Women's Lacrosse programs will begin immediately.