Maryland women’s lacrosse was selected as the top seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, the selection committee announced Sunday night.
The Terrapins will start their run at a national championship Sunday against either Stony Brook or defending national champion James Madison.
Maryland (18-1, 6-0 Big Ten) is coming off a 16-11 loss to Northwestern in the Big Ten title game, but the Terrapins’ body of work over the full season was still more than enough. They were originally tabbed as the top overall team when the NCAA released its initial rankings on April 24, and held onto that spot when it mattered.
Just behind Maryland is Boston College (19-1, 7-0 ACC). The Eagles, like Maryland, coasted through the regular season undefeated but fell in their conference championship to No. 3 North Carolina. Maryland trailed Boston College all year in the coaches and media polls, but the committee thought otherwise seemingly throughout the entire process.
North Carolina (15-3, 5-2 ACC) sat fairly firm at the No. 3 seed thanks to its upset of Boston College in the ACC championship. The Tar Heels only suffered losses to Boston College, Maryland (in double-overtime) and Notre Dame, all of whom are in the top 10.
The rest of the top five includes Big Ten tournament champion Northwestern (14-4, 5-1 Big Ten) and Syracuse (15-4, 5-2 ACC). The Orange actually defeated Northwestern 15-14 in late February, but falling to Boston College twice, Maryland and North Carolina, as well as not making the ACC championship game, kept them out of the four-spot.
Both Stony Brook (15-4, 7-0 America East) and James Madison (16-3, 6-0 CAA) have put together fantastic seasons. The reigning national champion Dukes hosted Maryland in March, but were on the wrong end of an 18-5 loss. James Madison played a tough schedule this season, picking up wins over then-No. 14 Virginia Tech and No. 19 Penn State.
Stony Brook won the America East tournament after sweeping the conference regular season schedule. Out of conference play, the Seawolves took down No. 13 Colorado to open the season and later beat No. 14 USC and No. 17 Johns Hopkins, but also suffered close losses to No. 8 Princeton, No. 16 Denver and No. 20 Florida. Two years ago in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, the Seawolves led Maryland for nearly the entire game before falling 12-11.
James Madison ranks towards the bottom of the country in scoring offense, but comes in at 11th in the nation for scoring defense, allowing just 8.83 goals per game. Stony Brook comes in with the 13th-highest scoring offense and fourth-best team defense. Neither matchup will be a walk in the park for Maryland.
It’s a remarkably deep field, as any of the eight seeded teams could realistically pull off a title run. If Maryland goes all the way, it’ll be the Terrapins’ second championship in three years. But it won’t be easy.