September 13, 2012

Villanova to Host 2013 Division I Women's Final Four

Women's, men's championships placed in same city for first time since 2010

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

The NCAA aims to replicate the record crowds of the 2010 Division I women's final four (above) by placing the 2013 women's championship at Villanova, nearby to Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field, where the men's championships will also be decided Memorial Day weekend.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

updated 09.14.12 at 10.32 a.m.

The 2013 NCAA Division I women's lacrosse final four will be played at 12,500-seat Villanova Stadium on the campus of Villanova University over Memorial Day weekend, an NCAA official confirmed to Lacrosse Magazine on Thursday.

The semifinals will be held Friday, May 24 and the championship Sunday, May 26 at times to be determined. The games will be televised on an ESPN platform, also to be determined.

The 2013 Division I men's final four and Division II and III championships will be held May 25-27 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Bringing the women's semifinal and finals to the same area – Villanova, Pa., is a Philadelphia suburb – was the idea, said NCAA associate director of championships D'Ann Keller. The Division I men's semifinals are scheduled for Saturday, May 25 with the championship on Memorial Day Monday.

"There were other sites with competitive bids, but the [Division I women's lacrosse committee] is committed to trying to host the event in the same city, different venue than the men's championship," Keller told Lacrosse Magazine. "Part of the reason is to create a lacrosse festival atmosphere since there is a lot of crossover between men's and women's lacrosse."

The last time the Division I men's and women's championships were held in the same city was 2010, when the men's final four was at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and the women's event at Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium. The women's championship game between Northwestern and Maryland drew an all-time record of 9,782 fans. The 2010 championship weekend drew 26,112, another record.

The women's championships have been held at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium on Long Island the past two years, and were held at Towson the three years prior. They were last in Philadelphia in 2007, when Northwestern won its third straight national championship at Penn.

"While we realize the sport continues to grow, we want to look at those hotbeds where we know lacrosse is popular," Keller said. "You look at the Philadelphia area, Long Island, greater Baltimore. We're going to look for spots where there is great potential for a fan base to support the event."

Villanova will serve as the host school for the first time in the history of the event. Villanova hosted the inaugural Big East men's lacrosse tournament this year. PPL Park, located to the southeast of Philadelphia in Chester, Pa., hosted a pair of NCAA Division I men's quarterfinals last May and will host the 2013 Division I men's soccer championship tournament.

The NCAA issued an official press release Friday.

The game times will be determined after Jan. 1, 2013, per the NCAA's rights agreement with ESPN.

Championship site bids are reviewed by the Division I women's lacrosse committee, which is now chaired by Colgate senior associate athletics director Ann-Marie Guglieri, who took over for Vanderbilt associate director of student athletics Candice Lee, whose term expired at the end of August. The women's lacrosse committee recommends a championship site for approval by the NCAA Division I championships and sports management cabinet.

The 2013 championship will be the first decided by an expanded, 26-team field, as announced in August.


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