Maryland men’s soccer earned a first-round home game in the 2022 NCAA Tournament and will take on Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday at Ludwig Field. Game time and TV information is to be determined.
A win against the Knights would set up a match against No. 14-seed Cornell. The Terps’ road to the College Cup runs through Syracuse, New York, though, as No. 3-seed Syracuse holds home-field advantage after finishing the regular season with a 12-2-3 record and winning the ACC Tournament.
Fairleigh Dickinson tallied an 8-5-3 regular season record and is coming off consecutive wins en route to a Northeast Conference championship. The Knights were slated as the top seed heading into the conference tournament and defeated No. 4-seed Sacred Heart, 3-0, with ease.
In the championship game, Fairleigh Dickinson squared off against St. Francis (NY) and freshman forward Jamie Barbero took over. He scored both of the Knights’ goals in their 2-1 win and was rightfully awarded NEC Tournament MVP.
The Terps have had quite the season this year with their fair share of ups and downs. They began the season with a win over then-No. 9 New Hampshire, before tying Liberty and losing to then-No. 20 Denver in the following matches.
Maryland got back on track in the “Battle for the DMV” against Virginia by scoring a season-high six goals, the most they have scored in a game in 10 years. This impressive performance sparked a nine-game unbeaten streak, which was eventually broken by High Point.
The Panthers upended Maryland during their match in mid-October as High Point capitalized on the unavailability of senior midfielder Malcolm Johnston.
With only three games remaining in the regular season, the Terps needed to figure things out fast, and they did just that. Maryland won a crucial match against Michigan State, 1-0, putting itself in a position to win the Big Ten regular-season title.
The Terps tied Indiana in the final match of the regular season, which was just enough for Maryland to win the conference.
Holding the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, the Terps defeated Northwestern, 1-0, in round one, but fell short against Indiana, 2-1, in the second round.
Maryland has a complete squad this season. The team earned conference honors at almost every position as redshirt sophomore forward Joshua Bolma, Johnston, senior defender Chris Rindov and redshirt senior defender Nick Richardson all were First Team All-Big Ten selections, while freshman defender Luca Costabile was awarded a spot on the freshman team.
Although the Terps have shown flashes of dominance, consistency is the only thing that matters in the NCAA Tournament and Maryland still has a lot to prove.