Despite being upset in the ACC semifinals over the weekend, Maryland received the No. 1 seed in the NCAA men's soccer tournament yesterday and will probably have to face three teams from New England in order to reach the final four for the fourth consecutive year.
The Terrapins (15-4-1) received a bye in the 48-team tournament and will play Atlantic 10 champion Rhode Island (13-7-2) or Brown (10-4-2) on Nov. 22 at Ludwig Field in College Park. Barring any upsets, Maryland would face Ivy League champion Dartmouth and Big East winner Connecticut in subsequent rounds.
"We expected to get a top-four seed, but you're always surprised when you're given the top seed," said Coach Sasho Cirovski, whose team lost to Duke, 4-2, Friday in the conference tournament. "The regular season has been like one big appetizer for us, and the tournament is the main course. This is what we've been waiting for."
Virginia Tech (10-5-4) and Virginia (12-4-2) were seeded No. 12 and No. 13, respectively, as the ACC sent eight of its nine soccer-playing schools to the tournament.
The Hokies, making their second appearance in program history, will face James Madison (12-6-2) or North Carolina Greensboro (15-5-0) in the second round next week in Blacksburg, Va., while the Cavaliers will await Big East runner-up South Florida (12-6-1) or Stetson (9-10-1) in Charlottesville.
The other regional team to receive a bid was 10th-seeded Old Dominion (15-3-2), the Colonial Athletic Association runner-up, which will play South Carolina or Wake Forest.
Defending NCAA champion Indiana, which ousted the Terps in the national semifinals last year, is the No. 3 seed. New Mexico is seeded between Maryland and Indiana, and North Carolina is No. 4. Six ACC teams are among the 16 seeds.
The tournament final four, known as the College Cup, will be played Dec. 9-11 in Cary, N.C. . . .
The Virginia women's team, which defeated Liberty and Tennessee over the weekend, will host Cal State Fullerton at 1 p.m. Sunday in the NCAA round of 16.
-- Steven Goff