WATERVILLE, Maine and MARSHFIELD, Mass. - The North Atlantic Conference (NAC) and the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) and will compete in alliance championships in the sports of field hockey and men's lacrosse, as announced by both conferences today.
Currently, there are four NECC member schools who sponsor field hockey- Becker College, Dean College, Elms College, and New England College. The three NAC institutions who sponsor field hockey, University of Maine- Farmington, Husson University and Thomas College, will join the NECC as associate field hockey members.
Each conference will send their top three regular season finishers into postseason play, with the NAC No. 2 and No. 3 seed facing off, while the NECC No. 2 and No. 3 seed battle in first-round action. Both games are set to take place on Halloween. The winners of those two match-ups will move on to a final four tournament with the respective No. 1 seeds, hosted by the No. 1 seed from the NECC, on November 3-4, 2018. The champion will be crowned the NECC Field Hockey Champion.
The schools will schedule regular season field hockey contests and continue with an alliance championship for the 2019-2020 season and beyond.
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. We're excited to enhance the championship experience for our student-athletes in these sports and provide additional postseason access for our programs."
Regarding men's lacrosse, six NAC members currently sponsor the sport – Northern Vermont-Johnson, Northern Vermont-Lyndon, Maine Maritime Academy, Husson University, Thomas College and SUNY Canton. SUNY Delhi participates as an associate member with the NAC in several sports including men's lacrosse. NECC sponsoring schools include New England College, Becker College, Mitchell College, Newbury College and Dean College.
The top two teams from each conference will face off (No. 1 NAC vs. No. 2 NECC and No.1 NECC vs. No. 2 NAC) in semifinal games on Saturday, April 27. The winners from those two games will meet for the alliance championship and the automatic qualification spot for the NCAA tournament on Saturday, May 4. The top two seeds are determined by each conference, with the both choosing regular season standings to determine the highest seeds in 2019.
NAC Commissioner Marcella Zalot shares Hartman-Boldvich's excitement. "I would like to thank the presidents and athletic administrators of the NECC and the NAC for supporting this partnership to provide post-season competition for our field hockey and men's lacrosse student athletes. We are thrilled to work with our colleagues at the NECC in this way and look forward to healthy competition. The NAC and NECC are poised to be great partners."