IWU women’s lacrosse hosts first NCAA Regional

The Illinois Wesleyan women’s lacrosse team clinched a bid to the NCAA Tournament with a win over North Central in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin title game on May 5. (Photo courtesy iwusports.com)

By Eric Stock

BLOOMINGTON – Illinois Wesleyan is hosting a national tournament on Sunday in a sport that hardly existed in Central Illinois just a few years ago.

The Titan women’s lacrosse team, ranked 16th in Division III, is hosting an NCAA regional, four years after coach Lindsey Keller started the program from scratch.

“Four years ago, there was no girls lacrosse (locally),” Kellar said. “The Bloomington (Normal) Warriors were starting and now just within four years we are already hosing an NCAA game. It just shows how quickly the sport is growing and catching on.”

The Titans, the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin automatic qualifier, host Hamline at 1 p.m.

Kellar’s team made its first NCAA appearance last year, but said it’ll be extra special to play at Tucci Stadium this time.

“I think that was the most exciting thing for all the players, just knowing that in our fourth year of being able to host an NCAA Tournament game is not something we expected,” Kellar said. “I don’t even think Mike (Wagner), our athletic director expected it either.”

Wesleyan’s men’s team also made it to the NCAA, but lost in the first round to Denison on Wednesday.

Eric Stock can be reached at eric.stock@cumulus.com.

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