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Archive for January 20, 2018

Jan. 20, 2018 — A tale of two pitches

On Saturday, February 17 (weather permitting, of course), there will be the first of some 40 public lacrosse events held at Tierney Field at the new U.S. Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md.

The first game will be a men’s game between St. Mary’s College and Dickinson, but the next day will be an NCAA Division I women’s tilt between James Madison and Connecticut.

The schedule includes the inaugural WPLL championship game in July as well as regular-season tilts between Baltimore Bryn Mawr (Md.) and Philadelphia Penn Charter (Pa.) as well as Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.) and Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.).

The schedule is a symbol of how U.S. Lacrosse is helping to grow the game by hosting this large amount of games on the very surface on which the senior men’s and women’s national teams practice and play.

There’s a similar setup about an hour north of Tierney Field. But aside from a college tournament in August and the 2018 and 2019 NCAA Division III Final Fours, you don’t see Spooky Nook opening its doors to neutral-site games to inspire the local playing population.

Of course, there’s a big reason why. While the U.S. Lacrosse team doesn’t keep its player pool in a residency program for long parts of the calendar, USA Field Hockey does. The coaching staff sets aside the time the players have on the field for drills, small-games, and scrimmages, and it’s not the best setup for frequent use of the indoor or the outdoor pitch by local teams.

Still, it would be nice if the occasional contest (oh, I don’t know … the Lancaster-Lebanon finals?) could be scheduled there.