Friday’s edition of The Sun will include a feature on the depth of Maryland’s midfield, but here is the first of a few posts on the No. 3 seed Terps’ path to the Final Four at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Memorial Day weekend.
To get there for the first time since 2006, Maryland (12-3) will have to get past Notre Dame (8-6), which upended No. 6 seed Princeton, 8-5, in the first round this past Sunday. Saturday’s quarterfinal contest at Princeton is a re-match of last year’s first-round meeting when the unseeded Terps travel to South Bend, Ind., and knocked off a Fighting Irish squad that had earned the No. 7 seed despite compiling a 15-0 record in the regular season.
Maryland coach Dave Cottle said Tuesday he fully expects Notre Dame to use the memory of that loss as motivation.
"We took a 15-0 team and upset them at their home place. You don’t think they’re going to take great pleasure and great enhusiasm in trying to reverse the favor to us?" he asked rhetorically. "They’re going to have the cause in this thing a little bit, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re going to have our reasons why we’re going to play really well. We’re going to focus in on Maryland. We’re not going to play the what-if game. We’re going to play the what-is game, and what is next for us is this practice."
Terps sophomore attackman Joe Cummings echoed that sentiment, saying, "They want to come and get us this year because that was a disappointing loss for their team. They’re going to come out firing against us. So we’re definitely going to have to bring our ‘A’ game."