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4 Maryland teams compete in NCAA Quarterfinals

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Posted at 10:49 AM, May 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-21 10:53:00-04

Five teams from the Blue Crab state received bids to the Big Dance and four advanced past the first round. Teams from Maryland now make up half of the NCAA Quarterfinal field for the first time since 2001 when Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Towson and Loyola competed. 

This year, Maryland, Navy, Towson and Loyola are competing for a trip to championship weekend.

The top-seeded Terps will make their 24th appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals against eighth-seeded Syracuse Saturday.

Maryland and Syracuse are meeting for the eighth time in the tournament and first time since 2011 when the Terps defeated the then No. 1 Orange, 6-5 in overtime in the quarterfinals.

The Terps have won 12 NCAA Tournament games since head coach John Tillman took over the program in 2011. It's also the most NCAA wins in a six-year period since Bud Beardmore's Terps won 13 games between 1971-1976. Tillman is 4-0 all-time in the quarterfinals, winning the last three by at least six goals.

Maryland is led by experience. Ten players have played at least 50 career collegiate games. Junior Matt Rambo has been one of the hottest players in lacrosse, tallying 24 points over the last give games. Freshman Austin Henningsen won 14-of-17 faceoffs in the first round victory over Quinnipiac. He ranks eighth in the nation with a 63.5 faceoff winning percentage.

No. 15 Navy stunned the fourth-seeded Yale Bulldogs with a 13-10 victory in New Haven, Conn. The Mids held Yale to just three goals in the second half, while sophomores Casey Rees and Jack Ray recorded hat tricks. 

It was Navy's first tournament appearance since 2009 and first NCAA Tournament win since defeating No. 4 North Carolina 8-7 in 2008.

“It was a complete team win, team effort,” said fifth-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “We were finally able to get our offense back on track and our faceoff game, too.  We have one of the best defenses in the country and John is one of the best goalkepeers in the country.

Navy travels to Providence, R.I. Saturday to take on fifth-seeded Brown. Brown defeated Johns Hopkins 17-8 in the first round. Saturday's matchup features Brown's top-ranked offense against Navy's second-ranked defense. Brown leads the nation with an average of 16.76 goals per game, scoring double digits in every game this season. Navy only allows 7.13 goals on average, surrendering double-digit goals just five times this season.

In the last quarterfinal matchup, the Tigers and Greyhounds take the "Battle of Charles Street" to the Horseshoe at Ohio State. 

Related: Towson and Loyola compete for a spot at championship weekend

After defeating the No. 2 seed and defending national champs, Denver, Towson advanced to the second round. No. 7 Loyola hosted Duke in the first round. The Greyhounds got up early and were able to hold the Blue Devils. 

These two teams are no strangers, Towson and Loyola are on each other's schedules pretty much every season, creating a hometown rivalry. Loyola head coach Charley Toomey said Sunday's game will be physical and a lot of fun.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun for our guys to feel that intensity of the rivalry that already exists and obviously you just add on the fact that it’s a quarterfinal game. We’re real excited to hop on that plane and get out there, Toomey said.

NCAA Quarterfinal action begins Saturday from Brown Stadium with the Terps and Orange facing off at noon. Then the Mids take on the Bears at 2:30 p.m. The action continues Sunday from Ohio State University. North Carolina and Notre Dame faceoff at noon and then Loyola and Towson will square-off at 2:30 p.m.

The games will be televised on ESPNU or watch online with WatchESPN. Click here for interactive bracket.

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