After earning the sixth No. 1 overall seed in program history and the first since 1987, Maryland men's lacrosse will play Quinnipiac Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Terrapins (14-2) defeated Rutgers by a score of 14-8 in the Big Ten Championship on May 7, a week after winning the Big Ten regular season outright. It is the third time in program history that the Terps have won both the regular season and conference title.
They will face Quinnipiac (12-3), who are appearing in the first NCAA Tournament in program history. It is the 39th appearance for the Terrapins, and their 14th consecutive, the longest active streak in the nation.
How to Watch:
Live Stats are available here.
Players to watch
Ryan Keenan: The senior attackman is the focal point for the Bobcats on offense. Keenan is a good passer, and his 18 assists helped him lead the team in points. A first-team All-MAAC selection, Keenan also has 32 goals on the season. The Bobcats will look for him to facilitate their offense.
Brian Feldman: Another first-team All-MAAC selection, Feldman is the main goal scorer for the Bobcats, leading the team with 35 goals. He scored in every game but one this year, and has proven he can score in bunches. He recorded six hat tricks this season, including five goals against Detroit and seven against Canisius.
Jack Brust: One of the top goalies in the nation, Brust has kept the Bobcats in every game this year. His 11.8 saves per game are the seventh most saves per game in the nation. He has saved almost 59 percent of shots this year, second best in the NCAA. Brust won MAAC Defensive Player of the Week four times, and was named the MAAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
Three Things to Look For
Battle at the X, internally and externally: Quinnipiac and Maryland have been similarly successful at faceoffs. Both are in the top 30 in the nation, with only one team in between them. Quinnipiac has been slightly more successful, winning 53 percent of face-offs, while the Terrapins win 52.7 percent of the time. Maryland faceoff ace Austin Henningsen has been limited since late March, but saw more time in the Big Ten Championship against Rutgers. Will Bonaparte has been effective as the main man at the X in Henningsen's absence. It will be interesting to see if Maryland coach John Tillman choses to stay with Bonaparte or turn to Henningsen, who was 12th in the nation in faceoff efficiency before his injury.
Maryland's offense vs. Jack Brust: Brust is used to seeing a lot of shots, but he has not faced an offense like Maryland's. The Terrapins have five players who have scored 20 goals or more this season. They've has scored in double-digits 12 of their last 13 games, and show no signs of stopping. Quinnipiac needs Brust to show he isn't just the best goalie in the MAAC, but a favorite to win the Kelly Award, given to the nation's top goalie.
The value of experience: Maryland won more NCAA Tournament games during last year's run to the championship game than Quinnipiac has in program history. Couple that with the benefit of playing at home to start the postseason, and the Terrapins seem like a good bet to move on to the second round. The Bobcats are already farther than ever before, and it will be interesting to see if they come out confident and prepared or wild-eyed and nervous.