EDISON, N.J. - The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference will add field hockey as an associate sport sponsored by the conference, with league play beginning in the 2013-14 academic year.
The membership plan is to provide seven teams for the 2013 and 2014 seasons, and eight teams when Fairfield commences league play in the 2015-16 academic year.
"We are very pleased that our field hockey program will also be a member of the MAAC starting in the 2013-14 season," said director of athletics and recreation Jack McDonald. "We look forward to many excellent seasons of competition, sportsmanship and friendship."
In addition to Quinnipiac, MAAC institutions Monmouth University, Rider University and Siena College and associate members Bryant University, Robert Morris University and Sacred Heart will begin play this fall. Fairfield University will join the league starting in the 2015-16 academic year, making field hockey the 25th sport within the conference.
"The MAAC is excited about sponsoring field hockey as an associate league sport as membership expansion provides added branding opportunities for the conference," notes Richard J. Ensor, Commissioner of the MAAC. "As the MAAC athletic administrators reviewed the needs of the member institutions, it became apparent that having a core of five schools sponsoring the sport made the addition of field hockey to the MAAC Strategic Plan an obvious next step for the conference to meet the expectations of the student-athletes for a consistent championship experience."
2012 presented a 12-7 campaign for the Bobcats that included a 5-2 record in Northeast Conference play, which clinched a conference tournament berth for the fifth straight season and seventh time in eight years. Main's 2012 squad also featured four All-Northeast Conference players including Amanda Danziger (Smithtown, N.Y.) and leading scorer Jess Rusin (Garwood, N.J.), both returning for their senior seasons.
"There is an excitement surrounding the move to the MAAC within our team and staff and it is nice knowing we will be in the same conference as the majority of our university," said Quinnipiac field hockey head coach Becca Main. "The opportunities that this new conference will bring to our program are limitless and we are excited to help the MAAC grow the sport of field hockey at the collegiate level. With the leadership of our three captains - Jennalise Taylor, Christa Romano and Jess Rusin - and the return of our eight seniors we are really looking to make a run for the first-ever MAAC Field Hockey Conference title."