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How Maryland Can Win the 2024 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship

The Maryland Men’s Lacrosse program has had one of its more interesting seasons in recent memory. You would not think this squad has the ability to win it all with how the team is talked about on social media. Their year began by winning four consecutive matches against ranked opponents where they took down Richmond, Loyola, Syracuse, and Princeton. This winning streak was met with two tough losses against Notre Dame and Virginia which led many to believe that maybe, just maybe, this Terps squad didn’t have the championship makeup.

The Terrapins rebounded going on to defeat Penn State, Ohio State, and Rutgers before a hard fought defensive bout with Johns Hopkins resulted in a loss at the end of the regular season. Many people felt that Maryland needed to have a good showing in the Big Ten tournament just to stay on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. Surprisingly, they were blown out by Penn State and appeared to have lost their chance. Much of the country was stunned when Maryland got an NCAA invitation and was even seeded for a home game. The controversial selection seemed to add fuel to the Maryland fire.

Since the start of the NCAA tournament, Maryland has silenced all their critics. The Terps have made their way back to Championship Weekend after routing Princeton in the first round and leading an upset against No.2 Duke. Maryland has clearly only meant business since the controversy and has shown that they have all the potential to clinch another NCAA Championship.

Maryland will have a 50-47 all-time edge over Virginia when they resume their 98th contest in this historic rivalry. They’ve met in the NCAA Tournament nine times, where UVA holds a 5-4 advantage. The two teams met most recently in the 2022 Quarterfinals, with the Terps coming away victorious 18-9 on their way winning it all, concluding their flawless season.

Key players stepping up will be key to Maryland’s success. Really solidifying this defense is goalkeeper for Logan McNaney, at 567 career saves. Luke Wierman currently has a 62.0% faceoff win percentage. Ajax Zappitello continues to rise on the career caused turnovers list. It is going to come down to these three individuals more than anyone in order for Maryland to win it all.

Head Coach John Tillman prides himself on getting his team ready for moments like these. Since 2011, the Terps have made every tournament, going 30-10 and earning 10 Championship Weekend appearances to go along with two NCAA Championships. His leadership is clearly going to play a huge factor as Maryland looks to avenge their regular season loss in the postseason.

Even if this game is a battle to the end, Maryland knows how to finish close games. The Terps have played three overtime games this season and have won each one. Ultimately, the Terrapins play under big pressure. If they bring it, they legitimately have a chance of winning the NCAA Championship. Maryland armed with a mix of seasoned veterans, a head coach loaded with experience, plus a desire to prove all their doubters wrong, the Terrapins are up for the fight for the title.