On Tuesday, Bryant University, in Smithfield, R.I., accepted an invitation to join the America East Conference in all sports the league sponsors, effective July 1, 2022.
Bryant will finish the 2021-22 academic year as a member of the Northeast Conference, of which it has been a member since moving to Division 1 athletics in 2008.
Viewing this new move for Bryant through a soccer lens, the university will join a strong league in the America East, one that currently includes New Hampshire, Vermont, Albany, Stony Brook, UMBC, NJIT, UMass Lowell, Binghamton and Hartford. However, Stony Brook is moving to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and Hartford is in the process of making a full transition to Division 3 by the start of the 2024-25 academic year.
Not only does Bryant fit well with the America East, in terms of geographic location and academics, it was a necessary addition to the league to bolster its depth going forward and keep pace with the way college conference alignments tend to shift on a yearly basis.