Maryland men’s basketball is finished after a 76-65 loss to Xavier in the NCAA Tournament last night, but men’s lacrosse resumes this week after a two-week hiatus.
The No. 4 Terps had to postpone their matchup against Albany last weekend because of a snowstorm that ravaged the northeast, so they’ll look to get their fifth win of the season against Villanova this weekend.
Maryland (4-1) last played two weeks ago against Notre Dame, which would jump to the top of the Inside Lacrosse rankings after handing the Terps their first loss of the season. Villanova will be the first team Maryland plays that is both unranked and without a winning record, and the Terps are an undefeated 9-0 against the Wildcats dating back to 1994.
When and where: Maryland Stadium, Saturday at 4 p.m.
How to watch: ESPNU
Villanova Wildcats (2-4)
Head coach: Michael Corrado. Entering his 10th year as the helm, Corrado knows this weekend’s matchup might be the most important of the season for his both himself and his team. The ‘Nova alum led the program to NCAA Tournament berths in 2009 and 2011, but has failed to reach the big dance since. Looking to get his team back on track, Corrado knows a win against a top-5 opponent away from home could pay dividends by the end of the season when the NCAA bracket is set.
Players to Know
No. 19 Jack Curran, midfield, GR. Senior: A two-year team captain, Curran leads the team with in goals (16) and points (25) this year. He’s been devastating the Big East for years, and is coming off a four goal-four assist outing at against Brown.
No. 26 Nick Testa and No. 2 Dan Willis, goalies, sophomore and senior: Testa and Willis split time in goal, with both having played more than 170 minutes on the season. Testa is the primary starter, but Willis has recorded 27 saves on the season, and gives Maryland’s attack another component to work around.
Playing away from home. For whatever reason, the Wildcats just play better away from home. Still without a win on their home field, ‘Nova got its two wins against Drexel and Brown playing on the road.
Registering a high volume of shots taken. While they convert at just a .255-percentage, the Wildcats still average nearly 50 shots per game. Notre Dame runs a similar high-volume offense, and it was able to heavily restrict the opportunities the Terps had.
An undisciplined defense. With Maryland’s recent scoring troubles, the Wildcats’ porous defense might be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Terps’ attack. Letting in more than 14 goals per contest, that puts ‘Nova as the sixth-worst scoring defense in country.
Playing ranked opponents. Despite the loss to Notre Dame and not having seen the field since March 4., the Terps are still one of the best teams in the country, with four first place votes in the Inside Lacrosse rankings. The Wildcats, while capable of the occasional upset every now and then, are ultimately 3-9 against ranked opponents since 2015.