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Maryland men’s soccer earns NCAA Tournament berth

The Terps managed to slip into the field despite a fairly lackluster season.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland men’s soccer (4-4-2) has officially made the 2021 NCAA Tournament. It’ll face the Missouri State Bears (11-1) in the second round on May 2.

Missouri State has lost just once over the course of the season and is coming off two straight wins en route to a Missouri Valley Conference Championship. The winner of the matchup between the Terps and the Bears will face either No. 7 Washington (10-3) or Grand Canyon (8-1) in the next round.

Maryland’s bid comes a bit as a surprise, as the Terps finished with just four official wins through 10 matches. Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski and the Terps started this year with three straight losses but bounced back in the Big Ten standings in monumental fashion. Maryland finished as the fourth seed in the Big Ten table and made it to the second round of the Big Ten tournament. Despite top-seeded Indiana eliminating Maryland from the conference tournament, the Terps have been awarded a matchup in the NCAA Tournament.

Maryland is just one of three Big Ten teams that made the NCAA Tournament. Indiana, the top team in the Big Ten, captured a three-seed and will face the winner of Milwaukee/St. Francis Brooklyn. Penn State finished second in the conference and was given a matchup against Massachusetts in the second round.

Fortunately for Maryland, the NCAA’s selection committee chose Cirovski’s squad over the likes of Michigan (6-4-1), a team that finished one spot ahead of the Terps in the Big Ten standings. Despite the better record, Michigan suffered a 2-1 loss to Maryland back on March 11, which might have pushed the committee to lean towards the Terps for a bid.

Regardless of how it got there, Maryland is officially back in the NCAA Tournament, as it looks for another national title after collecting one back in 2018.