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Johns Hopkins, Towson, Maryland receive at-large berths as five state schools get into NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament

Loyola women's lacrosse players celebrate capturing the Patriot League Tournament championship game and earning an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Loyola women's lacrosse players celebrate capturing the Patriot League Tournament championship game and earning an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. (Barbara Haddock Taylor)

Five state schools received bids to the NCAA tournament for Division I women’s lacrosse.

Patriot League champion Loyola Maryland and Northeast Conference winner Mount St. Mary’s were among the 15 automatic qualifiers into the 29-team field. Johns Hopkins, Maryland and Towson grabbed three of the 14 at-large berths when the tournament field was announced on live television Sunday night.

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Loyola (13-2) will take on Hofstra (6-6) of the Colonial Athletic Association in a first-round game Friday afternoon (3 p.m.) at the Carrier Dome. The winner advances to face third-seeded and host Syracuse (14-3).

The Greyhounds (11-2) clinched their ninth NCAA tournament appearance in the past 10 years with an 11-6 victory over Lehigh in the Patriot League championship game Saturday.

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This will be the seventh meeting between Loyola and Hofstra, but the first since 2007. The Greyhounds enter the tournament on an 11-game winning streak, holding opponents to single-digit scoring in nine of those contests.

“Obviously an opponent we have not faced for a while, a very different opponent for us,” Loyola coach Jen Adams said. “Fortunately, I have seen Hofstra play a bit this season while scouting some crossover games. It is a very tough side and we will have our hands full.”

Friday’s game will be Loyola’s first away from Ridley Athletic Complex since a 14-6 win at then-No. 21 Navy on March 31. The Greyhounds have won at least one tournament game in eight of their last nine NCAA appearances, advancing to the quarterfinals on three occasions.

“We have not been able to travel and spend overnights at all this season, so this will be our first true road trip in terms of staying in a hotel,” Adams said.

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Loyola hosted Syracuse at Ridley Athletic Complex in the season opener and was routed, 18-6. Adams did not want to look ahead at a possible rematch but seemed eager for the Greyhounds to get a chance at redemption.

“Obviously, our complete and total focus is on Hofstra. We’re always concerned solely with the game that is in front of us,” Adams said. “If we are fortunate to advance, we’ll look forward to the challenge of playing Syracuse. A lot has changed for both sides that first game of the season.”

Mount St. Mary’s (13-4) will meet seventh-seeded Duke (9-7) of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Mountaineers are making their first appearance in the NCAA tournament since last winning the NEC in 2005.

“I’m extremely excited to play Duke. I’m familiar with the history of their program and reputation in the ACC,” Mount St. Mary’s coach Lauren Skellchock said. “This is going to be a great experience for our team. I didn’t care who we were playing to be quite honest. I’m confident in our team and we will prepare well this week for this Duke opponent.”

Maryland (9-6), which is not seeded for the first time in many years, is on the other side of the bracket against High Point (10-7), which captured its fourth straight Big South Conference championship. The Terps will play the Panthers at Duke on Friday (7 p.m.) night.

This marks the 31st straight season the Terps have earned a berth in the NCAA tournament. Maryland routed High Point, 21-6, in the only meeting between the schools, which came in the second round of the 2017 NCAA tournament.

Maryland leads Division I with 36 NCAA appearances and is also tops in wins (75), championship game appearances (22) and national championships (14).

Towson (9-8), which lost to Drexel in the CAA semifinals, will travel to eighth-seeded Stony Brook (14-2), the America East champ. The winner of that contest, set for Friday (noon) at Kenneth P. Lavalle Stadium on Long Island, moves on to play the Drexel-Rutgers winner.

Johns Hopkins also got into the tournament despite losing to Maryland in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. The Blue Jays are matched against James Madison (11-4), which defeated Drexel to capture its fourth straight CAA tournament title.

Hopkins-JMU will be played Friday (5 p.m.) in Chapel Hill. The winner advances to face top-seeded and undefeated North Carolina (18-0), which is hosting and received a bye.

Four quarterfinal games will be played Saturday, May 22 or Sunday, May 23. Championship weekend will be held at Towson’s Johnny Unitas Stadium, with the semifinals set for May 28 and the final May 30.

NCAA WOMEN’S LACROSSE TOURNAMENT

First round

Friday

(at Stony Brook, N.Y.)

Towson vs. No. 8 Stony Brook, noon

Drexel vs. Rutgers, 4 p.m.

(at Newton, Mass.)

Fairfield vs. No. 4 Boston College, 1 p.m.

UMass vs. Temple, 4 p.m.

(at South Bend, Ind.)

Robert Morris vs. No. 5 Notre Dame, 1 p.m.

Virginia vs. UConn, 5 p.m.

(at Durham, N.C.)

Mt. St. Mary’s vs. No. 7 Duke, 3 p.m.

Maryland vs. High Point, 7 p.m.

(at Syracuse, N.Y.)

Loyola Maryland vs. Hofstra, 3 p.m.

(at Gainesville, Fla.)

Mercer vs. No. 6 Florida, 4 p.m.

Jacksonville vs. Vanderbilt, 6:30 p.m.

(at Chapel Hill, N.C.)

James Madison vs. Johns Hopkins, 5 p.m.

(at Evanston, Ill.)

Stanford vs. Denver, 6 p.m.

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