Some local Division I lacrosse teams have already punched their tickets to the NCAA Tournament, while others need a conference tournament run to extend their seasons. Here's a breakdown of the conference tournament outlook for UMBC, Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Towson, Mount St. Mary's and Loyola men's lacrosse.
Venue: Stony Brook
Local Team: UMBC (4-8)
Favorite: Stony Brook (9-5, Top 25 Votes)
Championship: Saturday, May 4 at noon
Outlook: The Retrievers secured the No. 4 seed in the upcoming America East tournament with an 11-9 win at Hartford in the regular-season finale. UMBC needs to take home the championship to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Retrievers have an uphill climb against top-seeded Stony Brook in their opening game May 2. The Seawolves beat UMBC, 14-7, March 23.
Local Teams: No. 2 Johns Hopkins (7-6, No. 16 nationally) and No. 3 Maryland (11-3, No. 5 nationally)
Favorite: Penn State (12-1, ranked No. 1 nationally)
Championship: Saturday, May 4 at 7 p.m.
Outlook: Johns Hopkins beat Maryland, 16-11, in the regular-season finale, securing a spot in the conference tournament and overtaking the Terrapins as the second seed. The two teams play again May 2 in the first round. While Penn State is the heavy favorite to win the Big Ten tournament, Maryland and Johns Hopkins should earn at-large bids for the NCAA Tournament based on their strength of schedule and overall performance.
Colonial Athletic Association
Venue: UMass Amherst
Local Team: Towson (9-4, No. 12 nationally)
Favorite: UMass (10-4, ranked No. 13 nationally)
Championship: Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m.
Outlook: The second-seeded Tigers play third-seeded Delaware (10-4) in the semifinals. The Tigers beat the Blue Hens, 14-12, on the road April 20. Senior midfielder Grant Maloof (South River) had five goals and an assist in that game. As is stands, Towson, with the No. 9 RPI, can likely secure an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament with a victory against Delaware based on its overall performance this season.
Venue: Mount St. Mary's
Local Team: Mount St. Mary's
Favorite: Mount St. Mary's (9-6)
Championship: Saturday, May 4 at 4 p.m.
Outlook: The top seeded Mountaineers won the NEC regular-season title for the second time in program history. They also accomplished the feat during the league's first official season in 2011. Mount St. Mary's hosts fourth-seeded Robert Morris (7-7) in the semifinals. The Mountaineers beat the Colonials, 14-11, March 23. Mount St. Mary's earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the conference title and could avoid a play-in game with a strong showing in the conference tourney.
Local Team: Loyola
Favorite: Loyola (11-3, ranked No. 6 nationally)
Championship: Sunday, May 5 at noon
Outlook: The top-seeded Greyhounds clinched their fourth Patriot League regular-season title in six years host the Patriot League tournament. Loyola plays No. 4 Army (11-4) in the semifinals May 3 at 5 p.m. The Greyhounds ran past the Black Knights, 13-9, April 20. Loyola senior attackman Pat Spencer (Boys' Latin) became the first men's lacrosse player in Patriot League history to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors all four seasons. Loyola has already clinched a spot in the NCAA Tournament by winning the regular-season title. Navy did not make the conference tournament.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Loyola Athletic Communications