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Maryland's top-seeded lacrosse teams are ready to roll in the NCAA tournaments

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Highlights from a joint press availability.

Midfielder Taylor Cummings is looking to lead Maryland women's lacrosse to its third straight national championship
Midfielder Taylor Cummings is looking to lead Maryland women's lacrosse to its third straight national championship
Sung-Min Kim/Testudo Times

This is a special time of year. There's a lot to play for, a lot on the line. Win or go home. Survive and advance. A national championship within reach for the teams that make it into the NCAA Tournament field.

Maryland men's lacrosse has one of the strongest traditions in the sport, but the Terps haven't won a national championship in 41 years. Maryland women's lacrosse is the preeminent program in the sport. The Terps have won more titles than anyone else, and they come into the tournament as the two-time defending national champions.

Maryland men's lacrosse is 14-2. The Terps have won 13 games in a row and haven't lost since March 5th. They captured the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. They are the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament and will play Quinnipiac in the first round on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Maryland Stadium.

Here is a link to the men's bracket.

Maryland women's lacrosse is 19-0. The Terps have won 23 games in a row dating back to last season. They lost in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals to Ohio State last year and haven't lost since. They captured the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. They are the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament and will play the winner of Johns Hopkins and Virginia in the second round on Sunday at noon at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.

Here is a link to the women's bracket.

Both men's and women's lacrosse had media availability on Thursday afternoon. Here are some of the best lines:

Maryland men's lacrosse

On adjusting to the mentality of the NCAA Tournament

"The higher you're up there [seeding-wise], the more people are going to take their best shot. We've been on the other side where we've used it as good motivation. You can't let your guard down. If people are going to give you their best shot, you better be giving your best shot back." - head coach John Tillman

"What we need to do is play 60 minutes of Terp lacrosse. We're going to make mistakes. We know that. You have to focus on the next play. Throughout the week you try to laugh a little bit and stay loose, but stay focused." - senior defender Greg Danseglio

"What we want to accomplish is not going to be easy. We're going to have to play four very, very talented teams. You can't have a lapse. You have to play a full 60 minutes just to get another 60 the next weekend." - Danseglio

"If you lose, you're done. The regular season doesn't matter." - junior attacker Dylan Maltz

"You lose and you go home. It makes you go out and practice that much harder knowing that if we lose, the seniors are done." - junior defender Tim Muller

What makes this team so special

"I think we're just having fun. We've got two midfield lines that are playing well. We got Run DMC [Dylan Maltz, Matt Rambo and Colin Heacock] on the attack. They're having fun out there. The defense is having fun. We've got the Gold Gang. We've got the Hog Pen at faceoff. We've got a lot of personalities on the team. We have a ton of fun." - sophomore attacker Tim Rotanz

"We are a very close team. We have one of the smaller locker rooms in the country and that keeps us very close together. Being close in there and off the field helps us on the field." - Maltz

Their favorite thing about this time of year

"The competitiveness...Seeing older guys compete. Seeing younger guys compete. Seeing the younger guys put their big boy pants on as they get ready to take on more of a leadership role." Danseglio

"It's win or go home. Everything is on the line. We're 0-0 right now. We've got to prove ourselves. We've got to prove that No. 1 seed in every game and every practice." - Rotanz

"If you lose, you go home. The competition drives you to be even better." - Maltz

Final thoughts

"We haven't played our best lacrosse yet. It has certainly been pretty darn good, but I don't think we've played our best lacrosse yet." - Tillman

"We've accomplished two of our goals [winning the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles]. We're not satisfied. The regular season is over. We're 0-0. Every game is going to be a challenge no matter who we're playing." - Danseglio

"We came here to be one of the top teams. Getting to the tournament is a nice start, but the plan is to keep going as much as we can." - Muller

Maryland women's lacrosse

On adjusting to the mentality of the NCAA Tournament

"It's a shift in mentality when it's one-and-done. It emphasizes every single little moment in the games and that puts more importance on our philosophy of winning every moment." - senior defender Alice Mercer

"All of our underclassmen have done an awesome job all year. They haven't played like freshmen. They've come out with a lot of confidence and gone hard every game. We don't expect that to change." - senior midfielder Taylor Cummings

"We're not talking national championship right now. We're talking first round." - Cummings

"We need to step on the field with the attitude and the mindset that we're going to do whatever it takes. This group is ready." - head coach Cathy Reese

On their top-10 defense that has yet to allow 10 goals in a game this season

"It's been a really cool experience for me to have played with a bunch of different defenses and to see this one come into our own. Our communication and our confidence in each other has been huge this year. I think that kind of sets us apart and makes us unique." - Mercer

"We never talk about streaks, whether it's winning streaks or defensive goal streaks. We don't care." - Cummings

On the senior class

"Taylor and Alice and all six seniors have had such an impact on not just us, but the Maryland women's lacrosse organization. Their presence is felt by everyone, no matter how long you've been on the team...Everyone knows how special they are, how special this group is and how hard they work. They truly would do anything for the Terps...Everyone on the team wants this championship for the seniors. We know that this is their last chance and that they deserve it." - junior midfielder Zoe Stukenberg

"They're a special group. Taylor and Alice have done it all. They've lost a national championship, they've won two national championships, they've won ACC Championships, they've won Big Ten Championships, been All-Americans and played on the U.S. team. Their lacrosse resumes can speak for itself. They're special people, and I've had one of the most fun years that I've had coaching with this group." - Reese

Their favorite thing about this time of year

"It's the ultimate competition time. You're fighting for a national championship. Not a lot of people get to fight for one, let alone win one. All three of us have felt the high of winning. Alice and I have felt the sting of losing. We keep fighting and we keep playing to feel that feeling of finally accomplishing your ultimate goal." - Cummings

Final thoughts

"We're going to do everything we can to win that national championship." - Mercer

"I think I'll reminisce after, but right now, it's game time...I'll have my feelings when it's all done. We're just ready to play and hopefully win and keep going. I'm going to be sad when it's over, but hopefully we end with a national championship and I won't be that sad." - Cummings

"We're going to see a change in our mindset and our attitude when we step on the field to compete in the NCAA Tournament. We're going to be on fire. We're going to be playing hard from the start, from the opening whistle." - Reese