San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic Set for Oct. 8

SAN FRANCISCO, JULY 26, 2011 Two of the country's top college lacrosse programs the University of Denver Pioneers and the Harvard University Crimson will face off in the third annual San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic Presented by Levi's, scheduled for Kezar Stadium at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 8, 2011.

This will be the third consecutive year that the Bay Area Youth Sports Foundation has hosted the only NCAA Division I lacrosse competition in California. All revenue from the event will benefit a variety of innovative sports and education programs for under-resourced children and youth in the Bay Area.

Denver, which fell to eventual national champion University of Virginia in the semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Tournament in May, finished the season 15-3 overall, its two other losses to Syracuse and Notre Dame. Harvard finished the season 10-6, losing to Cornell in the Ivy tournament after an impressive season that saw the team notch its most wins since 1998.

Denver and Harvard are primed for great 2012 seasons, with many returning players and strong incoming freshmen classes on both squads. Since its inception in 2009, the Fall Lacrosse Classic has brought some of the nation's top NCAA Division I teams to play in San Francisco, including Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Brown. All games have taken place at San Francisco's historic Kezar Stadium in front of thousands of enthusiastic fans.

"The continuing enthusiasm that these top programs have to travel across the country to play each other underscores the significant growth of lacrosse in California," said Colin Mistele, Event Director of the Fall Classic for the BAYS Foundation, and a two-time All-American lacrosse player from San Francisco's University High School who went on to play Division I lacrosse at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

Lacrosse has been the fastest growing high school and college sport over the past dozen years. There are now more than10,000 youth lacrosse players in California, and over 350 boys and girls CIF high school teams.

"Playing Harvard this fall provides a great opportunity to showcase the University of Denver program and the sport of lacrosse in Northern California and the West," said Denver head coach Bill Tierney, who spent 22 years coaching at Princeton University, where he guided his teams to six NCAA National Championships in nine years, before making the move to the University of Denver in 2009, and leading the Pioneers to the NCAA Final Four in just his second season.

Prior to the start of the competition, a free youth clinic will be held for 1sth 8th graders, featuring student athletes from the participating teams. A free coaches clinic will be also be held for local youth and high school coaches with the coaching staffs from Denver and Harvard. Both clinics will begin at 12:00 p.m. on game day.

"The Harvard team and coaching staff cannot wait to get to the San Francisco Bay area in October to face-off against Denver and participate in helping to grow lacrosse in the area while supporting a great organization," added second year Harvard head coach Chris Wojcik, himself a former All-American lacrosse and All-Ivy lacrosse and soccer player at Harvard ('96) who captained both the lacrosse and soccer teams in his senior year.

2011 marks the first year of the event's title sponsorship by San Francisco's Levi's. Due to the generosity of Levi's and other event sponsors, 100% of the ticket and concession revenue BAYS collects from the event this year will benefit the youth sports programs it supports. In the past two years, as a direct result of the Fall Classic, BAYS has invested $127,500 in six innovative local sports programs for underserved children and youth.

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