Nov. 12, 2019 – The Missouri Western State University Board of Governors unanimously approved the addition of women’s lacrosse as the 17th NCAA Division II varsity sport at the University during a telephone poll Tuesday morning. The team will become active in the 2020-21 academic year and begin competition in the spring of 2021. 

Missouri Western will become the fourth NCAA Division II member in the state of Missouri to add the sport and the first from the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. Missouri Western will be the only public DII member in the state of Missouri sponsoring women’s lacrosse. 

“What an incredible opportunity to be the first MIAA institution to sponsor women’s lacrosse and be at the forefront of leading the rapid growth of the sport in this region,” MWSU vice president of intercollegiate athletics Dr. Josh Looney said. “Between the recently-renovated Spratt Stadium and the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex, our state-of-the-art infrastructure will allow lacrosse student-athletes to experience championship success on and off the field at Missouri Western. We are excited to grow our student-athlete population beyond 400 students with this high-achieving group of athletes and lead an important University initiative that will continue to move MWSU forward.”

Looney added a national search for the program’s head coach will begin immediately with anticipation of having the coach in place before the end of the winter. 

“As we look to showcase Missouri Western State University to even more student-athletes who are interested in an exceptional education in a family-like environment with top-notch athletics facilities, we are excited to add women’s lacrosse as our 17th intercollegiate sport,” MWSU president Matt Wilson said. “This new addition to our athletics lineup puts us on the front-edge of the NCAA’s fastest growing sport in this area of the country. It enables us to attract quality students to Missouri Western, growing revenue while adding even more vibrancy and enthusiasm to our campus.”

Women’s lacrosse is the fastest growing NCAA sport, with a 58.3% increase in sport sponsorship over the past 10 years. It is also the fastest growing DII sport with a 129.7% increase in the last 10 years. Currently, 109 NCAA DII members sponsor women’s lacrosse.  

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit