Denver (13-6) at No. 1 seed Maryland (18-1)
When: Sunday, noon
Coaches: Liza Kelly, Denver; Cathy Reese, Maryland
Players to watch: Julia Feiss, junior, attack, Denver; Megan Whittle, senior, attack, Maryland
Outlook: As the No. 1 seed in the tournament, the defending national champion Terps had a bye through Friday night’s first round while Denver defeated High Point, 19-10. The two programs have met only twice, in 2004 and 2005, with Maryland winning both games handily. The Pioneers, who play in the Big East, are in the tournament for the third time and have never gotten beyond the second round. Maryland is in the tournament for the 34th time and is aiming for a 14th NCAA title. In the first round, the Pioneers poured 19 goals on a High Point defense that allowed an average of 8.55 per game this season to rank second in Division I. The Terps have allowed 9.68 goals per game, but their schedule has been much tougher than the Pioneers’. Maryland has one of the most high-powered offenses Denver has seen — the Pioneers played Florida twice and Stony Brook once. Whittle (McDonogh), a Tewaartaon Award finalst, leads the Terps with 74 goals and 12 assists and needs two more goals to move into second place on the NCAA all-time goal-scoring list. Freshman Quintin Hoch-Bullen leads the Pioneers with 40 goals and 17 assists.
Northwestern (14-5) at No. 7 seed Towson (16-4)
When: Sunday, noon
Coaches: Kelly Amonte Hiller, Northwestesrn; Sonia LaMonica, Towson
Players to watch: Selena Lasota, junior, attack, Northwestern; Olivia Conti, sophomore, defense, Towson
Outlook: While the Tigers rolled over Wagner, taking a 12-1 lead early in the second half en route to a 16-6 victory, in Friday’s first round, Northwestern staged a historic shootout with Richmond, coming away with a 24-18 win. The two combined for the most goals in an NCAA tournament game and Lasota set a tournament record with nine goals. The Tigers also tied a tournament record when Emily Gillingham scored the first goal just nine seconds into its win over Wagner. The Wildcats, who average 15.7 goals, will run into a Tigers defense that has been among the stingiest in Division I all season, allowing 8.8 goals per game. Lasota leads Northwestern with 62 goals and 18 assists. Natalie Sulmonte leads the Tigers with 45 goals and 23 assists. The Tigers are in the second round for only the second time in program history and have never advanced further. While Towson have the home-field advantage, the Wildcats are pretty comfortable at Johnny Unitas Stadium having won two of their seven national titles there.
Navy (17-3) at No. 8 seed Loyola Maryland (16-4)
When: Sunday, noon
Coaches: Cindy Timchal, Navy; Jen Adams, Loyola
Players to watch: Jenna Collins, senior, midfielder, Navy; Hannah Powers, junior, attack, Loyola
Outlook: The Midshipmen and the Greyhounds meet for the third time this season in a rematch of the Patriot League championship. Navy won the title last weekend, 17-10, after the Greyhounds took the regular-season game, 16-12. Both teams had impressive wins in the first round. Navy topped Johns Hopkins, 16-9, with goalie Ingrid Boyum making a career-high 17 saves. Julia Collins (River Hill), the Most Valuable Player of the Patriot League tournament, had six goals to match her total from the conference final. Loyola rolled over Fairfield, 18-2, paced by six points from freshman Livy Rosenzweig and 16 saves from Kady Glynn. Navy reached the final four last season for the first time in program history while Loyola last reached the national semifinals in 2003. The Greyhounds played in the title game in 1997, falling to Maryland, 8-7. Rosenzweig leads the Greyhounds with 50 goals and 43 assists. Kelly Larkin leads Navy with 58 goals and 50 assist while Jenna Collins, Julia’s twin, also has more than 100 points on 77 goals and 26 assists.