Tampa Set to Faceoff Against Florida Southern in Historic Game

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa lacrosse team is set to begin its highly anticipated inaugural season on Friday against conference rival Florida Southern College at 7 p.m., at Pepin Stadium.

It will be a historic night for the city of Tampa as UT plays it first ever collegiate lacrosse game. City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will be on hand as the city welcomes college lacrosse. University President Dr. Ronald Vaughn will also be in attendance.

The Spartans are led by team captains Eric Dance, Adam Dickson, Joseph Fiorucci, Greg Griffo, and Greg Khanzadian.

Dance is a junior transfer from Salisbury University in Maryland. While attending Freedom High School, he earned US Lacrosse All-American honors. Dickson is also a junior transfer from Salisbury University. Both were members of the Seagulls 2011 national championship team.

Fiorucci, a junior transfer from Presbyterian College, is the Spartan goalie. Hailing from Shirley, N.Y., he earned Academic All-American honors his senior year at William Floyd High School.

A second-team All-American his sophomore year at Suffolk Community College, Griffo comes to Tampa looking to pick up where he left off. He scored 32 goals and recorded 44 assists last season at Suffolk and 93 goals and had 107 assists at Babylon High School.

As one of three seniors, Khanzadian is Tampa's face off specialist. He is a senior transfer from Roanoke College, where he played for two years. The Syracuse, N.Y. native collected 70 ground balls and won 56.2 percent of his face-offs last season.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. before the game in the stadium parking lot, a fan fest will be held by UT athletic marketing. Festivities will include prize give-aways, sponsored tables (Gigis Cupcakes, Berninis, Green Iguana, Ragin Grille and AT&T) and a poster making contest.

On Thursday UT athletic marketing will be hosting a spring fest kickoff event in the Vaughn Center lobby. This is a chance for fans to meet the 2012 Tampa spring athletes. There will also be an auction, raffle tickets and other great giveaways.

Florida Southern has a relatively young lacrosse program as well, as they start its fourth season. The Mocs are 16-22 in its first three seasons as a Division II lacrosse program. UT head coach Rory Whipple also started the FSC lacrosse program, spending two seasons at Florida Southern before taking the helm at Tampa.

Tampa will compete in the Deep South Conference, which is a nine team league. The other members are Catawba, Florida Southern, Florida Tech, Lenoir-Rhyne, Mars Hill, Rollins, St. Leo and Wingate.

Tickets will be available at the gate for $5 (adults) and $3 (children and senior citizens). UT students will be admitted for free with a valid student ID.

Live stats and a video webcast will be available through www.tampaspartans.tv.
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