Next weekend will be a busy one for the Maryland men’s and women’s lacrosse programs.
The undefeated and Big Ten regular-season and tournament champion men were awarded the overall No. 1 seed in the 18-team tournament, which was unveiled Sunday night. The Terps (14-0) will host a first-round game at Maryland Stadium in College Park on Sunday at noon against the winner of Wednesday’s play-in game between America East titlist Vermont (11-6) and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Manhattan (8-6).
The Maryland men have played in every NCAA tournament since 2003. They are the top seed for the fourth time in the past six postseasons and are considered prohibitive favorites to capture their fourth national championship after collecting crowns in 1973, 1975 and 2017.
“I don’t take that for granted,” coach John Tillman said of claiming the overall top seed again. “When I was at Navy, there were years we didn’t go. When I was at Harvard, we didn’t go. And with COVID, I’m so appreciative of everything in life these days. So I’m psyched to have another week.”
In a surprise twist, Duke (11-6) and Notre Dame (8-4) were left out of the men’s side in favor of Ohio State (10-5) and Harvard (8-4). In terms of RPI, the Blue Devils ranked eighth, the Fighting Irish 11th, the Buckeyes 14th and the Crimson 15th. But Donna Woodruff, who chaired the selection committee, said Duke and Notre Dame had a few blemishes.
“There were definitely some tense conversations as we tried to figure [it] out,” Woodruff, the athletic director at Loyola Maryland, told ESPNU. “We ended up with about six teams that we were considering for four spots ultimately. And when Duke and Notre Dame were compared, we ended up with some more significant losses, especially for Duke. And then for Notre Dame, just not enough significant wins at the end of the day.”
The Terps women, who added the Big Ten Tournament crown to the regular-season title they earned after they rallied for an 18-8 dusting of Rutgers on Sunday afternoon, were tabbed as the No. 2 seed. Maryland (17-1) will host a first-round game between Johns Hopkins (10-8) and Duke (15-3) at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex in College Park on Friday at 3 p.m. and then meet the winner on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
This is coach Janine Tucker’s final run with the Blue Jays. After 29 years at the helm, the program’s all-time winningest coach will retire after this season.
The Terps women have enjoyed an even greater run of success than their male counterparts, competing in every tournament since 1990 and claiming NCAA titles in 1986, 1992, 1995 to 2001, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
In a mild surprise, Maryland leapfrogged reigning national champion Boston College for the No. 2 seed behind No. 1 seed North Carolina. But coach Cathy Reese, who has served on several selection committees in the past, said she was confident the team would draw the No. 2 seed if it defeated the Scarlet Knights for the conference tournament title.
“Our group has earned this opportunity,” she said. “We’re looking to hosting this year. We were on the road last year, which is what most people on my team remember because the 2020 season was canceled. So that’s really all we have. So we’re looking forward to hosting and welcoming Duke and Hopkins to College Park and excited to compete at home in front of our friends and family.”
The Patriot League regular-season and tournament champion Loyola Maryland women (18-1) earned the No. 6 seed and will host a first-round game at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore on Friday at 3 p.m. against Mount St. Mary’s (15-4). The Mountaineers drew a berth in the postseason for the second consecutive year after upending Bryant, 15-13, for the Northeast Conference tournament crown.
Loyola or Mount St. Mary’s will move forward into a second-round game against either James Madison (13-4) or Connecticut (13-4) — who meet Friday at 7 p.m. — on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Greyhounds were jockeying with No. 7 seed Florida, No. 8 seed Stony Brook and Rutgers for one of the last seeds. Coach Jen Adams understood what her team was facing.
“Obviously, it was not a guarantee for us,” she said. “We did hope that our body of work throughout the season and winning the game out of conference and then taking care of our conference championship, we did all that we possibly could and left it in the committee’s hands. Regardless, we talked about this from very early on that we just wanted to be there. It didn’t matter if we would be on the road. It’s obviously very nice to be home and getting to host and being around Ridley because it’s a tough place to play and it’s one of the best home-field advantages in the country.”
NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament
- Manhattan at Vermont, Wednesday, 6 p.m.
- Robert Morris at Delaware, Wednesday, 7 p.m.
- Boston University at No. 5 seed Princeton, Saturday, noon
- Richmond at No. 3 seed Penn, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
- Saint Joseph’s at No. 4 seed Yale, Saturday, 5 p.m.
- Virginia at No. 8 seed Brown, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
- Manhattan/Vermont at No. 1 seed Maryland, Sunday, noon
- Harvard at No. 6 seed Rutgers, Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
- Ohio State at No. 7 seed Cornell, Sunday, 5 p.m.
- Delaware/Robert Morris at No. 2 seed Georgetown, Sunday, 7:30 p.m.
NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament
- Drexel at No. 8 seed Stony Brook, Friday, noon
- Rutgers vs. Saint Joseph’s, Friday, 2:30 p.m. (at Stony Brook, New York)
- Duke vs. Johns Hopkins, Friday, 3 p.m. (at College Park)
- Mount St. Mary’s at No. 6 seed Loyola Maryland, Friday, 3 p.m.
- Denver vs. Vermont, Friday, 4 p.m. (at Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts)
- Fairfield at No. 5 seed Syracuse, Friday, 4 p.m.
- Southern California vs. Virginia, Friday, 5 p.m. (at Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
- Mercer at No. 7 seed Florida, Friday, 5 p.m.
- Central Michigan at No. 4 seed Northwestern, Friday, 5 p.m.
- Massachusetts vs. Princeton, Friday, 7 p.m.
- Connecticut vs. James Madison, Friday, 7 p.m. (at Loyola Maryland)
- Jacksonville vs. Stanford, Friday, 7:30 p.m. (at Gainesville, Florida)
- Notre Dame vs. Michigan, Friday, 8 p.m.
- Southern California/Virginia at No. 1 seed North Carolina, Sunday, noon
- Denver/Vermont at No. 3 seed Boston College, Sunday, 1 p.m.
- Duke/Johns Hopkins at No. 2 seed Maryland, Sunday, 2:30 p.m.