The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association released the field hockey playoff brackets on Oct. 21, with three Howard County teams earning No. 1 seeds in their respective regions.
Marriotts Ridge (7-3-1) earned the top seed in 2A South Region II, while Mt. Hebron (10-2) and River Hill (7-4-1) are the top seeds in 3A East Region I and 3A East Region II, respectively.
The MPSSAA playoff format this season is different than in previous years. Each region is still separated into two sections, but under the new format the winner of each section — now called “Region I” and “Region II” — advances to the state quarterfinals, which will be re-seeded 1-8 based on regular season win percentage.
The old format pitted section champions from the same region against one another in a region championship to advance to the state semifinal round. The potential is now there for two teams in the county to play in a state final.
Here are the field hockey playoff seedings:
Region I: 1. Thomas Stone; 2. La Plata; 3. St. Charles; 4. Westlake.
Region II: 1. North County; 2. Old Mill; 3. Glen Burnie; 4. Meade.
In 2A South Region II, Marriotts Ridge (7-3-1), Wilde Lake (8-4) and Hammond (8-4) all earned byes. The Mustangs play the winner of the Glenelg (5-7) vs. Oakland Mills (4-8) game — which is being played on Thursday, Oct. 24 — in the second round, while the Golden Bears and the Wildecats will face off in the second round.
In 3A East, every team received a first-round bye, with Mt. Hebron (10-2) earning an additional bye in the second round. The Vikings will play the winner of Centennial (3-9) and Westminster (8-4) in the Region I final. River Hill (7-4-1) will play Atholton (1-11) in the second round, while Long Reach (4-7) will host Reservoir (3-9). The winner of those two contests will face off in the Region II final. With the new playoff system, the likely Howard County winners of Region I and Region II will not play each other in what was previously the 3A East final, as the two region champions will be re-seeded based on regular season win percentage.