The Washington Times - May 18, 2009, 08:41AM

Looking back on this quarterfinal weekend, it was probably one of the more impressive setups to the final four the NCAA lacrosse tournament has ever seen.

Not because of the games; only one of them was ultra-compelling, though Cornell-Princeton certainly had some anxiety as well. It was because the quarterfinal hosts both managed to attract more than 11,000 fans.

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It’s the first time both sites vaulted that plateau, and the second time both sites reached five figures; Hofstra and Maryland in 2001 was the other, and in that year there was a home team playing at both places.

Not so in 2009, when Hofstra and Navy did well to overcome overcast days and attract great crowds.

And when you think about it, those are the most ideal places to have the quarterfinals – one on Long Island, the other in the Baltimore area, both extremely efficient at running the event and possessing stadiums that can meet fan demand. Even if they’re not permanent hosts, the NCAA should not go away from these sites for more than a year at a time.

And maybe that will be the case down the road. But in 2010, it will be Stony Brook and Princeton that get the call to host (to complement the final four in Baltimore), and it will be curious to see what sort of crowds those sites will attract.

Patrick Stevens