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Maryland men's soccer NCAA Tournament preview

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The Terps are playing their best soccer of the season as they prepare for the NCAA Tournament.

via Big Ten Network

Maryland men's soccer is going into Sunday's NCAA Tournament game against Virginia looking to win four games in a row for the first time this season.

The Terps finished third in the Big Ten this season, but they took a bit of a tumble in the Associated Press Poll late, finishing outside the Top 25 after ranking as high as No. 4 early in the year. Maryland failed to win more than two games in a row in the regular sesaon before picking up a win in its regular season finale and winning all three of its games in the Big Ten tournament to enter its 15th straight NCAA Tournament on a four-game winning streak.

The Cavaliers took a different path to the NCAA Tournament. After finishing the regular season 9-1 in ACC play, Notre Dame eliminated them from the conference tournament for the second straight season, this time in the first round. Last year Virgnia rebounded from its loss pretty well, going on to win the national title. This season, the Cavaliers beat Rider 2-0 in the first round of the tournament.

The winner of Sunday's game will advance to face the winner of Notre Dame vs. Tulsa, which takes place earlier that day at 2 p.m.

How to Witness:

Online: Streaming at BTN2go.

Players to watch:

Jake Rozhansky, midfielder: The sophomore from Germantown, Maryland is the Cavaliers' leading goal-scorer, knocking four balls into the net this season. That's not very many, which shows you the lack of firepower Virginia has on offense.

Jeff Caldwell, goalkeeper. Another sophomore, Caldwell has played every minute of the season in goal for Virginia and has done an okay job. His goals against average is fine (0.91), and his save percentage is slightly better than fine (0.778). He has seven shutouts this season, and will probably be a force when he's a senior. However, he's not there yet. He's certainly a beatable goalkeeper if Maryland gets enough chances.

Strengths:

They play a well-rounded game. Virginia doesn't really have many things you can point to and say, "Wow, they're really great at that." However, the team does have its bright spots. The Cavaliers are okay at a lot of things, including preventing goals and not fouling,

Weaknesses:

Putting the ball in the net. The one thing you can say the Cavaliers aren't good at is putting the ball in the net, which is kind of a big deal. Virginia ranks  90th in the country in scoring offense, generating 10 less goals than the Terps did this year. They don't have a powerful scoring option, evidenced by the fact that Rozhansky, the team's leading scorer, only has four goals on the year.