SIU-Carbondale will add women's soccer to its athletics lineup beginning with the 2019 season.
SIU-C will immediately begin a search for a head coach to lead the program, which will compete as an independent during its first season before joining the Missouri Valley Conference as the league's ninth member in 2020.
The women's soccer team will play its home games at Saluki Stadium and will practice at the Lew Hartzog Track & Field complex.
In January 2017, Saluki athletics announced it would cut 16 scholarships across three sports, with reductions in men's swimming and diving, and the elimination of the men's and women's tennis programs. After these reductions took place, a Title IX complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Education. The university says adding women's soccer is part of the deal to become Title IX compliant.
With the addition of women's soccer, SIU will add back about 8 scholarships.
Saluki Athletics currently sponsors 16 intercollegiate sport programs - eight men's teams and eight women's teams.