Men's Lacrosse Earns Second NCAA Tournament Berth in Three Years
University Park, Pa. May 8, 2005 - The Penn State men's lacrosse team (9-5, 5-1 ECAC) earned its second bid to the NCAA Tournament in three years after the NCAA released its brackets today. The Lions will battle the Maryland Terrapins in College Park, Md. Game dates and times for the first round games will be announced later in the week by the NCAA.
The 35th NCAA men's lacrosse tournament committee selects six automatic qualifiers and ten at large bids with the eight highest teams seeded. Johns Hopkins earned the first seed followed by No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Maryland and No. 4 Virginia. The winner of the Penn State vs. No. 3 Maryland game will take on the winner of the No. 6 Georgetown vs. Army game, with the second round meeting to be held in Princeton, N.J.
Maryland holds a 34-2 all-time record over the Lions with Penn State's two wins coming in 1916 and 1920. The last meeting between the two teams came in 1998 when the Nittany Lions fell to the Terps 19-10 in College Park. The teams have only met twice (1998 and 1999) since 1980. Maryland finished its season with a 9-5 record and defeated Duke, 9-5, on May 1 to claim the ACC Championship.
The Nittany Lions upset No. 7 Georgetown 13-12 in overtime this afternoon to end their regular season on a seven-game winning streak. Penn State shared the ECAC title with Massachusetts, which also posted a 5-1 record in the conference. Four other Penn State opponents earned spots in the bracket. These teams include Massachusetts, Georgetown, Duke and Fairfield.
Head coach Glenn Thiel was very excited to be returning to the tournament for the second time in the university's history.
"Who knew we would have earned a bid to the tournament when we had a 2-5 record in the beginning of April," said Thiel. "It was an incredible turnaround and the team played fantastic lacrosse."
Thiel noted that many players on this team have had prior NCAA tournament experience and says continuing the strong play is key.
"I think we are a more confident team this year from our tournament team in 2003. We have been playing well down the final stretch of the schedule and we have the momentum on our side."