Maryland men's and women's lacrosse are both two games away from becoming national champions. If both teams win, Maryland would be the first school since Princeton in 1994 to sweep the men's and women's titles.
The men's team will take on the nation's most dangerous offense in Brown. The Terps have shut down high-powered, high-octane, top-10 offenses time and time again this season, but no one plays offense like Brown does. In the words of Brown's head coach, Lars Tiffany, it is a "open, fast-paced, chaotic style".
Maryland has won 15 games in a row. The offense is strong and balanced. The defense is even stronger. Maryland is not a stranger to the Final Four by any stretch, but the Terps are trying to win their first national championship since 1975.
The two-time defending national champion women's team enters their semifinal game against Syracuse with a perfect record of 21-0. This is Maryland's eighth straight trip to the Final Four. Maryland beat Syracuse in March up in the Carrier Dome and has beaten the Orange in the 2013 semifinals, the 2014 national championship game and the 2015 semifinals. The Terps are 19-1 all-time against Syracuse, and Taylor Cummings is 8-0 against them during her time in College Park.
This matchup will feature two of the best players in the history of the sport in Maryland's Taylor Cummings and Syracuse's Kayla Treanor. This game is always a good one, and it will be another competitive 60 minutes of great lacrosse.
Maryland men's lacrosse head coach John Tillman
"Brown is very unique," Tillman said on a conference call earlier this week with reporters."Nobody is fully committed to what they do."
"Brown is more than just one guy [referring to Brown star Dylan Molloy and whether or not he'll play]. They're strong where you need to be. They have no weaknesses."
"It takes a lot to get here. It's the culmination of a lot of hard work."
"The kids here like to be challenged."
Senior goalie Kyle Bernlohr
"Knocking on the door so many times in the past four, five, six years, we're not content with just getting there. We're looking to win it."
"We're pretty different from any other team in the country as far as the amount of time that we put into film and scouting reports and understanding opponents. There's so much preparation that goes into it all week that nobody sees that makes the game day easier."
"[Brown] is a different breed of lacrosse. They play fun, they play loose, they're excited to play their style of game and they have some of the best scorers in country."
"We're a team that really believes in ourselves. We're sick of being at the Final Four instead of taking it home. This is another great opportunity to capture it."
"This team has something really special going on."
Senior midfielder Bryan Cole
"The culture that we have here is national championship or bust. We've all really taken that to heart."
"It's win or go home. It's a really big reminder of how fast things can go by."
"There's a really good chemistry happening between the coaches and the players."
"We want to come out and get a win on Saturday and hopefully a win on Monday for our alums, for our state and for our school."
Junior midfielder Isaiah Davis-Allen
"They have two top-notch long poles, they have an awesome goalie and an awesome faceoff guy. Brown is going to be a tough matchup for us."
"The first word I'd probably use to describe the gold gang [the second midfield line] is swagger."
"We're sponsoring a kid that is five years old and has cancer...Finn being so young shocked our team, but seeing how happy he was has brought this new light on our team."
Maryland women's lacrosse head coach Cathy Reese
"We know that our season is ending this weekend one way or another. We have one opportunity to put it all together and leave it out there [on the field]. We're not working on getting better. We're working on putting it out there [on the field]."
"[On the 18-3 win over UMass in the quarterfinals] I think that was one of the best games we've played all year."
"We're in a great spot. We're having fun...We're prepared to play lacrosse and we're going to enjoy doing it."
"At the end of the day, you've got to execute on the field. We've got to stick to our game plan, what we do well and be ready for anything that's thrown at us."
"There was a lot of unknowns early in the year and the girls knew it...Even I said we're gonna have some hiccups. These hiccups and speed bumps just didn't take the form of a loss. Now we've gone through this whole journey and here we are and we're ready to go."
Junior midfielder Zoe Stukenberg
"We LOVE playing Syracuse. They're such a strong opponent and it's always a battle. I love the intensity on the field, I love the fans and I love the atmosphere of the Maryland-Syracuse matchup. It's just really fun."
"There's no hidden secrets...That's part of the fun. Both teams are constantly trying to push themselves to evolve and come up with new ways to score and new defenses and new looks that we haven't seen."
"There's pressure [to three-peat], but our coaches do a great job of keeping us grounded...Everyone does a really good job of focusing on the task at hand."
"She [Syracuse attacker Kayla Treanor] makes it look easy. We're gonna do our best to make it difficult, to make it as hard as possible."
"It makes it about execution. It's about who can go out and execute the best 60 minutes of lacrosse."
Sophomore attacker Megan Whittle
"Both teams have probably come a long way [since Maryland and Syracuse met in the regular season in March]."
"We're in a good groove right now."
"I was focused this season on helping the freshmen get oriented and going out and playing and having a lot of fun."
"We have really great team chemistry this year. We all love each other, we all care about each other, we all want to win for each other and play for each other. I think that's really important for our team."
"It's the coolest thing ever. When you're a little six-year-old playing lacrosse, this is what you dream of. I've always wanted to be wearing a Maryland uniform at the Final Four, playing on the biggest stage at a really cool stadium in front of a lot of people. It's a really awesome thing."
"It's been a really great year, but we're not finished yet."
Senior defender Alice Mercer
"I couldn't have asked for a better four years on that field [the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex]. I think it was 44-0 people were saying."
"[Cathy Reese} is a mom away from home. She's also a best friend too. She's there for you. She has truly gone above and beyond to live up to that statement. She puts us first...I made the best decision of my life coming here and playing for her."
"I really enjoy playing Syracuse. I like the matchup. They play a very aggressive and fast-paced style of lacrosse. They push the tempo and I like that about them."
"I know it's going to be a fun game...We always see them on such a big stage. It's going to be a good game. I always know it's going to be a good game. It's fun to play."
"It's my last one. I have at most, two games left in my career. That's what makes it so special."
"You come to Maryland because you want to win."
"It's exciting, but we're not finished yet."
"It's just taking care of business. There's nothing more to learn. There's nothing more to do. We're just playing lacrosse at this point. We've done everything we can do at this point in the season. We're ready to go, and I'm just ready to play."