When Maryland men’s soccer crashed out of the Big Ten tournament with a resounding 2-0 loss to eventual champions Indiana, an NCAA tournament appearance seemed to hang on a knife’s edge.
With a reduced field — and fewer committee selections for bids — the Terps could well have been left out of the contest.
But Monday afternoon, those fears were quelled, as Maryland (4-4-2) will head down to North Carolina for the NCAA tournament, facing Missouri State in the first round.
The Terps come into the tournament on the heels of a 4-1-2 run over its final seven games of the season, a run of form that appears now to have been strong enough to dispel memories of an 0-3 start.
[Maryland men’s soccer was undermanned and overwhelmed in loss to Indiana]
It will face off against a Bears squad that won both their regular season and conference tournament titles, losing only once in their regular season slate, a 2-0 defeat to Loyola Chicago.
Maryland appeared to be locked in a battle with Michigan for the third Big Ten team to earn a tournament berth Monday. The Terps and Wolverines shared similar resumes, and both won one conference tournament game. However, Maryland beat Michigan, 2-1, on March 11, a result that presumably swung the committee towards the Terps.
So, despite a rocky season, the Terps have done enough to earn a shot at some of the nation’s best. And with two weeks to prepare, coach Sasho Cirovski’s squad will be a tough out in early May.