The Lafayette field hockey team earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, announced during Tuesday evening’s NCAA selection show. The Leopards will take on defending national champion Maryland 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn.
“Looking at the RPI and having served on a selection committee before, I knew that we were in pretty good shape, but you just never know the way the discussions will go,” head coach Andrew Griffiths says.
Currently 17-2 overall, the Patriot League Champions were 13th in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA ) rankings and 10th in RPI (rating percentage index) following their 6-0 loss to Princeton Nov. 6 in the NCAA Play-In game. With three wins over conference champions Albany, Drexel, and Rider, Lafayette was consistently on the national stage all year long, climbing to as high as 11th in the NFHCA polls and ninth in RPI.
“I think we’ve earned it this year and I’m really pleased that we’re in the field,” Griffiths adds. “Playing the defending national champs is a great opportunity for our program.”
Maryland enters the tournament as the sixth-ranked team in the country according to the latest NFCHA poll. The Terrapins are coming off a 4-2 defeat to No. 1 North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship game and have a 16-5 record this season.
Led by 25th-year head coach Missy Meharg, Maryland has posted a 4-5 mark against 2012 NCAA Tournament participants, with victories against Virginia, Old Dominion, Stanford, and Massachusetts. Common opponents with Lafayette include No. 2 Princeton (L, 3-2), Temple (W, 3-0), American (W, 3-0) and Rutgers (W, 3-1).
The winner of Lafayette/Maryland will match up with the winner of the 11:30 a.m. game between UConn and Northeastern on Sunday at 2 p.m. for a berth in the Final Four.