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Without Albany, NCAA lacrosse championships lost some luster

For the seventh consecutive year, attendance at the NCAA lacrosse championships dipped.

Not even holding the event in Baltimore with Maryland as one of the Division I semifinalists and Salisbury as one of the Division III finalists could bring more than the announced attendance of 78,234 for the three-day Memorial Day weekend in May.

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I think the absence of the Thompson trio and Albany affected the final numbers.

When Notre Dame clipped the Great Danes, 14-13, in overtime in a quarterfinal at Hofstra the week before, the lacrosse community lost an opportunity to watch attackmen Lyle, Miles and Ty Thompson light up the scoreboard at M&T Bank Stadium.

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Lyle and Miles Thompson had tied NCAA records for assists and goals in a single season, respectively, and already ranked 1-2 in single-season points in NCAA history.

In all likelihood, they would have further polished their place in history on a stage where their trademark ponytails — worn in homage to the Onondaga Nation of which they are members — and highlight-reel plays would have intrigued even the casual observer.

Then again, who's to say that the casual viewer wouldn't have simply remained at home and watched the games on ESPN, thereby not spending the money, time and patience required of a trek to Baltimore?

But I maintain the Thompsons might have been a powerful draw to fans, and in the end, we missed a chance to watch what would have been the most electrifying storyline in lacrosse.


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