Courtesy MAC office:
CLEVELAND – The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced today Longwood University will join as an affiliate member in field hockey. The program will join the MAC beginning in the 2014-15 academic year.
The addition of Longwood will increase MAC women’s field hockey membership to seven members – five from MAC full membership (Ball State, Central Michigan, Kent State, Miami and Ohio) and two affiliate members (Longwood and Missouri State).
“I am pleased to welcome Longwood University as an affiliate member in field hockey beginning with the 2014-15 academic year,” said Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. “The Longwood Lancers have a wonderful history i women’s field hockey, and we welcome them to the Mid-American Conference.”
Longwood Field Hockey
The 2014 season will mark the 87th year of the field hockey program's existence at Longwood University. The team owns a 365-341-32 record since 1972, but has yet to earn a berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Lancers' lone Division I regular-season title came in 2011, when the team finished 5-1 in the Northern Pacific Field Hockey Conference (NorPac) to claim the top spot in the East Division. A total of 17 Lancers have garnered All-America accolades, but the program is still looking for its first honoree of the Division I era. Head Coach Iain Byers is in his sixth year at the helm of the Longwood squad, guiding the team to a 26-12 NorPac record during his tenure (59-70 overall). In 2012, Stacey de Grandhomme became the program's first Division I NFHCA All-Southeast Region First Team selection.
“The Mid-American Conference is a great fit for our field hockey program,” said Troy Austin, Longwood Director of Athletics. “The league has a long, proud history in all sports and will provide an excellent environment for the field hockey team. I look forward to our squad competing this upcoming season.”
“We are extremely excited to become part of the Mid-American Conference, a prestigious league with a lot of history,” said Iain Byers, Longwood Head Coach. “We would like to thank the coaches, administrators and conference for allowing us to join as an affiliate member, as well as all the Longwood student-athletes past and present for putting us in this position.”
“We are happy to welcome Longwood to the MAC,” said Iñako Puzo. “I am positive that Longwood will increase the competitiveness of MAC field hockey. It is a team that traditionally plays a strong schedule and this will be reflected in all the MAC teams' RPI.
“Coach Byers, his staff and his players have always demonstrated their commitment to play good hockey. It is going to be very challenging, but it will increase even more the prestige to win a MAC Championship or a MAC Tournament. I am looking forward to continue witnessing the development of this conference while keeping alive the tradition of sportsmanship and other great values of our members.”