- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - The Southern Conference is adding women’s lacrosse.

The league announced Tuesday that women’s lacrosse will debut in the 2017-18 academic year and will become the SoCon’s 22nd varsity sport.

The league said the full members Furman, Mercer and Wofford will join associate members Central Michigan, Delaware State and Detroit Mercy with the group having an automatic bid to the NCAA championship.

Central Michigan, Delaware State, Detroit Mercy, Furman and Mercer previously played in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Wofford will start women’s lacrosse in 2018.

Both the Southern Conference and the Atlantic Sun will field six-team women’s lacrosse leagues with each having an automatic NCAA bid.

Southern Conference commissioner John Iamarino said this would not be accomplished with the A-Sun’s cooperation.

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