Fans looking for high-octane offensive attacks, aggressive defenses and end-to-end action can find it all with a pair of gripping matchups in the Moe’s Southwest Grill Sunshine Classic that will feature Jacksonville University against Georgetown and a national championship rematch between Duke and Notre Dame on Feb. 20 in Jacksonville, Fla.
EverBank Field, which can hold up to 84,000 spectators, will host the event. The home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars will host some of the best quick-strike offensives in the country. Three of the four participating teams finished in the top-10 nationally in scoring last season.
The venue will try to extend a successful pattern of college lacrosse games being played in NFL venues. In April a tripleheader at the New Meadowlands Stadium for the Big City Classic drew 25,742 fans; setting an attendance record for a regular season, lacrosse-only event.
The event will be televised on the ESPN family of networks, with the national title rematch starting at 3 p.m. on ESPN. JU’s matchup against Georgetown will air on ESPN3 at noon. Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com, with club seats starting at $34.50 and non-club seats starting at $25.50. Discounted prices are available for groups and for all active members of the military.
Duke scored a Division 1-best 269 goals last season en route to a national title. Notre Dame is well-equipped to curtail the Blue Devils’ firepower after posting the second-fewest goals-allowed in 2010.
In the Sunshine Classic’s opener, Jacksonville University will welcome a Georgetown squad ranked eighth in RPI last year. JU is looking to build off a successful campaign in the program’s inaugural year, which included a 6-7 overall record highlighted by its first win, in triple overtime, against No. 18 Denver at home.
JU drew more than 1,200 per home game last year and will continue to raise lacrosse’s profile in Florida. The Dolphins are the only Division I men’s program in the state and have one of the two women’s programs.
“To have this event at such an early point in our program is a major step for our growth,” said JU head coach Matt Kerwick. “We’re very fortunate to have tremendous facilities and relationships here in Jacksonville that has brought this event together.”