Maryland men’s soccer earned a place in the NCAA tournament field for the 19th consecutive season, all under the direction of coach Sasho Cirovski, during Monday’s selection show.
The Terps (10-7-2) were not one of the top-16 seeds, missing out on a first-round bye as a result. Instead, Maryland will host Iona (14-5-1) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Ludwig Field.
Iona earned one of the 24 automatic bids after winning its conference tournament with a 3-2 overtime victory over top-seeded St. Peter’s in the MAAC tournament.
[Read more: Niklas Neumann’s performance vs. Indiana showed Maryland soccer it has a “special” goalie]
Cirovski’s squad, meanwhile, lost in double overtime to Indiana in the Big Ten tournament semifinal round at Ludwig Field. The Terps survived the Hoosiers’ onslaught of chances in regulation and the first overtime period before finally succumbing in double overtime when defender Jack Maher converted a penalty kick after a Maryland hand ball in the box.
A season ago, the Terps entered the postseason as the No. 11 seed and won five consecutive matches to claim the program’s fourth national championship.
The mantra all season for Maryland has been chasing another national title, rather than defending last season’s crown. If the Terps want to hoist this year’s trophy in Cary, North Carolina, they’ll need to win six straight contests after not earning the first-round bye.
Maryland is in the same quadrant of the bracket as two seeded Big Ten teams in No. 5 Indiana and No. 13 Michigan. If the Terps want a chance at avenging earlier losses to those teams, they’ll need to advance past Iona on Thursday night.