'Saders revamp athletic interest; HC set to offer more scholarships.


Byline: Jennifer Toland

WORCESTER - Holy Cross will offer athletic scholarships in men's ice hockey, men's and women's soccer and field hockey beginning this fall.

"It's something we felt we needed to do to be competitive," Holy Cross director of athletics Dick Regan said.

Colgate, Lehigh and Lafayette, original Patriot League members like Holy Cross, have added scholarships in a number of sports as well, and American, which joined the league in 2001, also offers athletic scholarships.

The scholarships will be introduced to each sport over a period of time, Regan said. The Atlantic Hockey Association, of which HC is a member, is a reduced scholarship league, which allows a maximum of 12 scholarships (the NCAA maximum is 18). Coach Paul Pearl said the plan is for the program to give the equivalent of three scholarships each of the next four years.

Regan said there are no league limits in the other sports, but that Holy Cross will be below the NCAA maximum equivalency limits in men's and women's soccer and field hockey. The NCAA scholarship limit for men's soccer is 9.9, for women's soccer 14 and for field hockey 12.

Shrewsbury High senior Maura Fox will be among the first to receive a scholarship for women's soccer.

There are also future plans to add scholarships in women's ice hockey. The Crusaders currently compete in the ECAC East, a Division 3 league.

Holy Cross was the first Patriot League school to offer scholarships, reinstating men's and women's basketball scholarships in 1998. Lafayette was the last Patriot League school to give basketball scholarships - in 2006 - and has since added scholarships for men's soccer and field hockey.

Four years ago, Colgate began offering a limited number of scholarships in various sports, including men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, and men's and women's soccer.

Several Patriot League schools would like to institute football scholarships, and there have been discussions among league executives and school presidents on the topic, but presently the Patriot League does not permit football scholarships.

Holy Cross will become the seventh current Atlantic Hockey member to offer scholarships. Niagara and Robert...

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