Nov. 15, 2012
BALTIMORE, Md. - The Villanova men's lacrosse team has been tabbed to play in the inaugural Whitman's® Sampler® Independence Classic at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. on March 9th, 2013. The Wildcats will take on their historic-rivals the University of Pennsylvania as announced this afternoon by Inside Lacrosse Magazine and Whitman's® Candies.
Inside Lacrosse Magazine and Whitman's® Candies has made a two-year commitment as title sponsor of the signature college lacrosse event. Whitman's® Candies and the famous Whitman's® Sampler® will be the driving force behind the Whitman's® Sampler® Independence Classic to be played at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 9, 2013 as well as the Whitman's® Sampler® Mile High Classic in Denver, Colo.
The Whitman's® Sampler® Independence Classic brings the fourth Inside Lacrosse experience scheduled for 2013 to the Philadelphia market. PPL Park, home to MLS's Philadelphia Union, provides a picturesque setting along the Delaware River and proved to be a fantastic venue for lacrosse as host to the 2012 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals in May. The Independence Classic will present a tripleheader of college lacrosse with a distinctive local flavor. Four of the six participating schools hail from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
2013 Whitman's® Sampler® Independence Classic (PPL Park; Chester, Pa.; March 9)
Game No. 1 - St. John's vs. Syracuse (noon): The first game features a rematch of the BIG EAST Championship game with St. John's facing Syracuse at noon. St. John's made huge strides a year ago with wins over Georgetown and Notre Dame as well as a trip to the conference title game. The Red Storm will take the field with high expectations, returning its entire attack, two-thirds of its defense and top goalie. Before moving into the ACC in 2014, long-time BIG EAST giant Syracuse will settle for nothing less than another league title in its conference swan song.
Game No. 2 - Penn vs. Villanova (2:30 p.m.): City bragging rights will be on the line when the Quakers and Wildcats meet in the second game of the day. Penn looks to avenge a last-second loss a year ago to Villanova on a wild, half-field shot at the horn. The Quakers hope a deeper, more talented roster will be the difference this season. Villanova seeks to return to its NCAA Tournament form of 2011, but will need to replace a lot of scoring power to get there. Look for another nail biter at PPL Park.
Game No. 3 - Penn State vs. Lehigh (5 p.m.): The nightcap brings two of the state's rising powers together when Penn State and Lehigh meet at 5 p.m. in a battle of pre-season Top 15 teams. Penn State continues to progress under third-year head coach Jeff Tambroni, and boasts a defense led by one of the nation's best goaltenders, Austin Kaut. Coming off its best season in school history, Lehigh brings back a class of seniors that have helped transformed coach Kevin Cassese's program into a Top 10 team. Seniors David DiMaria and Dante Fantoni headline a vaunted offense.
"We're excited to announce these two signature events for lacrosse fans to experience. Our ability to continually deliver memorable experiences is due to the support of Whitman's® Sampler® and other great partners," said Andy Bilello, Associate Publisher at Inside Lacrosse. "There are many sports sponsorship options, but few that offer a fresh approach like lacrosse. The energy and enthusiasm that the Whitman's® Sampler® brand brings to the sport is contagious. We are appreciative that Whitman's® Sampler® has made a two-year commitment to these events. This gives us the opportunity to firmly establish these events as annual traditions for lacrosse fans."
"Whitman's® Chocolates is delighted to support one of the greatest sports on earth," said John O'Hara, Vice President of Marketing, Whitman's® Candies. "We are a proud American chocolate maker with a passion for what we do. Lacrosse players have the same passion for what they do. We couldn't be more excited to get back to Denver and watch amazing teams play in a city that loves this sport, and we are psyched about going to Philadelphia where Stephen F. Whitman started our company 170 years ago. There aren't a lot of guarantees in life, but watching some of the best teams in the nation play lacrosse in the best venues in America - it's guaranteed to be sweet."
Tickets for the 2013 editions of the Whitman's® Sampler® Independence Classic will go on sale Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 at noon EST. All seating locations at PPL Park will be reserved for this event. Fans are urged to make their plans early to secure the best seats and to be part of the action.
Ticket prices for the 2013 Whitman's® Sampler® Independence Classic are: $45 for Club seats; $35 for Midfield reserved seats; $25 for Sideline reserved locations, $20 for groups of 10 or more; and $15 for groups of 100 or more. Parking can also be purchased in advance for $15.
Lacrosse fans interested in ticket information for the Independence Classic can call ComcastTix at 800-298-4200. Fans can also visit PhiladelphiaUnion.com or IndependenceClassic.com to get the latest news on the event and details on ordering tickets.