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NCAA lacrosse: Maryland and Virginia earn bids in both men’s and women’s tournaments

Charlie Raffa, right, and Maryland will open the NCAA tournament with a rematch against Cornell, which ousted the Terps in the first round a year ago. (Joe Raymond/Associated Press)

The Maryland and Virginia men’s lacrosse teams were selected to the 18-team NCAA tournament when the field was announced Sunday night.

Meanwhile, three area teams were selected for the 26-team NCAA women’s field, also announced Sunday night: Maryland, Virginia and Georgetown.

On the men’s side, the Terrapins (11-3) are a No. 7 seed and will host Cornell (11-4) on Saturday at 5 p.m.

The teams met in the NCAA first round last year, also in College Park. The Big Red won, 16-8.

The two teams dominated the early years of the NCAA tournament. But the Terrapins haven’t won a title since 1975, and the Big Red hasn’t won since 1977.

“We knew we’d be playing somebody really, really good, and that’s what happened,” Maryland Coach John Tillman said. “Cornell won the Ivy League regular season title this year and obviously whipped us last year.”

Tillman said he was hopeful senior Mike Chanenchuk, the team’s leading scorer, would play Saturday.

Chanenchuk (28 goals, 16 assists) missed most of a 12-6 victory over Navy on Saturday with an ankle injury he suffered in an ACC tournament semifinal loss to Notre Dame on April 25.

The Terrapins are a No. 7 seed despite having wins over the No. 1, 2, 6 and 8 seeds.

The Cavaliers (10-5) are a No. 8 seed and will face Johns Hopkins (10-4) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Charlottesville. Virginia won the regular season meeting in overtime, 11-10.

Virginia and Johns Hopkins both missed the NCAA tournament last year.

The NCAA tournament selection committee is chaired by Jim Siedliski, associate director of the American Athletic Conference.

He said during the selection show that seedings were determined almost exclusively by data rather than by how teams look in person or what personnel a team has.

“I think [having seen teams play in person], it’s a relative term,” Siedliski said. “Our ‘eye test’ is relative to the data we’re charged with using. It’s the whole body of work, and that’s the messaging we’ve used with the coaches. . . . To be more succinct and blunt, there isn’t a great deal of subjectivity to this.”

Defending national champion Duke (13-3) is the No. 1 overall seed.

The semifinals and championship game are at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Memorial Day weekend.

Of note, all six ACC teams made the tournament this year, and five were among the top eight seeds. Maryland will leave the conference after the season for the Big Ten.

Also, Drexel (12-4) made the NCAA tournament for the first time. And Richmond (6-10) made the tournament in its first year of existence. The Spiders earned an automatic bid by winning the Atlantic Sun tournament.

In the women’s field, Maryland (19-1) will host the winner of Canisius (12-6) and Pennsylvania (12-4) on Sunday.

Georgetown (10-8) faces Johns Hopkins (15-4) in a first-round game Friday, with the winner to face No. 3 North Carolina (14-4) two days later. The Tar Heels are the defending national champions.

Virginia (10-8) will host the winner of the first-round game between Princeton (11-6) and Penn State (10-7) on Sunday.

The women’s semifinals and final will be held May 23 and 25, respectively, at Towson.

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