PHILADELPHIA - Inside Lacrosse has announced the schedule for the inaugural Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic, and the University of Pennsylvania men's lacrosse team will use the event as an opportunity to add the next chapter to its ongoing rivalry with Villanova.
As part of the Saturday, March 9 event, the Quakers and the Wildcats are scheduled to be the second game of a college tripleheader to be played at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., the home of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union. The Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic will open with St. John's playing Syracuse at noon; Penn and Villanova will face off at 2:30 p.m.; and then Penn State will meet Lehigh at 5 p.m. All three games will be televised to a worldwide audience on ESPN3.com.
"We are extremely excited to participate in the inaugural Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic," said Penn's fourth-year head coach, Mike Murphy. "We take great pride in being members of the Philadelphia Lacrosse community and we are ecstatic to be a part of this event. To play a local rival like Villanova in a venue like PPL Park is something our program is really excited about."
This will mark Penn's second straight year competing in an Inside Lacrosse event. Last year, the Quakers were part of the inaugural Mile High Classic in Denver, Colo., where they fell to Virginia, 10-8.
"We were fortunate enough to be a part of the Mile High Classic last year, and Inside Lacrosse does a fantastic job of putting on these events and attracting first-rate sponsors like Whitman's," said Murphy. "We have a lot of players on our team from the Philadelphia area, and it will be a thrill to play at a first-class facility like PPL in an event of this magnitude. We can't wait."
Arguably the signature collegiate programs in the Philadelphia region, Penn and Villanova have played each other every year since 1998 and had some classic games in that time -- of the 15 games, eight have been decided by a goal (including each of the last three) and two times they have needed overtime to decide things. Last year, the Wildcats gained a stunning victory over the Quakers at Franklin Field, overcoming a four-goal deficit to win, 8-7, on a 30-yard shot that hit the netting with one second left. Penn leads the overall series dating back to 1988, 15-8; however, all of Villanova's victories have come in the last 15 years.
Tickets for 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 these events. 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.
Inside Lacrosse Events on ESPN3
Plans are in the works for ESPN3 to carry action from the Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic at PPL Park, paired with regional broadcast exposure. The final broadcast schedules for ESPN networks and all Inside Lacrosse events will be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more.
Inside Lacrosse Event Sponsors
The following join Whitman's Sampler as partners with Inside Lacrosse to present the 2013 Independence Classic are: Warrior, Brine, Konica Minolta, ESPNU, CyberCore Technologies and Maverik.
About Whitman's® Sampler®
America's most famous box of chocolates celebrated its first 100 years in 2012. The yellow, cross-stitched Whitman's® Sampler® may seem quiet and unassuming, but oh do Americans love to give it.
Since the Sampler's introduction in 1912, it has never faltered as America's best-selling box of chocolates. Today, a Sampler® is sold every 2.5 seconds. It is estimated that over one billion Samplers have been sold since 1912, and a large number of those empty boxes are still in desk drawers, cupboards, and attics filled with keepsakes, recipes, baseball cards, buttons, and the like. The Sampler® is truly a part of American life.
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, ILGear.com, ILIndoor.com, ILWomen.com, ILIndoor.com), video (ILTelevision.com and "Inside Lacrosse on ESPN") and events (Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic, Konica Minolta Big City Classic, Whitman's Sampler Mile High Classic, Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic and Powerball). IL is the online partner of ESPN.com.