Introduction to Mercyhurst athletics

As you enter your freshman year at Mercyhurst College, there are many questions that you will ask yourself. Normally, one of the top ones is, “What is there to do around here?”

A good answer is, “Attend a great Mercyhurst sporting event. The experience is exciting and affordable.”

Mercyhurst has a great tradition of exciting and competitive college athletics with 24 men’s and women’s NCAA varsity sports. Most of these sports teams compete at the Division II level. The men’s and women’s hockey team compete at the Division I level.

The crowd is rowdy with the Laker Lunatics, a student-run organization that cheers on the athletic teams, riling up the crowd.

Louie the Laker, Mercyhurst’s mascot, is also patrolling the sidelines bringing energy to the crowd.

Also, as students, your admission is free.

During the fall term at Mercyhurst sports are rather a free-for-all. No one team has a hold on attention of the college. The football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s water polo, men’s tennis, volleyball, cross-country and field hockey teams all compete in the fall

Football is the most recognizable of the fall sports. The Lakers posted their first winning season in six seasons, posting a 7-4 record in 2008.

One of the highlight games of the 2009 fall term will be between the Lakers and cross-town rival Gannon University on Oct. 10 at Louis J. Tullio Field.

Turnouts for any game between the two schools are usually sellouts with an intense atmosphere.

Also, women’s soccer has posted four straight 15-plus victory seasons. This past season, the Lakers made it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Division II tournament.

The winter term is a sports hotbed with the men’s and women’s hockey, men’s club hockey, men’s and women’s basketball and wrestling teams competing.

Hockey has emerged as the dominant winter team sport. Home games at Mercyhurst Ice Center are an event.

Last season, the women’s hockey team attracted national attention by advancing to the Division I finals before losing to the University of Wisconsin.

Mercyhurst wrestling had a banner year last year with junior wrestler Josh Shields winning Mercyhurst’s first individual national championship at the 166 pounds.

The spring term brings competition for the baseball, softball, women’s water polo, men’s and women’s rowing, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams.

The men’s and women’s lacrosse teams are outstanding. The men have made it to the Division II Final Four four times. The women’s team finished No. 5 in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Top-10 Poll last season.

The baseball team had a terrific season in 2009 winning the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division title. The Lakers were finalists in the NCAA Tournament Atlantic Regional as they were defeated by West Chester University.

Mercyhurst rowing is a perennial competitor for national titles at the Division II level and stage regattas at Findley Lake, N.Y.