Ramsey, N.J. and Baltimore, Md. – Over the last five years, Inside Lacrosse has set the standard for promoting lacrosse with events such as the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic (Title sponsor: Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.). This early season celebration for the sport has attracted more than 76,000 fans in its four-year history. The event has been a showcase for the elite names in college lacrosse, often serving as a preview of the NCAA Championships. Three of the last four national champions have started their season in the Face-Off Classic: Johns Hopkins in 2007, Syracuse in 2008 and Duke in 2010.
It's no wonder that lacrosse fans circle the date for the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic on their calendars each year. This year's Face-Off Classic is set for Saturday, March 12 at M&T Bank Stadium with a game lineup that once again pits the top teams in college lacrosse against each other. Four of the six participating teams are ranked in the top 10 of the current Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll and both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams will feature in the event.
2011 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic (Saturday, March 12 at M&T Bank Stadium)
Game No. 1 – No. 1 Syracuse vs No. 14 Georgetown (11:00 a.m.)
Game No. 2 – No. 5 Cornell vs No. 2 Virginia (1:30 p.m.)
Game No. 3 – No. 9 Johns Hopkins vs UMBC (4:00 p.m.)
Fierce BIG EAST rivals No. 1 Syracuse and No. 14 Georgetown meet in the first game of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. The top ranked Orange return to the Face-Off Classic after last playing in the 2008 edition. A win over Syracuse would give Georgetown its first victory in the series since 2006 and almost certainly elevate the Hoyas to a top 10 ranking.
The second game pairs No. 2 Virginia and No. 5 Cornell. Bitter losses in the NCAA Semifinals saw both teams end its 2010 campaign at M&T Bank Stadium last May. The two opponents faced each other in the 2009 NCAA Semifinals, with the Big Red earning a 15-6 win. The Cavaliers gained a measure of revenge with a convincing 12-4 win at Cornell in the 2010 regular season.
Baltimore area foes No. 9 Johns Hopkins and UMBC will close out the event. Despite their geographic proximity to each other the Blue Jays and the Retrievers have only met eight times. Hopkins has won all eight matchups, including all six since the series resumed in 2005. Last year, JHU topped UMBC 16-10 at Homewood Field. A tight game through much of the third quarter, UMBC trailed 10-9 before the Blue Jays went on a 6-1 run to close out the game and seal the win.
Tickets are now on sale for the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. Ticket prices are: $35 for Club Level seats; $22 for Lower Level reserved seats; $18 for groups of 10 or more; and $12 for groups of 100 or more. Parking can also be purchased in advance for $15. All seating locations are reserved.
Lacrosse fans interested in ticket information can call the Baltimore Ravens box office at 410-261-RAVE. In addition to the Ravens' box office, fans can purchase through Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000. Fans can also visit FaceOffClassic.com to get the latest news on the event and details on ordering tickets.
"This is a great lineup of games," stated Andy Bilello, Associate Publisher for Inside Lacrosse and the event's director. "We welcome back Syracuse and Virginia, teams that participated in the first two Face-Off Classics in 2007 and 2008. Those two enter the season as the top two teams in the national polls. They are joined by a perennial power in Johns Hopkins and three new teams to the event in Cornell, Georgetown and UMBC. It's a mix that includes teams that are accustomed to being in the spotlight and a few teams that are receiving an exciting opportunity to play on a big stage."
"We've found that teams often raise their level of play in this setting. Last year, the three games were decided by a total of four goals, two in overtime. We're looking for more thrilling finishes on March 12."
2011 Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll (week of February 21)
(Bold indicates team is a 2011 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic participant)
"Our entire organization looks forward to continuing our commitment to the game of lacrosse, especially with our strategic decision to extend our title sponsorships of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic," said Kevin Kern, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. "Our sports marketing initiatives have consistently proven to be very effective in building brand awareness of Konica Minolta. In partnership with our friends at Inside Lacrosse, we aim to position the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic as one of the premier events within the annual landscape of college sports."