BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Owning a school-record 14 victories and the second most wins in the nation, the Lehigh men’s lacrosse team will host defending national finalist Maryland in an NCAA First Round game, as announced Sunday night. The game is set for next Sunday night (May 13) at 7:30 p.m. and will air live nation-wide on ESPNU. The Mountain Hawks earned their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth via their 16-14 win over Colgate in the Patriot League Championship Game.
“I was pretty calm because I knew we were in,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “I had a feeling in might be Maryland; I think a lot of the prognosticators thought it might be Maryland. We’re excited. We’re very privileged to have the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament. Our kids deserve it; they’ve worked so hard.
“It’s been an incredible journey,” Cassese continued. “I’m so happy for our team, so happy for our seniors. What a year to be a part of Lehigh Athletics.”
Lehigh enters the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the nation, winning 13 of its last 14 games. The Mountain Hawks played three teams who advanced to the NCAA Tournament this season, owning a 3-1 record with wins against North Carolina (9-8), Yale (11-7) and Colgate (16-14) while falling to the Raiders during the regular season (11-10 in overtime).
“I’m excited we get to host it here at Lehigh,” said Cassese. “What a great opportunity, not only for Lehigh but also the Lehigh Valley. Hopefully we get a great crowd on Sunday night.”
The Mountain Hawks have won five straight games at the Ulrich Sports Complex since their home opening defeat to Villanova. The winner of Lehigh-Maryland will face the winner of #2 Johns Hopkins and Stony Brook in the National Quarterfinals on May 19 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.
Lehigh and Maryland have met six times in their history, but not since 1940. The sides met five times in a six-year span from 1923-28, with Lehigh’s only victory coming in 1924 (3-0).
The Terrapins advanced to the National Championship Game last season as an unseeded team, defeating #8 seed North Carolina, #1 Syracuse and #5 Duke before falling to #7 Virginia. This marks Maryland’s 10th straight NCAA Tournament appearance as it enters with a 9-5 record after falling to Colgate Saturday, 13-11. The Terps earned signature wins against Johns Hopkins and Duke, seeded second and third, respectively.
Virginia won last season’s national championship as the #7 seed. This year’s top seeds are Loyola, Johns Hopkins, Duke and Notre Dame, respectively.
Tickets will go on sale Monday afternoon. Check back to Lehighsports.com on Monday for complete information.