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Lacrosse in the United States : College lacrosse


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Men's college lacrosse
Collegiate lacrosse in the United States is played at the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and club levels. There are currently 71 NCAA Division I men's lacrosse teams, 93 Division II teams, and 236 Division III teams. Thirty-two schools participate at the NAIA level. 184 men's club teams compete in the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association, including most universities and colleges outside the northeastern United States. The National College Lacrosse League and Great Lakes Lacrosse League are two other lower-division club leagues. In Canada, 14 teams from Ontario and Quebec play field lacrosse in the fall in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association.

The first U. S. intercollegiate men's lacrosse game was played on November 22, 1877 between New York University and Manhattan College. An organizing body for the sport, the U. S. National Lacrosse Association, was founded in 1879 and the first intercollegiate lacrosse tournament was held in 1881, with Harvard beating Princeton 3–0 in the championship game. Annual post-season championships were awarded by a variety of early lacrosse associations through the 1930s. From 1936 to 1972, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association awarded the Wingate Memorial Trophy to the best college lacrosse team each year.

The NCAA began sponsoring a men's lacrosse championship in 1971, when Cornell took the first title over Maryland, 12–6. Syracuse has 10 Division I titles, Johns Hopkins 9, and Princeton 6.  The NCAA national championship weekend tournament draws over 80,000 fans.

Women's college lacrosse
There are currently 112 Division I women's lacrosse teams, 109 Division II teams, and 282 Division III teams. There are 36 NAIA women's lacrosse teams. The NCAA started sponsoring a women's lacrosse championship in 1982. Maryland has traditionally dominated women's intercollegiate play, producing many head coaches and U.S. national team players. The Terrapins won seven consecutive NCAA championships from 1995 through 2001. Princeton's women's teams have made it to the final game seven times since 1993 and have won three NCAA titles, in 1993, 2002, and 2003. In recent years, Northwestern has become a force, winning the national championship from 2005 through 2009. Maryland ended Northwestern's streak by defeating the Wildcats in the 2010 final, however, Northwestern won the next two titles in 2011 and 2012. Maryland again claimed the national championship in 2014, 2015, and 2017.

The Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) is a collection of over 260 college club teams that are organized by US Lacrosse. Teams are organized into two divisions and various leagues.

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