Maryland men’s soccer is back in the NCAA Tournament and has played its way into a home contest this weekend.
The Terps roared back from a slow start to earn a top-16 seed, checking at No. 11 in the bracket. That means Maryland has a bye in the round of 48 and will host the winner of NC State and Campbell on Sunday.
It’s Maryland’s 18th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, but even making the field wasn’t a sure thing for much of the season. The Terps went scoreless and winless in their first four contests and didn’t find a rhythm until late in the season. They picked up three wins over ranked opponents—Coastal Carolina on the road, Denver at home and Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament—and forced penalty kicks against No. 2 Indiana on Friday in the conference semifinal.
The Terps’ 8-6-4 record might seem underwhelming for a team seeded so highly, but Maryland played the nation’s second-toughest schedule this season and is 12th in RPI. Still, a top-16 seeding is definitely a surprise for a team that wasn’t ranked in the Coaches Poll all season.
Goalie Dayne St. Clair has been fantastic all season, and the offense increasingly picked him up as the season went on. Senior midfielder Amar Sejdic leads Maryland with five goals, while junior forward Paul Bin has four and freshman midfielder William James Herve has three. Replacing the production of Gordon Wild, Eryk Williamson and Jake Rozhansky was never going to be easy, but Maryland has done just enough in that regard.
Four Big Ten teams made the tournament field, with Indiana earning the No. 2 overall seed. Michigan and Michigan State are also in the field but outside the top 16, so they’ll play first-round games this week.
NC State (9-6-3 overall, 2-4-2 ACC) and Campbell (9-8-3 overall, 4-3-1 Big South) will meet at 7 p.m. ET Thursday, with the winner playing Maryland on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET in College Park. Should the Terps advance to the round of 16, they’ll face either No. 6 Duke, Pacific or UC Riverside.
Here’s the full bracket.