Maryland-Albany III Should Be Epic
Posted on April 24 2018
Last year, when the Maryland men’s lacrosse team faced the Albany team in the quarterfinals, the Terrapins came out on top. But they didn’t just win; they dominated the game with ease, 18-9. But Albany was a No. 8 seed and the Terrapins the No. 1. Maryland should have dominated that game.
But earlier this season, when the two teams met and played in front of 7400 fans on Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, the outcome was a bit different. Maryland led for the entirety of the game except for when it mattered most—the end of the game.
Maryland had a 10-6 advantage heading into the fourth period in that game. But when Connor Fields found the back of the net with 1:16 to play, the Great Danes pulled ahead, 11-10 (which was the final score).
At the time, Albany was the No. 1 team in the nation and Maryland, the defending champions, the No. 2 team. With how the season is playing out, it appears as if these two teams will be the No. 1 and 2 teams in the nation when postseason play starts.
Albany has remained in the top spot since beating Maryland earlier in the season. But after suffering their first defeat of the season earlier this month to UMBC, they have slipped down to No. 2 in the three polls. Maryland took advantage of the upset and moved up to the No. 1 slot.
But when the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Committee released their rankings recently, they still had Albany in the top spot.
What should this mean to fans?
Well—that when the bracket is made for this year’s championship, Maryland and Albany will be No. 1 and No. 2 (as long as they don’t lose any more games). Should that be the case, assuming they can both take care of business in the tournament and not get upset, the championship game will feature the two.
It often doesn’t happen, but the two best teams in the sport will take the field for the third time in the last year. They will then get to battle it out for the right to be called national champion—and for bragging rights since they’ll have won two of three meetings between the two,
So—who’s going to win?
It’s impossible to tell. Both teams are not the same as the ones that met in the quarterfinal last season. While Albany won the matchup earlier this season, they only won by a single point and needed a massive comeback during the final quarter to do it.
Does that mean Maryland has the edge? Not necessarily. During their March 10 game, Maryland was able to hold Albany’s freshman phenom, Tehoka Nanticoke scoreless. His game has improved since then making it highly unlikely that they would be able to shut him out again.
Of course, there are plenty of teams that would like to keep the trilogy from happening and could. Duke, Denver, and Yale have played well all season and have had just two losses apiece. Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and Loyola each have three.
If one of them happens to catch either Maryland or Albany on an off night, an upset could happen (but let’s hope that doesn’t happen).
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