Start getting stocked up on face paint, field hockey fans.
Rowan University is set to host the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Field Hockey Championship for the 2024 season, with the semifinal and final rounds being played at Coach Richard Wackar Stadium.
Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator Penny Kempf led the bid for Rowan, among a large pool of tough competition.
“It is a great honor to be chosen to be the host institution,” Kempf said. “We are very excited about the opportunity to make this event the premier event and experience it should be for the student athletes.”
For the third time ever, the NCAA used a site selection method where the championships were put out for bid simultaneously. More than 3,000 bid submissions from varying NCAA member schools, conferences and cities were put in, and ultimately, Rowan was selected as one of 450 host sites for preliminary and final rounds.
The Rowan field hockey team has taken part in the tournament a total of 19 times, including three semifinal appearances and a national championship appearance in 2002, which they won. But this will be the first time the University has ever hosted the event.
“Hosting the DIII Field Hockey final four at Rowan University will give us the opportunity to showcase our campus, one that we are very proud of,” Kempf said.
The NCAA follows specific criteria that ensures the host sites they choose will provide an excellent experience for student athletes, including supplying optimal facilities, ease of travel and the adherence to NCAA principles.
Kempf thinks the location of the campus is easily accessible and carries a rich tradition of field hockey.
“I think our department’s history of hosting NCAA events and the experiences that myself and our head coach Michelle Andre have had with serving on the NCAA Division III National Field Hockey Committee gave the National Committee the confidence to choose us to host,” Kempf said.
Additionally, Kempf thinks Rowan students, their families, alumni and fans across the Glassboro area have turned the field hockey program into something quite popular and full of passion.
And for the student athletes involved in that program, they may find themselves in a bit of a different situation come the 2024 season.
“Every team dreams of making the final event in their sport,” Kempf said. “I would imagine that it will be even more of an incentive for the 2024 team that their final event will take place on our campus.”
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