Navy (18-3) at No. 1 seed Maryland (19-1)
When: Saturday, noon
Coaches: Cindy Timchal, Navy; Cathy Reese, Maryland
Players to Watch: Jenna Collins, senior, midfield, Navy; Megan Whittle, senior, attack, Maryland
Outlook: Reigning national champion Maryland takes on another of the hottest teams in the country as the Midshipmen aim for a second straight trip to the final four. The Terps have won 17 straight games since falling to North Carolina, 16-15 in overtime, on Feb. 24. Navy has won nine in a row since falling to Loyola Maryland, 16-12, on April 7. The Midshipmen have avenged that loss twice — 17-10 in the Patriot League championship and 19-15 in Sunday’s NCAA second round. The Big Ten champion Terps are coming off their most stifling defensive performance of the season, a 15-4 second-round win over Denver. Maryland and Navy have met just once, a 19-6 Terps win in the 2011 NCAA tournament. The showdown features two of the most successful coaches in tournament history. Timchal coached the Terps to eight national championships before departing to start the Navy program in 2008. Reese, who played for Timchal at Maryland, has guided the Terps to four national championships since taking over as coach in 2007. Both teams’ scoring offenses rank in the top six in Division I and both are led by their all-time leading goal scorers. Maryland’s Tewaaraton Award finalist, Whittle, with 294, ranks second all time in Division I, while Navy’s Collins has 223.
Northwestern (15-5) at No. 2 seed North Carolina (16-3)
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Coaches: Kelly Amonte Hiller, Northwestern; Jenny Levy, North Carolina
Players to Watch: Selna Lasota, junior, attack, Northwestern; Marie McCool, senior, midfielder, North Carolina
Outlook: This quarterfinal is the only one that features two teams that played during the regular season. The Tar Heels won, 18-13, on March 17. They’ve met five times in the NCAA tournament with the Wildcats winning four times, including in the 2009 national title game. The Tar Heels won the 2013 and 2016 championships while Northwestern won the most recent of its seven titles in 2012. Both teams average about 16 goals per game while Northwestern gives up about a goal more than North Carolina. Both have balanced offenses. Katie Hoeg (38 goals, 45 assists) leads the Tar Heels, who also have perhaps the nation’s top midfielder in two-time Tewaaraton finalist McCool (56 goals, 16 assists). Hoeg had two goals and four assists in the second-round win over Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels’ third win over the Hokies this season. Wildcats attacker Lasota (70 goals, 18 assists) is already within five of the tournament goal-scoring record of 22 after scoring a tournament-record nine in the first-round win over Richmond and eight in the second-round win over seventh-seeded Towson.
No. 6 seed Florida (17-3) at No. 3 seed James Madison (19-1)
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Coaches: Amanda O’Leary, Florida; Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe, James Madison
Players to Watch: Haley Hicklen, junior, goalie, Florida; Kristen Gaudian, senior, attack, James Madison
Outlook: James Madison is in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010 while the Gators return for the first time since 2014. The two have met just once, during the 2014 regular season, with Florida taking a 21-8 victory. The Dukes have never won more than two games in a single NCAA tournament while the Big East champion Gators reached the final four in 2012 and 2013. The Dukes, the Colonial Athletic Association champions, had never been seeded as high as No. 3 and had never won 19 games in a season. Their only loss was to No. 1 seed Maryland. Both teams have won 11 straight games. Tewaaraton finalist Guadian leads the Dukes with 71 goals and 15 assists. Hicklen, a Towson High graduate, ranks among Division I’s top goalies with a .490 save percentage.
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Coaches: Joe Spallina, Stony Brook; Acacia Walker-Weinstein, Boston College
Players to Watch: Kylie Ohlmiller, senior, attack, Stony Brook; Sam Apuzzo, junior, attack.
Outlook: The showdown between two teams that many believe should be in the final four — Stony Brook was ranked No. 1 in the Inside Lacrosse media poll while Boston College was No. 3. Both teams lost to national champion Maryland in last year’s tournament — the Seawolves in the quarterfinals and Boston College in the title game. The Seawolves are well known for their attack led by a pair of NCAA career record holders. Tewaaraton finalist Ohlmiller broke the Division I record for points and has 86 goals and 66 assists this season. Courtney Murphy broke the record for goals and has 93 goals and 34 points this season. An attack averaging 18.25 goals per game draws most of the attention, but Stony Brook also has the stingiest defense in Division I, giving up just 6.85 goals per game. The Eagles are also led by a Tewaaraton finalist, Apuzzo, who has 80 goals and 35 assists. This will be the fifth meeting between the programs with Boston College leading the series 3-1 although the Seawolves won the last time in 2016.