The Tradition Continues... The 2011 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic Kicks off Lacrosse Season

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No.1 Syracuse and No.2 Virginia among top-ranked teams to play in the fifth annual event at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore

"In partnership with our friends at Inside Lacrosse, Konica Minolta looks forward to sharing a great day of fast-paced action with lacrosse fans across the country.” - Kevin Kern, Konica Minolta

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 event has attracted more than 76,000 fans in its four-year history and has been a showcase for 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.

The wait is over as this year's Face-Off Classic is set for tomorrow (Saturday, March 12) at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore with a game lineup that once again pits the top teams in college lacrosse against each other. Five of the six participating teams are ranked in the top 20 of the current Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll, and both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams will play top competition 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. 20 Georgetown (11:00 a.m.)
Game No. 2 – No. 9 Cornell vs No. 2 Virginia (1:30 p.m.)
Game No. 3 – No. 17 Johns Hopkins vs UMBC (4:00 p.m.)
All times Eastern

Games No. 1 and No. 2 will air on ESPNU, while fans can watch Game No. 3 on ESPN3.com.

Fierce BIG EAST rivals No. 1 Syracuse and No. 20 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 event. A win over Syracuse would give Georgetown its first victory in the series since 2006 and could elevate the Hoyas in the rankings.

The second game pairs No. 2 Virginia and No. 9 Cornell. Bitter losses in the NCAA Semifinals saw both teams end their 2010 campaigns 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. 17 Johns Hopkins and UMBC will close 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 the six events 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 seal the victory.

Tickets can still be purchased for the 2011 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 ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000. Fans can also visit http://www.FaceOffClassic.com to get the latest news on the event and details on ordering tickets.

“This is a great lineup of games as we welcome back Syracuse and Virginia, teams that participated in the first two Face-Off Classics in 2007 and 2008,” stated Andy Bilello, Associate Publisher for Inside Lacrosse and the event’s director. ”Entering 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 accustomed to being in the spotlight and a few teams that are receiving an exciting opportunity to play on a big stage.”

The event often raises the level of play for all teams involved. “Last year, the three games were decided by a total of four goals, two of which were in overtime. We’re looking for more thrilling finishes tomorrow,” added Bilello.

2011 Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll (week of March 7)
(Bold indicates team is a 2011 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic participant)
1. Syracuse
2. Virginia
3. Notre Dame
4. Hofstra
5. Massachusetts
6. Stony Brook
7. Princeton
8. Maryland
9. Cornell
10. North Carolina
11. Army
12. Loyola
13. Pennsylvania
14. Denver
15. Duke
16. Ohio State
17. Johns Hopkins
18. Yale
19. Bucknell
20. Georgetown

“Our entire organization looks forward to continuing our commitment to the game of lacrosse, especially with our strategic decision to extend our title sponsorship 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 look forward to sharing a great day of fast-paced action with lacrosse fans across the country.”

Konica Minolta and Inside Lacrosse invite all lacrosse fans to follow all of the action on the companies’ respective social media sites:

Konica Minolta
Facebook: Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. and Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic
Twitter: @KonicaMinoltaUS and @KonicaMinoltaAt
YouTube: KonicaMinoltaUS

Inside Lacrosse
Facebook: Inside Lacrosse
Twitter: @Inside_Lacrosse and @FaceOffClassic
YouTube: InsideLacrosseTV

To schedule an interview with a Konica Minolta and/or Inside Lacrosse representative, please contact James Norberto at jnorberto@kmbs.konicaminolta.us.

About Konica Minolta
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. is a leader in advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop. For the fourth consecutive year, Konica Minolta was recognized as the #1 Brand for Customer Loyalty in the MFP Office Copier Market by Brand Keys. BLI has named Konica Minolta 2011 “Line of the Year” award winner for the company’s award-winning line of bizhub Color and Monochrome Multifunctional Products. For more information, please visit CountOnKonicaMinolta.com and follow Konica Minolta on Facebook (@Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A), YouTube (@KonicaMinoltaUS), and Twitter (@KonicaMinoltaUS).

About Inside Lacrosse
Inside Lacrosse is the premier media outlet for the sport of lacrosse, covering print (Inside Lacrosse Magazine, Face-Off Yearbook), online (InsideLacrosse.com, LacrosseForums.com, NLLInsider.com, WingsZone.com/nllmb), video (InsideLacrosse.tv and “Inside Lacrosse on ESPN”) and events (Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic, Konica Minolta Big City Classic). IL is the online partner of ESPN.com.

Konica Minolta is a trademark of Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

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