SIOUX FALLS — Continuing with Augustana University’s strategic plan — Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030 — of providing students opportunities and to help fuel enrollment growth, Augustana Athletics is proud to announce the addition of women’s lacrosse beginning in the 2023-24 academic year.

Augustana will house the first collegiate lacrosse program in South Dakota, regardless of division or affiliation. The Vikings will compete at the NCAA Division II level.

There has been strong growth of the sport in the NCAA, including nine new programs at the NCAA Division II level since January 2020. In total, there are currently 114 programs competing at the Division II level across 10 conferences. Across all three divisions, there are 524 women’s teams.

At the prep level, in 2008-09, there were nearly 65,000 girls competing in lacrosse. Over a 10-year period, it has grown to 99,750 girls playing lacrosse, according to the National Federation of High School Associations.

The women’s lacrosse team will be the Vikings’ 22nd varsity sport and third team announced since 2020. The Augustana Men’s Swimming & Diving team takes to the pool this season with its first-ever competition slated for Oct. 8. The women’s acrobatics & tumbling program will take to the mat in the 2022-23 academic year. In addition, diving has been added to the women’s swimming team, which will make its first dive this year.

Competition and practice venues will be determined at a later date, while a head coach search will be underway soon.

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