Plenty of Optimism for Another Successful Lacrosse Quarterfinals at Hofstra

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
Shuart Stadium during the 2009 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals.
While there is disappointment that Hofstra will not be taking part in this Saturday’s NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals at Shuart Stadium after dropping its first round game at third-seeded Johns Hopkins, there is still great optimism for the event and the exposure it will bring the university. 

“We certainly wanted to play in it but once that wasn’t the case we  continued to put every effort into making sure it is a great event,” said Hofstra Director of Athletics Jack Hayes. “We want to get it back as often as we can so we have done everything we can to promote it and we certainly have quality teams coming in with two great matchups.”

Both games of Saturday’s quarterfinal doubleheader featuring Cornell against Virginia and Johns Hopkins versus Denver will be televised nationally on ESPN2. As of the end of Thursday nearly 10,000 tickets had been sold and Hayes is hopeful that attendance will exceed two years ago when 11,259 packed Shuart Stadium to see a quarterfinal doubleheader featuring Syracuse against Maryland and Cornell versus Princeton.

“The numbers so far are very good” said Hayes, who added that the pace of ticket sales is ahead of two years ago. “We’re hoping we can have a crowd equal to or greater than two years ago.”

In addition to bringing a huge crowd to Shuart Stadium Hayes is also excited that a large national audience watching around the country on ESPN2 will get to see what Hofstra has to offer as a lacrosse venue. “That is the piece of it that is great for Hofstra, to be able to display our facility and our campus to a national audience,” said Hayes.

Hayes said going forward Hofstra will submit a bid to host the men’s lacrosse quarterfinals as often as possible.  “Given our history in hosting the event and the size and the seating capacity of our facility I would think there would be continued interest in having it at Hofstra,” said Hayes.

With lights now installed at the Pride’s softball stadium, Hofstra also now has the ability to host the NCAA softball regionals, which typically take place the same weekend as the men’s lacrosse quarterfinals. However Hayes said Hofstra will not try and host both events the same weekend in order to assure that logistics for the games run as smoothly as possible. 

“You don’t want to spread your staff so thin that you can’t do the best job possible for each event,” said Hayes. “On years that we don’t have the quarterfinals if we  were to advance to the NCAA Tournament in softball we would put in a bid to host.”

This is the seventh time Hofstra has played host to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals. The current record for attendance at the event at SAhuart Stadium was in 1999 when 12,292 saw Hofstra play Johns Hopkins and Georgetown battle Loyola.

The first quarterfinal game at Shuart Stadium Saturday between Cornell and Virginia gets underway at Noon. To order tickets online click here or call 516-463-TIXX(8499).

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