EMMITSBURG, Md. — Mount St. Mary's University announces it is reinstating the men's NCAA Division I soccer program on campus, with competition beginning with the fall 2018 season. The program was discontinued at the conclusion of the 2012 season.

The announcement is part of a plan to expand the Mount's women's and men's intercollegiate athletics program over the next few years. The university recently added a new men's swimming and diving team and women's diving and is looking to add additional sports in the future.

"I am very pleased to officially announce that the men's soccer program has been reinstated," Interim President Timothy Trainor said. "We are very grateful to a loyal group of men's soccer alumni whose leadership and fundraising efforts were instrumental in bringing their beloved sport back to the Mount."

The Mount men's soccer program began play as a varsity sport in 1953. The Mountaineers joined NCAA Division I in 1988-89, and became members of the Northeast Conference in 1989-90. The Mountaineers advanced to the NEC title game four times (1994, 1996, 1999 and 2008). The men's soccer program has had five coaches in its history, including Jim Deegan, who was the head coach for 38 years (1956-93).

"We are very excited for the return of the Mount St. Mary's University men's soccer program," said Director of Athletics Lynne Robinson. "A sincere thanks to our men's soccer alumni and friends for their generosity, support and tireless efforts in bringing the "beautiful game" back to the Mount. We look forward to having our team return to Waldron Family Stadium in the fall of 2018."  

Prior to moving to NCAA Division I in 1988-89, the men's soccer program had 11 All-Americans, led by three-time All-American Ken Swomley (1962-64). The Mountaineers won back-to-back state championships in 1981 and 1982 while repeating the feat in 1986 and 1987. The 1987 squad posted a school-record 14 wins behind two-time All-American goalkeeper Larry Howley.

"The Northeast Conference is thrilled that Mount St. Mary's is reinstating the men's soccer program," said Northeast Conference commissioner Noreen Morris. "We have a strong tradition of success in men's soccer and we look forward to having the Mount on the pitch again."

The reinstatement of men's soccer gives Mount St. Mary's a total of nine men's sports (baseball, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, swimming, tennis, indoor track, outdoor track), to go along with nine women's sports (basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer softball, swimming, tennis, indoor track, outdoor track).

"As we seek to further expand our intercollegiate athletic programs over the next few years, we will do so with a commitment to gender equity, student-athlete experience, and fiscal responsibility," Trainor said.