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Women's, Men's Lacrosse Rise to Varsity at Purchase

PURCHASE, N.Y. — The athletic administration at Purchase College had a vision when it began to discuss the possibility of adding a turf field to the campus.

"We had a five-year plan where we felt if we built a turf field, hopefully, at the end of the fifth year, we would be able to add men's and women's lacrosse," said Chris Bisignano, associate director of athletics at Purchase College and a Port Chester graduate.

The turf field, which has been a major site for youth and high school sports, will host women's college lacrosse as Purchase embarks on its maiden women's varsity season in 2013. In spring 2014, the men's first varsity season will commence.

Devon Whalen is the women's lacrosse coach. Dennis Butler is the men's lacrosse coach.

Men's lacrosse has been a club sport for the past three years, and women's lacrosse for the past two. In fact, Bisignano said that when women's lacrosse began, 20 women walked on to join the team.

Even though both are club teams, Bisignano said, Whalen and Butler have been treating their teams as if they were varsity sports. According to Bisignano, Whalen has already recruited eight players for the inaugural women's season.

"This area is a hotbed for lacrosse, and with all the groups that use the field for lacrosse, we are hoping to make it a natural progression," Bisignano said. "We are hoping the girls and guys want to get a great education, at an affordable cost, and also have the opportunity to play lacrosse."

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