The North Atlantic Conference and the New England Collegiate Conference are teaming up to compete in alliance championships for field hockey and men’s lacrosse beginning with the 2018-2019 season.
Husson University of Bangor, the University of Maine at Farmington and Thomas College in Waterville, the three NAC schools that sponsor field hockey, will join the NECC as associate field hockey members. The NECC roster includes Becker College, Dean College, Elms College, and New England College.
Each conference will send its top three regular-season finishers to postseason play, with the NAC Nos. 2 and Nos. 3 seeds playing each other and the NECC Nos. 2 and No. 3 seeds squaring off in first-round action on Oct. 31.
The winners of those matchups, along with the respective No. 1 seeds, advance to the final four tournament Nov. 3-4 hosted by the No. 1 seed from the NECC. The winner will be crowned the NECC champion but does not receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship.
NECC Commissioner Katie Hartman-Boldvich is looking forward to adding additional postseason opportunities for student-athletes of both sports.
“On behalf of the NECC membership we are excited to partner with the NAC for field hockey and men’s lacrosse,” Hartman-Boldvich said in a release. “We’re excited to enhance the championship experience for our student-athletes in these sports and provide additional postseason access for our programs.”
In men’s lacrosse six members — Maine Maritime Academy of Castine, Husson, Thomas, Northern Vermont-Johnson, Northern Vermont-Lyndon, and SUNY Canton — make up the NAC. SUNY Delhi participates as an associate member.
NECC schools sponsoring men’s lacrosse include New England College, Becker College, Mitchell College, Newbury College and Dean College.
The top two teams from each conference will face off (NAC No. 1 vs. NECC No. 2 and NECC No. 1 vs. NAC No. 2) in semifinal games on April 27, 2019. The winners then play May 4 for the alliance championship and the NCAA automatic berth.
“I would like to thank the presidents and athletic administrators of the NECC and the NAC for supporting this partnership to provide postseason competition for our field hockey and men’s lacrosse student athletes, said NAC Commissioner Marcella Zalot.