Ohio Wesleyan ranks second among National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III institutions with 27 NCAA playoff appearances in men’s lacrosse. The Battling Bishops have reached the national championship game four times. Ohio Wesleyan has won 23 conference championships in men’s lacrosse. The Battling Bishops’ longest run was seven straight conference titles from 1987-93.
The men’s lacrosse team was accorded varsity status in 1958 and compiled a 1-8 record under coach Fred Myers. In 1964, Roy Rike Field became home to the soccer and lacrosse teams. Prior to 1964, home games in soccer and lacrosse sports were played at South Field, which was located on Henry Street south of Selby Field, approximately where the Bishops’ practice field is today. Rich Seiler ’72 took over as men’s lacrosse coach in 1974. The Bishops posted a 9-2 record, including an 8-1 mark in the Midwest Lacrosse Association. The men’s lacrosse team made its first NCAA Division III playoff appearance in 1975, falling to Hobart by a score of 18-8. In 1976, the men’s lacrosse team pulled off a pair of stunning upsets, knocking off Kutztown State and Cortland State on the way to the NCAA Division II-III semifinals. Seiler was named College Division Coach of the Year in 1976, Ohio Wesleyan’s first such honoree.
Jay Martin took over as head coach of the men’s lacrosse team in 1977. In 1987, under second-year head coach Mike Pressler, the men’s lacrosse team made the first of three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III championship game. Selby Field hosted the NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse championship game in 1988, but a cable TV audience watched Hobart defeat the Bishops, 16-8.
In 1993, under third-year head coach Lelan Rogers, the men’s lacrosse team returned to the NCAA Division III championship game. Unfortunately, the title game turned out the same way the first three did — with a loss to Hobart. In 2013, the men’s lacrosse team won the inaugural North Coast Athletic Conference tournament and claims the conference’s first-ever automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III tournament. In 2015, undefeated Ohio Wesleyan (18-0) advanced to the quarterfinals with a 12-11 win over Albion. Ohio Wesleyan made its 28th NCAA Division III tournament appearance in 2015, ranking second among all Division III institutions. The Battling Bishops have advanced to the NCAA Division III championship game four times and have 12 national semifinal appearances. Unfortunately, in 2015, the men’s lacrosse team lost to Gettysburg, 5-9, in a national quarterfinal game of the NCAA Division III tournament. Ohio Wesleyan’s 2015 season ended with an 18-1 record, tying the school record for victories in a season and setting a school standard for fewest defeats in a season.
The Bishop men’s lacrosse team played its home games at Roy Rike Field from 1965 to 1985. During the spring of 1985, field maintenance at Roy Rike forced the lacrosse team to move to Selby for a year, but the relocation worked out so well it became permanent. Prior to obtaining Roy Rike Field, Ohio Wesleyan home games were played at South Field, which was located on Henry Street south of Selby Stadium, approximately where the Bishops’ practice field is today. Selby Stadium is located on South Henry Street on the eastern edge of campus.
Selby Stadium received a new Field Turf artificial playing surface for the 2014-15 academic year, lights for the 2010-11 academic year, and a video scoreboard in the spring of 2011, making the venue one of the most impressive among NCAA Division III institutions. Selby Stadium recently underwent a restoration project that included a new, 2-level press box, new bleacher seats and refurbished locker rooms.