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Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium to host three Premier Lacrosse League games in June

Mike Chanenchuk of Whipsnakes LC reacts after scoring

Mike Chanenchuk of Whipsnakes LC reacts after scoring against Redwoods LC during Day 2 of the Premier Lacrosse League at Georgia State Stadium on June 29, 2019, in Atlanta. Credit: Getty Images/Kevin C. Cox

Mike Chanenchuk and Tommy Kelly are plenty familiar with lacrosse at LaValle Stadium. The two Long Island products are assistant coaches with Stony Brook's men's lacrosse team, working with Seawolves players to hone their craft.

But come this June, they'll get to see the field as players rather than coaches.

Stony Brook will host three Premier Lacrosse League games on June 12 and 13, including a nationally televised game on NBC on the 13th, the league announced Tuesday. 

Founded in September 2018 and debuting last July, the PLL is a professional league made up of seven lacrosse clubs — Archers LC, Atlas LC, Chaos LC, Chrome LC, Redwoods LC, Waterdogs LC and Whipsnakes LC. Unlike most pro sports leagues, the teams aren't tied to specific home cities. Instead, the entire league tours 12 different cities across the country, with a 14-week schedule — 10 regular-season weekends, one all-star weekend, two playoff weekends and the championship weekend.

The matchups for the three games have yet to be announced, but Chanenchuk — an East Setauket native who was a Newsday All-Long Island first-team selection from St. Anthony's in 2008 — already is excited.

"Coming back to Stony Brook to play with the PLL is an unreal experience for me," Chanenchuk, Stony Brook's offensive coordinator and a midfielder for the Whipsnakes, said via Stony Brook's website. "Growing up in the area and now coaching at Stony Brook, it all comes together. Coming up as a youth player and now coaching in the college ranks and then to play here professionally is very exciting."

Kelly, who joined Stony Brook as a volunteer assistant coach for this upcoming season, played high school lacrosse at Rocky Point and is a faceoff specialist for the Chaos.

The June 12 game will be televised by NBC Gold at 7 p.m. NBC will carry the 4 p.m. game on June 13, with NBCSN airing the 6:30 p.m. game that night.

"We are ecstatic to be coming back to New York and expanding our reach to the rabid lacrosse fan base on Long Island," PLL co-founder and CEO Mike Rabil said in a statement. "Long Island has always been a hotbed for the sport, and nearly a third of our players were born and raised in the area. We want to make this weekend an unforgettable homecoming for them.

"The university has also been gracious enough to provide a standout venue that will give fans in the area an experience they won't forget. We can't wait to see if this is the next sellout venue for us. Long Island fans have a history of showing up for lacrosse."

LaValle Stadium, which seats 13,200, is the third venue to be announced for the 2020 PLL season. Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., and Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Atlanta are the other two, with more to be announced in the next few months.

"The game of lacrosse is a vibrant and visible part of the Long Island landscape, and we are beyond excited to welcome the PLL to Stony Brook this summer," Stony Brook director of athletics Shawn Heilbron said via the school's website. "The PLL features some of the most talented lacrosse players in the world while delivering a high-energy, community-focused weekend of events.

"This is a huge opportunity for Stony Brook and for all of Long Island to celebrate a sport that is so important to our region." 

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