Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
|ShuartStadium was packed for the 2011 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals.|
Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium was showcased before a national audience Saturday during ESPN2’s coverage of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals and the coaches involved raved about the atmosphere and how well the event was run.
The quarterfinal doubleheader, which featured Virginia defeating Cornell and Denver topping Johns Hopkins, drew a Shuart Stadium record 13,447 fans. The previous record was 12,292 in the 1999 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals when Johns Hopkins topped Hofstra and Georgetown downed Loyola.
Saturday was Denver head coach Bill Tierney’s sixth appearance at Hofstra in the quarterfinals going back to his days when he coached at Princeton.
“I’ve run [quarterfinals] at Princeton, I’ve been to them all over the country, when you come here you are treated special,” said Tierney, who had previously appeared with Princeton at Hofstra for the quarterfinals in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2009. “The people at Hofstra are unbelievable.”Cornell head coach Ben DeLuca also appeared at Hofstra for the quarterfinals as an assistant coach with the Big Red in 2009 during its 6-3 win over Princeton. Despite just coming off a loss to Virginia that ended the Big Red’s season, Coach DeLuca was very complimentary during his press conference opening remarks of the way Hofstra ran the quarterfinals.
“I would like to thank [Hofstra Director of Athletics Jack Hayes] and the staff here at Hofstra University,” said Deluca. “They did a wonderful job of running a first class operation and hosting us here this weekend. It has been outstanding and we are very grateful for their hospitality.”
With Saturday’s quarterfinal victory Cornell, Virginia head coach Dom Starsia set an NCAA Division 1 record for wins with 327. It was Starsia’s second quarterfinal appearance at Hofstra with the other being a 17-14 loss to Syracuse in 1998. Ironically Starsia’s first game as a head coach with Brown in 1982 was at Hofstra and against Virginia when his Bears fell to the Cavaliers 10-6.
“Hofstra has done a great job,” said Starsia, who grew up less than 10 miles from Shuart Stadium in Valley Stream. “The folks here have just been tremendous. The atmosphere has just been tremendous.”