After a one-year absence, coach Missy Meharg’s squad is back in the NCAA tournament.
No. 6 Maryland field hockey will host No. 14 Virginia in the first round on Friday. It’s the program’s 33rd appearance in the big dance.
The Terps met the Cavaliers on Oct. 7 in Charlottesville, when Big Ten Freshman of the Year Hope Rose buried the game-winning shot in overtime to pull out a 2-1 victory.
Maryland will be joined by five of its Big Ten mates in the 18-team field.
[Maryland field hockey falters in opening round of Big Ten tournament to Penn State, 3-2]
No. 3 Rutgers earned the conference’s automatic bid after beating No. 2 Michigan in the Big Ten tournament final, 1-0. That allowed the Scarlet Knights to earn the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tourney for the first time in school history.
The Terps made an early exit in the Big Ten tournament this year, dropping a tight 3-2 match to No. 7 Penn State on Thursday.
A Maryland victory on Friday could set up a rematch with the Nittany Lions should they beat Syracuse in their first round matchup.
But first, Virginia awaits as the Terps have a chance to rebound on the sport’s biggest stage.