The sport of lacrosse is growing rapidly at the high school level in the midwest and that growth is reflected at the collegiate level in Iowa. Four Iowa schools have added the sport in the past year, including Cornell College which will offer men’s and women’s lacrosse beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year.
Cornell College athletic director John Cochrane says the decisions was based on their mission and goal for growth and how athletics could help in that goal. He says lacrosse is becoming more popular in some of the larger markets in the midwest that Cornell draws students from, and it became a natural to add the sport.
“We’re certainly hopeful that we can capitalize on that,” Cochrane says. He says they are putting turf on the football field and that will give the lacrosse program a viable field to play on.
Cochrane believes lacrosse will be the next sport added by the Midwest Conference and that will allow the new program to compete for a championship. He says the presidents have met a couple of times in the last year and discussed the issue as the majority of the schools are looking to add lacrosse over the next two to five years.
Loras and the University of Dubuque are adding men’s and women’s varsity lacrosse while Wartburg is adding women’s lacrosse.