Release courtesy of Northeast Conference
Somerset, NJ - Field hockey will return to the Northeast Conference (NEC).
NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris announced that the Division I athletics league will re-instate field hockey as a championship sport for the 2019-20 academic year.
The NEC initially sponsored an annual field hockey championship from 1998 through 2012.
The Northeast Conference's field hockey sponsorship will resume with six members (4 core members, 2 associates) vying for the 2019 NEC championship.
Bryant, LIU Brooklyn, Sacred Heart, Wagner, Rider and Fairfield will compete under the NEC field hockey banner next fall with the NEC Tournament champion earning automatic NCAA Championship access.
"We're thrilled to re-instate field hockey as one of 23 championship sports sponsored by the NEC. Giving our members the opportunity to compete for a NEC field hockey title was extremely important to us and we're glad that we were able to make it happen," said Morris. "We're also happy to welcome Fairfield and Rider back into our field hockey family."
The six NEC teams will play a single round robin regular season conference schedule with the top-four finishers advancing to the NEC Tournament. The four-team postseason tournament will be held at the home facility of the No. 1 seed.
"Field hockey is a very competitive sport within our region of the country and one that will provide more opportunities for female student-athletes to benefit from competing in intercollegiate athletics," said Wagner athletics director Walt Hameline.
Played during the fall semester, field hockey has held NCAA championship sport status since 1981. Currently, there are 79 NCAA Division I institutions who sponsor the sport.