COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – On Friday night, the University of Maryland women’s lacrosse team will play High Point in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Durham, North Carolina.
In a year that has been so different, Maryland will play on the road and is not seeded in this year’s tournament, another stark difference from other recent years for the Terps.
“It’s not going to change anything, we’re going to go into it and just play Maryland lacrosse, stick to what we’ve been working on,” senior midfielder Hannah Warther said. “Stick to all the basics, stick to our Maryland lacrosse, so yeah that’s not going to change anything.”
At 9-6 overall, all six of the Terps’ losses this season have come away from College Park. For comparison, Maryland only lost six total games in the past four seasons prior to this year (though three of the losses came in 2020, in which the Terps only played six total games).
Though the perennial top seed and national title contender may be flying under the radar in this year’s postseason, they’re embracing it.
“Personally, I kind of like that there is no expectations, no one is really pressuring us to excel but I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people,” senior defender Lizzie Colson said. “We’re kind of excited to fly under the radar and show people what we can do.”
Maryland is in the same section of the tournament at local Maryland school Mount St. Mary’s, long-time Maryland rival and former ACC foe Duke. If they defeat High Point, the Terps would the play one of those two teams. Also in the bracket, Stanford and Denver, where Maryland head coach Cathy Reese coached for three years between her Maryland playing and coaching career.
Northwestern, who defeated Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament final, is the No. 2 overall seed in the tournament, and the team with the bye in the Terps’ section of the bracket.
Despite all of the connections down the road and goal to win a championship, Reese has the Terps focused on High Point.
“Just having the chance right now to remind ourselves that you know in order to get all the way through, you don’t have to beat all 26 teams that were up for selection, you beat one at a time,” Reese told WDVM. “And after Friday, you’re looking to go 1-0 on Friday and that’s it, that’s the only thing that matters.”