- Chris Jastrzembski
Hartford men's lacrosse withdraws from league competition in 2022
Hartford's men's lacrosse program has withdrawn from America East league competition for the upcoming 2022 season due to an insufficient number of players to meet the conference minimum. The school announced the decision in a release Thursday.
The decision comes amid the university's official decision to transition to Division III back in May to combat the university's financial struggles. That decision, which came into spotlight in April, has since been scrutinized by current as well as former Hartford student-athletes, coaches, and supporters of the athletic program.
"We are very disappointed that despite our best efforts to support our men's lacrosse program, we will not be able to provide a traditional competitive opportunity this year," said Dr. Sharon Beverly, Hartford's Acting Vice President of Athletics and Recreation in the press release.
In the release, head coach Ryan Martin, who was not directly quoted in the release, said that efforts to recruit a full roster would be intensified for the 2023 season and that he and his staff would stay with the program to further those efforts. All scholarships will still be honored.
The team will explore options to practice through the rest of the season as well as potentially scrimmage other programs in the area. However, a source says to not expect any competition for the upcoming year. Inside Lacrosse's Matt Kinnear reports that around 15 players remained on the roster.
Former Hartford student-athletes and coaches expressed their displeasure on Twitter.
A number of players on Hartford's 2021 roster entered the transfer portal, many of them have already found new homes. Hartford's leading scorer, Anthony Sericolo, is at UMass. Goalie Cam Logan and midfielder Andrew Boniface are at Cleveland State. James McCoy is at Manhattan. Malik Gay is at UMBC. Ethan Landymore is off to Division II Mercyhurst.
The women's lacrosse program, which debuted as a varsity program in 2018, has been without a head coach since Meg Decker left for Xavier in July. A number of coaches from other programs have moved on during the summer.
The 2021-22 academic year is supposed to be Hartford's final year as a member of the America East as the school is expected to file their intent for reclassification with the NCAA this upcoming January. After participating as a Division I independent the following year, Hartford will officially starting the reclassification process as a Division III member for the 2023-24 year. Hartford expects to be an active Division III member no later than September 1, 2025.