West Babylon, N.Y. - The East Coast Conference and the Great Midwest Athletic Conference have jointly announced an annual East Coast – Great Midwest Men’s Lacrosse Challenge Cup starting in 2019. The annual Challenge Cup event will feature select cross-conference matchups, with the league securing the most victories claiming the Cup each year.
The Challenge Cup will allow the partner conferences in the NCAA Division II North Region the opportunity to highlight regional competition and further advance scheduling of non-conference opponents in each league.
Additionally, the Challenge Cup will feature a combined effort to support Team IMPACT annually. Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. The East Coast and Great Midwest conferences will each make a contribution on behalf of the men’s lacrosse programs and a portion of proceeds from each contest will be contributed to the organization.
“This is a great opportunity for our lacrosse playing schools to highlight our men’s contests, bring some more attention to Division II Men’s Lacrosse and contribute to Team IMPACT, an outstanding organization that is helping so many young people across the country,” said East Coast Commissioner, Dr. Robert Dranoff.
The inaugural Challenge Cup will feature five matchups of the 12 inter-conference contests between East Coast and Great Midwest teams in 2019. The first of the five contests to be featured will be the February 23 matchup between the University of the District of Columbia and Davis & Elkins College. There will be two contests in March, the first with Lake Erie College traveling to Roberts Wesleyan University on March 6 and the second featuring a trip by NYIT to Wheeling Jesuit University on March 9.
The final two games of the Challenge Cup event in 2019 will come in April with Mercyhurst University visiting Mercy College on April 13 and Seton Hill University at LIU Post on April 27.
“Our respective conferences have enjoyed competitive contests during our early alignment within the North Region,” said Great Midwest Commissioner, Tom Daeger. “The opportunity to enhance those regional competitions with a friendly inter-conference rivalry will further highlight the strong men’s lacrosse programs in our leagues and encourage continued partnerships to aid in the growth of the sport in this region.”
“The ECC and Great Midwest share common values and athletic missions,” he added. “The opportunity to partner with the ECC and allow our programs to enhance their non-conference schedules regionally is of great significance to our teams.”