Maryland women’s lacrosse has been selected as an at-large team to the 2021 NCAA tournament. The defending champions will play High Point (10-7) in the first round of the tournament on May 14.

The Terps and Panthers have met just one time in their histories, meeting in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2017. When the two squads collide, it will be four years to the day Maryland thrashed High Point 21-6 en route to a national championship.

[Emily Sterling had Maryland women’s lacrosse’s back in the Big Ten tournament]

The Terps finished the regular season with a 7-5 record in their conference-only schedule. After dropping their opening match of the season to Penn State, they hit their stride, winning five straight matchups, including an overtime victory over Johns Hopkins.

Maryland finally lost their streak when No. 2 Northwestern swept them in the last series of March. Coach Cathy Reese’s squad rebounded with a close win over No. 16 Rutgers on senior day. 

The Terps hit another roadblock, falling to the Nittany Lions for a second time in University Park. They won their final home game of the year, beating the Blue Jays on a last-minute winner from Grace Griffin. However, the final matchup of the regular season resulted in the first loss in program history to the Scarlet Knights.

Come Big Ten tournament time, Maryland turned out on the defensive front, putting together some of its best efforts of the year in the backline in wins over Michigan and Johns Hopkins. 

In the championship game, the Terps fell one last time to the Wildcats, but gave arguably the toughest matchup to the undefeated-Northwestern squad.

The Panthers enter the tournament as Big South Champions, easily winning their conference tournament despite posting their worst record since 2015. High Point also features the second-best scorer in the nation in Abby Hormes.

It will be a clash of styles as the Panthers offer a stronger attacking front, averaging 15.18 goals per game against a Maryland squad that boasted some very solid defensive play down the stretch of the season. 

The two sides will meet on Friday in Durham, North Carolina, where the winner will face the winner of No. 7 Duke and Mount St. Mary’s.