Robert Morris To Join MAC As Affiliate Member
Colonials will compete in women's lacrosse in MAC beginning in 2020-21.
Robert Morris University announced Tuesday that the Department of Athletics will join the Mid-American Conference (MAC) as an affiliate member in women's lacrosse in 2020-21.
Beginning in 2021, the MAC will have six members with women's lacrosse, including core institutions Akron (Akron, Ohio), Central Michigan (Mount Pleasant, Mich.) and Kent State (Kent, Ohio) and affiliate members Detroit-Mercy (Detroit, Mich.), Robert Morris and Youngstown State (Youngstown, Ohio). The following year, Eastern Michigan (Ypsilanti, Mich.) will add women's lacrosse to increase MAC membership to seven for the 2021-22 academic year.
"This is a historic day for our women's lacrosse program," Robert Morris Vice President and Director of Athletics Chris King '94 said. "We are excited about becoming an affiliate member of the Mid-American Conference in its inaugural season in women's lacrosse. The MAC has a long history of competing at a high level, with a well-respected membership both academically and athletically. We are most appreciative to the MAC and Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher for the invitation to join such an esteemed group of universities.
"The geographic footprint of the MAC is a great fit for Robert Morris, and we look forward to competing in the coming years against a conference of well-known institutions in our region, including Horizon League institutions Detroit-Mercy and Youngstown State. Being associated and part of the MAC in women's lacrosse will not only benefit our efforts to recruit student-athletes in this region of the country, but we partner with a conference that will enhance our student-athlete experience and continues to invest in women's sports and grow the sport of women's lacrosse."
RMU first fielded an intercollegiate women's lacrosse team in 2005, and the 2021 campaign will mark its 17th season as an NCAA Division I program. The Colonials have recorded an all-time record of 120-135 (.471), including a mark of 64-57 (.529) in the Northeast Conference. RMU advanced to the semifinals of the NEC Tournament six consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2019 as well as seven times in nine years before the global pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 season after six games.
"I am pleased to welcome Robert Morris University as an affiliate member in women's lacrosse beginning with the 2020-21 season," MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher said. "Robert Morris is a wonderful institution with a long history in the sport of women's lacrosse. We look forward to its association with the Mid-American Conference."
Robert Morris is led by Katrina Silva, who enters her fourth season as head coach in 2021 and 10th year overall with the program. She has compiled a record of 25-16 (.610) in her three seasons on the sidelines for the Colonials, including a 10-4 (.714) mark in conference play. Overall in 14 seasons as a head coach, including seven at Colgate (2000-06) and four at Virginia Tech (2007-10), Silva has recorded an overall record of 114-110 (.509).
"We're extremely excited to become an affiliate member of the Mid-American Conference," Silva said. "We're looking forward to creating new rivalries within the league and continuing to grow the sport of women's lacrosse. I'd like to thank Chris King and MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher for this opportunity. We can't wait to get started."
A 1993 graduate of Towson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and a minor in psychology, Silva is a two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (2004, 2005). In both seasons she led Colgate to Patriot League Tournament titles and berths in the NCAA Tournament.