Gophers Will Get First Crack at Presidents in 2012 Season
MADISON, N.J. — Washington & Jefferson has accepted an invitation to join the Landmark Conference as an affiliate member in men's lacrosse, a move that means the conference champion will continue to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship after the 2011 season.
The Landmark Conference, which began competition during the 2007-08 academic year, dropped down to only six members with men's lacrosse programs when Moravian dropped the sport following the 2010 season. The addition of Washington & Jefferson, which has been competing as an independent in men's lacrosse since 2002, brings it back up to the NCAA threshold of seven sport-playing members in order to maintain automatic qualification.
"The Landmark Conference is proud to have Washington & Jefferson joining us as an affiliate member," commissioner John Reeves said in a statement released today. "The reputation of its athletics department and institution as a whole and their similar philosophies concerning the role of athletics and presidential oversight make them a perfect match for our conference, and allow us to continue to provide great opportunity to our men's lacrosse student-athletes."
It wasn't until its third year of existence that the Landmark Conference was granted an automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III playoffs. As the champion in 2010, Goucher received the first automatic bid from the Landmark Conference to the postseason tournament.
When Washington & Jefferson comes on board in 2012, the men's lacrosse teams will play three home and three road contests during the Landmark's regular season. After that, the top four teams in the standings will advance to the conference's postseason tournament, from which the winner will receive an automatic bid to the Division III playoffs.
Washington & Jefferson's first official Landmark Conference game will be against Goucher on March 17, 2012. The two teams have also scheduled a game in 2011: the Gophers will host the Presidents on March 22.