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NCAA women's lacrosse tournament preview: Maryland team to beat once again

The last weekend before the start of the NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament did not spare the nation’s last unbeaten team.

Maryland’s 16-11 loss Sunday to Northwestern was its first defeat in 19 games, costing the Terps a fourth straight Big Ten tournament title — but not their spot in the NCAA tournament. For the seventh straight season, Maryland is the top overall seed.

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The Terps, who earned a first-round bye, can’t face another local team until the semifinals, but the 28-team field has its share of in-state representation. Loyola Maryland, Johns Hopkins and Navy all start tournament play Friday.

No. 1 seed Maryland vs. Stony Brook or James Madison

When: Noon Sunday

Site: Maryland Stadium, College Park

TV: Big Ten Network

Matchup: The Terps (18-1), seeking their 11th straight appearance in the NCAA semifinals, will face the winner of Friday’s first-round game between Stony Brook (15-4) and James Madison (16-3). Maryland routed the Colonial Athletic Association champion Dukes on the road earlier this season; the America East champion Seawolves haven't lost since March 23.

Loyola Maryland vs. Richmond

When: 4 p.m. Friday

Site: Class of 1952 Stadium, Princeton, N.J.

Matchup: The Greyhounds (15-4) won their first Patriot League tournament title since 2016 easily, defeating Colgate and defending champion Navy by a combined 41-21. Loyola is 20-2 all time against the Spiders (17-3), who needed an overtime win against Massachusetts in the Atlantic 10 final to secure an NCAA tournament bid. Princeton (14-3) and Wagner (15-3) are on the other side of the regional.

Johns Hopkins vs. Florida

When: 5 p.m. Friday

Site: UNC Lacrosse Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Matchup: The Blue Jays (10-7) finished fifth in the Big Ten after winning just two of six conference games, but their season’s strong start was enough to help secure an at-large NCAA tournament berth. The Gators (13-6), who put a scare into several of the nation’s top programs in early-season losses, have won 10 straight games, including two in the American Athletic Conference tournament. Third-seeded North Carolina (15-3) awaits the winner.

Navy vs. High Point

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Klöckner Stadium, Charlottesville, Va.

Matchup: The Patriot League’s 2017 and 2018 tournament champions needed an at-large bid to advance to their third straight NCAA tournament. The Midshipmen (15-4) are just the second team ever from the conference to receive one. The Panthers (15-4) ran their winning streak to 11 games with a comfortable victory in the Big South final. The winner advances to face No. 6 seed Virginia (12-6) in the second round.

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