March marquee for lacrosse

M&T Bank Stadium double bill has Hopkins-Princeton, Virginia-Syracuse

November 07, 2006|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN REPORTER

Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala and Princeton coach Bill Tierney have discussed for several years playing their traditional early-season matchup at a neutral site. But each coach was hesitant to give up a valuable home game.

That is an obstacle no longer.

Yesterday, Hopkins announced that it will face Princeton on March 3 at M&T Bank Stadium as part of a doubleheader also pitting defending national champion Virginia against Syracuse, in the first Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Classic.

The event, created by Inside Lacrosse magazine, features the four schools that have won every NCAA title since 1992, and it precedes the third NCAA men's tournament final four event at the home of the Ravens on Memorial Day weekend.

"We've talked about doing something like this for years, and it was too good to pass up," Pietramala said. "We all play each other [during the regular season]. We all get a chance to scout each other. It's a chance to play in the final four venue.

"It was very selfless on the part of all four coaches. We're all making some [financial] sacrifices. It wasn't about the four of us need to split this or we need to have that. This was about doing something that's good for the sport."

The Blue Jays and the Tigers began regularly opening the season against each other in 1990. The early-season meetings between Virginia and Syracuse date from 1996.

"We're giving up a home game against Johns Hopkins," Tierney said. "That should tell you about our commitment and our belief in this event."

Pietramala added that Hopkins will give up its home game next year against the Tigers, and that game also could take place at M&T Bank Stadium.

Tickets go on sale in early December. Fans can go to for information.

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