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For Terps, it's a postseason rematch a year in the making

Maryland takes on Virginia Sunday in NCAA Tournament quarterfinals
Terps Men's Lacrosse
Posted at 5:10 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 17:35:17-04

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — For almost a full year the University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team has been thinking about two numbers: 17 and 16.

"Think about a year ago, how bad that hurt," said defender Brett Makar.

"That kind of plays a role into some of our motivation," added goalie Logan McNaney.

17-16 was the final score of last year’s NCAA Tournament championship game - a Maryland loss to Virginia. A picture of the Cavaliers' celebration and Terrapins' heartbreak hangs in each Terps player’s locker.

"It’s just a reminder of kind of what happened last year," said McNaney.

Now they get the postseason rematch to advance. Maryland plays Virginia in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals in Columbus, Ohio this weekend.

"Everything you want and everything you worked for is right in front of you," said Makar. "So, it’s time to take it and make the most of the opportunity you have."

The Terps and Cavs have already played each other this season. The game two months ago in Washington, DC ended in a 23-12 Maryland blowout. Don’t expect that kind of a game this time around. Terrapins head coach John Tillman says the 12-3 Cavaliers have…

"Talent, talent and more talent. Those guys are skilled. They can stretch you. They can feed the ball. They finish the ball at a high clip."

But not as high as Maryland. This Terps team is averaging 18.53 goals per game. That is on pace to set an NCAA record. They are the undefeated number one overall seed and no doubt one of the best teams ever assembled in college lacrosse history. To be the best they need three more wins.

"I’m sure some guys kind of get the pressure with that stuff but our leaders do a great job of kind of staying with us and keeping our mindset on the team instead of looking at all that stuff that’s going on outside," said McNaney. "We just stick to ourselves. We know ourselves better than everyone else."

And they know the chase for a title and the chance at revenge arrives Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook