Big Ten lacrosse is now official; Katie Schwarzmann repeats as Tewaaraton winner

Some Maryland non-revenue news you might have missed over the weekend:


Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany will now oversee two more sports starting in 2015. (Associated Press)

The Big Ten’s lacrosse status received a serious boost Sunday, when Johns Hopkins announced its intention to join the league as a lacrosse-only member, giving the conference the sixth team required for an NCAA automatic qualifier.

The news also solves any mystery surrounding Maryland’s lacrosse conference status. Beginning in 2015, the Terrapins men’s and women’s teams will compete in the Big Ten. The matter of whether the conference would make lacrosse an officially sponsored sport was discussed when Maryland was in talks to join the Big Ten.

“The Big Ten is an outstanding conference and we’re thrilled that it will be able to be the conference home for two of our most successful programs in men’s and women’s lacrosse,” Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson said in a statement. “Lacrosse is important to our university and to our state and the addition of Johns Hopkins as a sport affiliate member for men’s lacrosse shows that it is important to the Big Ten now and in the future.”

The Blue Jays, who have played as an independent since 1883 and have won 44 national title in that span, join Maryland, Rutgers, Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan to form the six-team conference. They will officially enter the Big Ten on July 1, 2014, the same date Maryland is scheduled to flip from the ACC.

“Johns Hopkins is an outstanding institution with a legacy of success in men’s lacrosse that is simply unmatched in intercollegiate athletics,” Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany said in a statement. “Lacrosse is an emerging sport among our current schools and is a long-held passion among our East Coast institutions.

“With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers in all sports and Johns Hopkins for men’s lacrosse, we will have the requisite number of institutions to make men’s and women’s lacrosse official conference sports, building upon our tradition of broad-based sports competition. We look forward to the start of the first Big Ten men’s and women’s lacrosse seasons in 2015.”

The Big Ten’s release, which officially announced the formation of men’s and women’s lacrosse as the conference’s 27th and 28th sports, said Johns Hopkins will only participate in men’s lacrosse. The women currently have six teams — the five listed above plus Northwestern — necessary for the automatic-qualifier designation.

A report was submitted to Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels on May 10, unanimously recommending that the school pursue conference membership. A news conference was held Monday morning at the Cordish Lacrosse Center.

>> Maryland women’s lacrosse senior midfielder Katie Schwarzmann became just the third player ever to repeat as the Tewaaraton Award winner, and the first two-time Maryland winner in program history.

Though Maryland ended its season on a sour note Sunday in an NCAA championship game loss to North Carolina, Schwarzmann excelled throughout the season. A four-time all-ACC honoree, three-time IWLCA national midfielder of the year and two-time ACC championship most valuable player, Schwarzmann finished the season with 58 goals, 27 assists, 39 groundballs, 39 draw controls and 19 forced turnovers.

Schwarzmann’s college career ends with the third-most goals (228) and points (304) in Maryland history. She will play with the U.S. women’s national team at the World Cup this summer in Canada.

>> Speaking of the national team, four Maryland field hockey players were named to the U.S. squad after this week’s national championships in Norfolk. Alum and student assistant coach Katie O’Donnell leads the group, which includes current players Natalie Hunter, Ali McEvoy and Jill Witmer.

O’Donnell competed in the London Olympics for the United States, while Witmer toured with the team to Brazil this March. McEvoy and Hunter will make their first appearances on the 30-man roster.

“We are absolutely thrilled for these four amazing Terps,” Coach Missy Meharg said in a statement. “Katie O’Donnell has proven herself as such an incredible hockey player and did so again this past week. Jill and Ali have worked their way through the USA Field Hockey system and have been preparing for this moment for a very long time. Natalie was so solid for us last year and took her game to another level this past week at the National Championships. We couldn’t be prouder of them and for them to represent our country and the University of Maryland.”

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt · June 3, 2013

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