Maryland is top seed in NCAA women's lacrosse tournament for sixth year in row

Defending national champion Maryland will be the No. 1 seed for the sixth straight year in the NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse tournament beginning next weekend.

Four other teams from Maryland also made the 27-team Division I field — No. 7 seed Towson, No. 8 Loyola Maryland, Navy and Johns Hopkins — when the bracket was announced Sunday night. All but Towson are in Maryland’s quarter of the bracket.

As top-eight seeds, Maryland, Towson and Loyola will host first- and second-round games Friday and Saturday. Maryland is one of six teams with a bye through to the second round.

Maryland (18-1) earned the No. 1 seed over No. 2 North Carolina (15-3). Stony Brook, which has been ranked No. 1 in the polls for the past 10 weeks, is the No. 5 seed behind No. 3 James Madison and No. 4 Boston College, which lost to Maryland in last year’s national final.

Despite being the only unbeaten team in Division I at 19-0, Stony Brook didn’t have an RPI in the top five. The polls are not part of the selection criteria. RPI along with head-to-head competition, results vs. common opponents, significant wins and losses, and results against the 10 highest-rated teams on the schedule are the primary criteria considered by the selection committee.

The Terps, who are in the tournament for the 29th straight year, have won a record 13 NCAA championships and played in seven of the past eight title games. They’ve won three times in the past five years with North Carolina winning in 2013 and 2016 — both over Maryland.

Since 2004, no team other than Maryland, North Carolina or Northwestern has won the national championship.

The Terps will play the winner of Friday night’s first-round game between Denver and High Point in Sunday’s second-round game.

The Greyhounds (15-4) also will host a weekend full of teams from Maryland. They play Fairfield in the opening round while Navy (16-3) plays Johns Hopkins (10-9). A Loyola-Navy meeting in the second round would be a rematch of Sunday’s Patriot League championship won by Navy, 17-10.

Towson (15-4) will also host the first two rounds. The Tigers will meet the winner of Wednesday’s play-in game between Wagner and Mercer.

Northwestern will travel to Towson and play Richmond in the first round.

North Carolina had the top RPI in Division I after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship over previously unbeaten Boston College last weekend.

Boston College, which lost to Maryland in last year’s national championship game, is seeded No. 4.

No. 3 James Madison and No. 6 Florida will also have byes through to the second round.

Towson is in the tournament for the third straight year and Navy, for the second. Loyola and Johns Hopkins did not make it last season.

Maryland (Big Ten) and Navy (Patriot) are two of 14 automatic qualifiers as conference champions. With the addition of the Southern Conference this season, the field expanded from 26 to 27 with the play-in game.

Other automatic qualifiers: North Carolina (ACC), Florida (Big East), Stony Brook (America East), Princeton (Ivy League), James Madison (Colonial Athletic Association), Stanford (Pac-12), High Point (Big South), Fairfield (Metro Atlantic), Wagner (Northeast), Richmond (Atlantic 10), Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun) and Mercer (Southern).

Also earning at-large bids: Penn, Penn State, Syracuse, Virginia, Colorado, Northwestern, Georgetown and Virginia Tech.

Tournament games will be held at campus sites through the quarterfinals. The final four will be played at Stony Brook Memorial Day weekend. The semifinals are May 25 at 5 and 7:30 p.m with the title game on May 27 at noon.

In the Division III tournament, Salisbury received a bye into the second round and will host the winner of a first-round game between Meredith and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on May 13.

FIRST ROUND

Friday

At College Park

» Denver vs. High Point

At Loyola Maryland

» Navy vs. Johns Hopkins, 7 p.m.

» Fairfield at No. 8 seed Loyola Md., 4 p.m.

At Stony Brook, N.Y.

» Penn vs. Penn State

At Chestnut Hill, Mass.

» Princeton vs. Syracuse, 4 p.m.

At Harrisonburg, Va.

» Stanford vs. Virginia

At Gainesville, Fla.

» Colorado vs. Jacksonville

At Towson

» Wagner/Mercer at No. 7 seed Towson

» Northwestern vs. Richmond

At Chapel Hill, N.C.

» Virginia Tech vs. Georgetown

SECOND ROUND

Sunday

» Denver/High Point at No. 1 seed Maryland

» Navy/J. Hopkins vs. Fairfield/Loyola Md.

» Penn/Penn St. at No. 5 seed Stony Brook

» Princeton/Syracuse at No. 4 seed Boston College

» Stanford/Virginia at No. 3 seed James Madison

» Colorado/Jacksonville at No. 6 seed Florida

» Towson/Mercer/Wagner vs. Richmond/Northwestern

» Virginia Tech/Georgetown at No. 2 seed North Carolina

QUARTERFINALS

May 19 or May 20

(At higher seed)

» Maryland/Denver/High Point vs. Navy/Johns Hopkins/Fairfield/Loyola Maryland

» Stony Brook/Penn/Penn State vs. Princeton/Syracuse/Boston College

» James Madison/Stanford/Virginia vs. Colorado/Jacksonville/Florida

» Towson/Wagner/Mercer/Northwestern<QL>/Richmond vs. North Carolina/Virginia Tech/Georgetown

SEMIFINALS

» At Stony Brook, May 25, TBA

CHAMPIONSHIP

» At Stony Brook, May 27, noon

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

twitter.com/kdunnsun

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