Terps are 5th seed in NCAA tournament

November 18, 2013
Sasho Cirovski and the ACC champion Terrapins will not have an easy road to the College Cup. (By Tony Quinn) Sasho Cirovski and the ACC champion Terrapins will not have an easy road to the College Cup. (By Tony Quinn)

ACC champion Maryland is the No. 5 seed in the NCAA men’s soccer tournament, leading a record nine regional teams into the 48-team field.

The Terrapins (13-3-5) received a first-round bye and will await the Penn-Providence winner Sunday at Ludwig Field.

Coach Sasho Cirovski was disappointed that conquering the nation’s best conference did not translate into a higher seed.

“I am a little surprised we didn’t get a top-four seed but glad we got a bye,” he said. “You put it behind you and quickly look ahead to the first game.”

Three others from the area were seeded: Georgetown at No. 6, Virginia 8th and UMBC 16th.

George Mason, Navy, Virginia Commonwealth, William & Mary and Old Dominion will play first-round matches Thursday.

Last year’s national runner-up, Georgetown (13-4-2), will face Old Dominion (10-5-1) or Drexel (9-7-4) on Sunday at Shaw Field.

Virginia (10-5-5), which fell to Maryland in the ACC final, will play Delaware (14-4-1) or St. John’s (10-6-2) on Sunday at Klockner Stadium. America East champion UMBC, which at 16-1-2 boasts the best record in the tournament, will host Connecticut or Quinnipiac this weekend.

Patriot League champion Navy (15-3-2), making its first tournament appearance in 25 years and featuring a nation’s-best 14-game winning streak, will visit VCU (11-7-2) on Thursday evening, with the winner to play No. 14 seed Wake Forest (9-5-5) on Sunday.

Atlantic 10 champion George Mason (12-2-5) will carry a 12-game unbeaten streak to former CAA rival William & Mary (11-5-2) on Thursday. At stake is a trip to No. 7 seed New Mexico (11-5-2) this weekend.

Three of the four top seeds are from the West: UCLA (11-3-4), Washington (14-1-4), Notre Dame (12-1-6) and California (12-4-2). It was the opposite outcome in the 64-team women’s tournament unveiling last week as all top seeds came from the ACC (Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State and North Carolina).

Twenty-three men’s teams received automatic berths for winning conference titles, while 25 claimed at-large slots. Despite an 8-11-2 record, defending champion Indiana squeaked into the field by winning the Big Ten crown. In the most intriguing first-round clash, the Hoosiers will visit Akron (16-3-1).

If the seeds hold form, none of the locals would host a quarterfinal match: Maryland would visit Cal, which defeated the Terps 3-2 in overtime in the second game of the season; Georgetown would go to former Big East foe Notre Dame; and Virginia would travel to UCLA.

The College Cup semifinals and final are Dec. 13-15 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

The complete bracket with dates and kickoff times for the first two rounds is available here.

“It’s a year of parity in college soccer,” Cirovski said. “It’s going to be wide open and unpredictable.”

 

 

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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