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Where’s the Love for D2 and D3 Lacrosse?

Where’s the Love for D2 and D3 Lacrosse?


SUNY Cortland celebrates their schools 2nd National Championship

The Division 2/Division 3 Championships had less of a turnout than the D1 semis. This is nothing new. Traditionally during the D2/D3 day, many families when in Balti/Philly would find something to do on their “off” day. Historically the attendance is less than half that during semi-day. Personally I don’t understand why. Traditionally these games are closer and more exciting than the D1 games. But don’t take my word for it:

As one fan, Gary Price put it, “We just finished having a game of pick up lacrosse and mocking the Virginia defense. About the D2/D3 finals, how do you not go if you are a lacrosse fan. They are usually better than the D1 games. There is a lot less substitution and a lot less B.S. It is more pure lacrosse.” This sentiment is echoed by not only other casual fans tailgating during the games, but also lacrosse legend John Grant Jr. He told E-lacrosse, that he prefers the D2/D3 games over the D1 games.


C.W. Post celebrates their 2nd National Championship - and first since 1996.

The D2/D3 championships are the epitome of the game. I know, the players might not be as skilled or as developed physically…however they are also not over coached. What I mean by this is that they have the freedom to play a run and gun style. There is also a lot of turnover and transition work. There is more “heart” in their play.

Since 2003, the D1 championship has been decided by 1 goal 3 times. Since 2003, the D2 championship has been decided by 1 goal 3 times, as well as the D3 championship being decided by 1 goal 3 times.

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5 Responses to “Where’s the Love for D2 and D3 Lacrosse?”

  1. Samm Says:

    I think this will become more and more of a challenge for D II & III. I ran into a couple last week in Denver at the MCLA Tourney Semis that had never attended a lax game but turned out because it sounded cool and they were Michigan alumni. I think as the MCLA continues to emerge everywhere “else” (though will continue to be viewed as second class by the MidAtlantic estanlishment), the sheer enrollment at these MCLA schools and their accompanying Alumni will become a powerful force in marketing lacrosse. As an example, Both MCLA D-1 semis were carried live nationally by Fox - as were both D1 and D2 MCLA finals. I have yet to stumble across the NCAA DII & III games on my west coast cable (?) The MCLA must have 8-10 times the enrollment of combined NCAA schools. As lax becomes a national game, who the top dog among the small private east coast schools will become less important than turning out to watch your alma mater compete. And the quality of play will continue to move into balance as kids can expect their buddies at home (wherever that is) to see 1-5 live games a year on Fox, BYU-TV or the internet.

  2. Glen Gutierrez Says:

    I would have to add that there were A LOT of people that did not make it to Foxboro from UPSTATE NY.  After watching D1 —We were very hungry to watch Lemoyne and Cortland!
    We already have the Junior College champs (OCC), we have SU vs. Cornell in the finals, Lemoyne and CW Post was an awsome game, and Cortland won D3………
    Think about all of us here from UPSTATE NY. —- yes, if we had the $98 ticket for all weekend — we would have watched them all.  Being from Cortland, we were anticipating the $30 bus ride that left at 4:30AM.  Let’s face it - Upstate NY is well represented, all of the schools are 1 hour from each other.

  3. Richard Says:

    People prefer DI lacrosse because of its aura of dominance. Kids who dream of playing any sport dream about the highest level. I think it’s similar to a basketball player dreaming about playing in the NBA as opposed to a european league. Sure, some lower level games might be more exciting, but thats not what determines where a player aspires to play.

  4. Stegs Says:

    Good points.  I am just wondering if you have a ticket to the whole weekend…why not go?
    It is still exciting lax to watch…

  5. Peter Says:

    As a current DIII athlete I can clearly see the game growing, not only at the D-1 level where games are being aired on ESPN and ESPN2 in front of national audiences, but at the D-3 LEVEL, where every year it seems that new teams are being added in many conferences.

    With only 59 D-1 teams you can get more talent per team than D-3 teams just because the talent is so spread out in D-3. Also schools in D-3 may not have the ability to recruit nationally like D-1 teams. Coaches have to adapt to the students who come to the school.

    Playing against the best in D-3 takes talent, effort, and great coaching, no different from D-1. It seems that the top level talent in D-3 are kids who were on the cusp of going to D-1 schools but were looked over and dropped off of recruiting lists because of physical size.

    Lacrosse being a spring sport in some ways can hurt  student-athletes. If you are entering your senior year of high school you have the summer, fall, and winter to prepare for the season, but most college choices need to be made before the season is over, and in many cases before the season starts.

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