Skip to main content
Florida State's club team currently competes in the USA Lacrosse Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA).

Florida State Adds Women's Lacrosse for 2025-26 Academic Year

October 3, 2023
USA Lacrosse Magazine Staff
Lance Wendt

Florida State announced Tuesday that it will add women’s lacrosse as a varsity scholarship program, beginning competition during the 2025-26 academic year.

“We are excited to add women’s lacrosse as a varsity scholarship program at Florida State,” athletic Michael Alford said in the announcement. “Lacrosse is the fastest-growing college sport nationally, and it is evident that our culture and community will enthusiastically embrace it. Lacrosse provides another opportunity to compete at a championship level.”

With this decision, FSU becomes one of 129 Division I NCAA women’s lacrosse programs spanning 16 conferences. The Seminoles also embark on competition in one of the nation’s premiere women’s lacrosse conferences in the ACC, which has produced 17 NCAA women’s lacrosse national champions and has placed a team in the national title game in 13 of the last 14 seasons.

Florida State currently has a club team that competes as a member of the USA Lacrosse Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates and has qualified for WCLA Nationals the last two years. Led by All-American goalie Sophia Villalonga, the team petitioned the university to add varsity women’s lacrosse in light of a USA Today investigation that found FSU to be in violation of Title IX.

“As a club team at FSU, women’s lacrosse has a proven culture of excellence and achievement,” Alford said. “In hearing from both current and former players, their passion and input throughout this process was constructive and helpful in our decision making. I am thankful for their participation in the process and looking forward to an exciting future.”

FSU has conducted a review of its intercollegiate athletics program and will have a gender equity plan completed by July 31, 2024, to strengthen support for its championship women’s sports programs, the school said. It will be designed so that all aspects of FSU’s intercollegiate athletics program comply with Title IX’s athletics provisions. 

Women’s lacrosse is a part of that plan.

“Creating opportunities for women to achieve excellence has always been a bedrock of our values at Florida State,” Alford said. “This is merely another chapter in a long history. We have been, and continue to be, unwavering in our commitment to that. It’s integral to our university and athletics culture. That’s been reflected in our elevated financial support for facilities and staff for women’s teams in recent years.”

FSU said it engaged with the club team and its legal representatives “in a collegial and cooperative dialogue.” 

“This is the right thing to do, and we are doing it for the right reasons,” Alford said. “It’s a significant step in our gender equity plan. We are pleased to demonstrate our commitment toward providing the very best opportunities and resources for both our female and male athletes.”

Florida State will begin a search for a women’s varsity lacrosse head coach in the coming weeks.