May 4, 2014

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Maryland Takes Top Seed for Women's DI Tournament 

By Megan Schneider | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter 

ACC champion Maryland took the top seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, followed by Syracuse and North Carolina at the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively. (Peyton Williams)

Interactive Bracket

Maryland (19-1) and Syracuse (18-2), the contenders for the ACC title game when the Terps came out victorious, took the No. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively, in the 26-team NCAA Division I women's tournament field, announced live on NCAA.com on Sunday night.

No surprises there with their near perfect seasons. Syracuse's two losses came at the hands of Maryland. Maryland's lone loss, however, came from North Carolina (14-4), who takes the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Despite their up-and-down season, the Tar Heels' strength of schedule as the second best squad in the country in scoring proved them worthy to finish out the top-three.

Florida (17-2), the ALC Tournament champion, did not need their automatic bid to place within the top five at No. 4. With Shannon Gilroy at its helm, the Gators have consistently been the top scoring team nationwide. Fellow ALC rival Northwestern (12-6), who lost today by only one goal to Florida, took the No. 5 seed.

The ACC powerhouse continues to round out the top eight with Virginia (10-8), Boston College (13-5) and Notre Dame (9-8) at the No. 6, 7 and 8 seeds, respectively.

Virginia's ranking was the only one that was somewhat surprising based on their season as a whole, but with their competitive end-of-season play and tough schedule, which are two of the criteria for selection, they made their way in. They upset Duke in the ACC quarterfinals to take on Maryland in the semifinals, only to lose by six.

Maryland will host Canisius (12-6) and Penn (12-4), who both earned automatic bids as conference tournament champions.

Also in Maryland's quarter of the bracket, Notre Dame will be facing High Point (14-5), the Big South champion, and will host the Duke (9-7) - Stanford (14-4) game as well. Duke's overtime win over North Carolina ensured their spot in the tournament. Stanford still advanced to the NCAAs despite losing by three to Denver in today's MPSF tournament final.

Northwestern will host Big East champion Louisville (15-3) and Ohio State (13-6) in the first round of games. Ohio State ranks in the top 20 for both RPI and SOS and their key wins over Louisville, Northwestern, Penn State and Notre Dame secured an at-large bid.

Denver (18-1), the MPSF champion, will square off with Atlantic Sun champion Jacksonville (14-5) at Florida, who plays host for this first-round matchup.

Georgetown (10-8) may have thought its season was over after losing to Louisville in the Big East title game on Saturday, but the key to earning an at-large bid was finishing its season strong, and they did just that. The Hoyas will take on Johns Hopkins (15-4), which, with its historical season with Tewaaraton nominee Taylor D'Amore leading the way, has made its way back into the NCAAs for the first time since 2007. No. 3 North Carolina will wait to see whom they will play as the host for the Georgetown-Hopkins first-round game.

No. 6 seed Virginia hosts Penn State (10-7) and Princeton (11-6) as they will get a rematch of their final regular season game. The Nittany Lions defeated Princeton by only one goal at the end of April.

No. 7 seed Boston College drew Bryant (15-3) as its first-round contest, who won the NEC title game. Boston College's strong regular season play in the ACC demonstrated the team's potential to advance to the postseason. The Eagles will also host the Massachusetts (18-1) - Loyola (14-5) game, who both won their conference tournaments. Loyola lost by two goals to No. 2 seed Syracuse this weekend, so the Greyhounds will be a challenging force in the NCAAs.

Stony Brook (16-3) will face off with Towson (11-7) under the dome as Syracuse hosts both squads. Stony Brook has certainly earned its recognition this season with Frankie Caridi between the pipes as the nation's best goalie. The Seawolves' defensive game will be paramount as they play Towson, which won the CAA championship game by one goal against James Madison. 

The top six seeds earned a bye the first round and the top eight teams will host the first and second rounds of competition.

Automatic Bids (13): Conference Champions

America East Conference: Stony Brook
American Lacrosse Conference: Florida
Atlantic Coast Conference: Maryland
Atlantic Sun Conference: Jacksonville
Atlantic 10 Conference: Massachusetts
Big East Conference: Louisville
Big South Conference: High Point
Colonial Athletic Association: Towson
Ivy League: Penn
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: Canisius
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation: Denver
Northeast Conference: Bryant
Patriot League: Loyola Maryland

At-Large Bids (13):

Boston College, Duke, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Princeton, Stanford, Syracuse and Virginia.

Top 8 Seeds:

No. 1 Maryland
No. 2 Syracuse
No. 3 North Carolina
No. 4 Florida
No. 5 Northwestern
No. 6 Virginia
No. 7 Boston College
No. 8 Notre Dame

NCAA Division I Women's Tournament

First Bracket Quarter 

At No. 1 Maryland
May 9: Canisius vs. Penn
May 11: Canisius-Penn Winner vs. No. 1 Maryland

At No. 8 Notre Dame

May 9: Duke vs. Stanford
May 9: No. 8 Notre Dame vs. High Point
May 11: Duke-Stanford Winner vs. Notre Dame-High Point Winner

Second Bracket Quarter 

At No. 5 Northwestern
May 9: Louisville vs. Ohio State
May 11: Louisville-Ohio State Winner vs. No. 5 Northwestern

At No. 4 Florida
May 9: Denver vs. Jacksonville
May 11: Denver-Jacksonville Winner vs. No. 4 Florida

Third Bracket Quarter 

At No. 3 North Carolina
May 9: Georgetown vs. Johns Hopkins
May 11: Georgetown-Johns Hopkins vs. No. 3 North Carolina

At No. 6 Virginia
May 9: Penn State vs. Princeton
May 11: Penn State-Princeton Winner vs. No. 6 Virginia

Fourth Bracket Quarter 

At No. 7 Boston College
May 9: No. 7 Boston College vs. Bryant
May 9: Massachusetts vs. Loyola (Md.)
May 11: Boston College-Bryant Winner vs. Massachusetts-Loyola Winner

At No. 2 Syracuse
May 9: Stony Brook vs. Towson
May 11: Stony Brook-Towson Winner vs. No. 2 Syracuse

Game times are TBA for the first and second rounds. The quarterfinal games will be played on either May 17 or May 18, with the winners advancing to the semifinals and finals hosted by Towson on May 23 and 25 at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The semifinal games will be aired live on ESPN3 at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, May 23, while the championship game will be televised on ESPNU at 8:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 25.


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