ST. LOUIS – The Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference (GRLC) has announced it is adding a pair of new teams to its Division II membership in 2017, which was outlined at the league’s meeting this past weekend.
Southern Illinois, located in Carbondale, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology out of Terre Haute, Ind., will give GRLC-II seven teams this spring, maintaining its status as an automatic qualifying conference to the MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour.
The two new programs join Creighton, Missouri State, Missouri S&T, St. Louis and Washington (Mo.) University.
“We’re excited to have Southern Illinois and Rose-Hulman join our Division II ranks,” said GRLC director Matt Gardiner. “While GRLC Division II will have a different look this year, our new streamlined format will produce a quality representative for the MCLA National Championships, along with producing great new rivalries in our conference.”
GRLC Division II lost six teams, including three-time defending champion Missouri Valley, at the end of the 2016 campaign with the advent of the national NAIA league. Instead of the typical four subdivision format, GRLC-II will play a regular season round-robin between the seven conference teams, with the top four teams participating in the league playoffs.
The 2017 GRLC tournament will take place on April 28-30 at Wash U in St. Louis.
There was no movement in the GRLC Division I ranks. The conference will again feature an East and West subdivision consisting of five teams each. The top three teams in each subdivision will advance to the conference tournament. Purdue is the two-time defending champion in GRLC-I.