College Lacrosse Needs a Beanpot Tournament


      Every year in college hockey Boston College, Boston U., Harvard, and Northeastern get together in Boston at TD Garden for the Beanpot tournament every year in February. It's a vrey big Boston college hockey bragging rights tournament. This is one of the biggest events of the year for college hockey. The tournament has been going on for 65 years now. The 65th Beanpot tournament just ended on Tuesday night Feb. 13th as Northeastern won their first Beanpot championship in 30 years. Those kinds of things and those kinds of rivalries are what fans really get excited for.

      I think that college lacrosse would really benefit from something similar to the Beanpot. With really good areas like Baltimore and New York that have multiple college teams in the area that would be a great event. They actually have an event similar to the Beanpot in DIII. Stevenson host multiple DIII teams for a weekend of games every year in an event they call the Mustang Classic. The Mustang Classic is not a tournament though, it's just a classic. This is a great event that really showcases the DIII level of the game. I think there could really be a spot for a Beanpot type of tournament at any level but we are going to just stick with DI today.

   There are a few different ways that a Beanpot type tournament could take form in college lacrosse. I have come up with two different ways that would work. I am going to call them the New York way and the Baltimore way. Keep in mind that these are just two ways and there could certainly be more.

   The New York Way
      The New York way as I am going to call it would consist of teams from the New York City Metropolitan area. There are some very good teams that are in this vicinity. Now, the DI lacrosse teams that I would say are in the NYC Metro are Hofstra, Stony Brook, Manhattan, St. John's, Wagner, Princeton, and Rutgers. You could also add in Marist, Monmouth, and Fairfield as well. Now, you would not want all those teams in one mid-season tournament. I would pick out some of the best teams in that mix and make a Beanpot like tournament. Of course you would need to pick a name for the tournament first. I'm think something like the Liberty tournament. Sounds good right? 

      Let's get into what teams I would pick. I think you would obviously need to get Hofstra since they are looked by most as the most traditional NYC team in college lacrosse. For the next team I would have to go over to NJ and get Princeton because of the history and talent there. For the third team I would grab another NJ team in Rutgers because of how much that program has grown. Also, because of the B1G affiliation and they have been playing a real high level of lacrosse recently. Lastly, I would go back to the island and get Stony Brook because of how successful of a program they have been and they are very talented too. I think this would be a great mix of schools. Hofstra and Stony Brook are more mid-major where as Rutgers and Princeton are more known on a national level.

       Now that we have chose the teams we need to find a site to play at. We know there has to be some place where a big mid-season college lacrosse tournament can take place at in the NYC metro area. Some places that come to mind for me are obviously James M. Shuart Stadium on the campus of Hofstra and where the Pride play as well as the MLL's New York Lizards. Also, the NCAA tournament has been there numerous times. It's a great place for any lacrosse game. The next place would be High Point Solutions Stadium which is home to Rutgers. I really like both of these place but I feel like you should keep it at more of a neutral site. I think either Yankee Stadium or Lawrence A. Wien Stadium would be great. Out of those two I would have to go with Lawrence A. Wien Stadium just because the last time they tried to play lacrosse in Yankee Stadium it looked really bad. Just for the record Lawrence A. Wien Stadium is on the campus of Columbia University and they are actually hosting the Ivy League tournament this year.

     So, we have our teams and we have our stadium. I think that this would work very very well and would be great for the game of Lacrosse as a whole. I think now it's time too look at the Baltimore Way.

The Baltimore Way
   The Baltimore way as I am calling this one. As, most of you all know Baltimore is home to many great college lacrosse traditions as well as just lacrosse in general. Baltimore is the capital of lacrosse. Well, the second capital because I give that name to the Onondaga Nation. Alright, so what teams are in the Baltimore area that we could choose from? We have Johns Hopkins, Loyola, UMBC, and Towson. You also would throw Maryland, Navy, and Georgetown in there as well. I will throw Delaware in there just for the heck of it. Now we need a name for this tournament. I was thinking the Crab Cup. Sounds nice.

      Now, lets pick the teams. I think you have to go with Johns Hopkins, Towson, Loyola, and UMBC. I know you all are asking why not Maryland? I love the Maryland vs Hopkins rivalry as it's own game and it really is the main rivalry in the state as far as lacrosse goes so that is why. The reason why I picked each of the teams I did was simple. Hopkins because duh? Loyola because they are a lacrosse school and again duh? Towson for the same reason. UMBC will bring that underdog vibe to it and they are a lacrosse school as well.

      I don't even have to think about location for this game. The simple place is to play it at Homewood field which is at Johns Hopkins. The history and everything would just make it such a special thing. But if you wanted to go neutral site the you could play it at M&T where the Ravens play but I think that might be too big. So, either Homewood or just rotate the site every year.

     That is that for that for the Baltimore way and I really like it. I think that Baltimore might have more successful than New York but that is arguable.

More Examples

      As I stated earlier, the main two examples I did are just two ways to do it. I am going to briefly give other examples that I really like too.

New York City
  This is an all New York one that doesn't include Jersey but I still really like it. This one would be Hofstra, Stony Brook, St. John's, and Wagner or Manhattan.

Upstate New York
   Syracuse, Albany, Colgate, and Binghamton or Canisus or Hobart or Siena

Boston Area
   Boston U., Harvard, Umass-Lowell, Holy Cross or UMass
UMass may be too far.

New Jersey
   Princeton, Monmouth, Rutgers, NJIT

   Yale,Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac, Fairfield

Philly Philly!
   St. Joseph's, Penn, Drexel, and Lehigh or Lafayette

Battle for the Carolinas
   UNC, Duke, High Point, Furman

New England Battle
   Dartmouth, Providence, Boston U., and Vermont

   Ok I am going to stop there. Obviously, there are so many ways to do this and it would be great any way. You could even go DIII or DII as well. There are so many ways that would make such a great mid-season college lacrosse tournament just like the Beanpot. I really hope that some day we have something like it in our sport. 

Just a little side note:
   Lacrosse All Stars actually did an article similar to this back in January.

here is that article: