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Stony Brook submits bid to host 2017 Women’s Lacrosse Championships

Stony Brook Women’s Lacrosse against Johns Hopkins University on April 17, 2016. Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium is already the host for the 2018 NCAA championships but is now bidding to be the host for the 2017 championships. BRIDGET DOWNES/STATESMAN FILE

Stony Brook University has submitted a bid to host the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championships at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, according to a blog post from Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron published on Thursday afternoon.

The championships, consisting of the national semifinal and national title game rounds, are scheduled to take place on May 26 and 28, 2017.

The event was initially slated to take place in Cary, North Carolina, hosted by Campbell University, but was pulled out of the site after the NCAA announced on Monday that it would relocate all North Carolina-hosted NCAA Championships — seven in total — in protest of the state’s controversial House Bill 2.

The legislation requires individuals to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates. Many see the law as discriminatory against transgender people and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community.

Heilbron voiced support for the NCAA decision in his “Together We Transform Thursday” post: “The spirit in which the NCAA acted earlier this week is alive and well at Stony Brook. Words such as ‘together’ and ‘inclusive’ will always be used to define our department, and as long as our actions reflect our values, we will continue to position ourselves to achieve the goals that we have set.”

For Stony Brook, which has already been chosen to host the 2018 championships in the sport, the vacated site creates another opportunity to host the event.

According to the NCAA, submission of bids for the 2017 championships are due Sept. 27 and the decision will be made on Oct. 7.

When LaValle Stadium hosted the Women’s Lacrosse Championships in 2011 and 2012, the title games drew crowds of 8,011 and 7,127, respectively.

In February, head coach Joe Spallina welcomed the idea of the championships coming back to Long Island following the news that Stony Brook will be the host of the 2018 Final Four.

“I don’t think the university submits a bid for Stony Brook to host a Final Four without it being in the back of their head that our team could possibly be playing in it,” Spallina said at the time. “I think it’s great for Long Island lacrosse. Long Island, in my opinion, is the hub of lacrosse.”

Stony Brook advanced to the round of 16 in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, before losing, 7-6, to Syracuse in a regional game held at Boston College.

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