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Leopards Earn At-Large Bid in NCAA Tournament

Nov. 6, 2012

NCAA Tournament Bracket | NCAA Tournament Info

EASTON, Pa. - The No. 13 Lafayette field hockey squad earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, announced during Tuesday evening's NCAA selection show. The Leopards will take on defending national champion Maryland at 2 p.m. on Saturday 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," Lafayette head coach Andrew Griffiths said.

The Leopards were 13th in the NFHCA rankings and 10th in RPI following their 6-0 loss to Princeton earlier today 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 added. "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 ACC 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 Maroon and White will travel to the University of Connecticut to take on the Terps on Saturday at 2 p.m.. The winner of Lafayette/Maryland will match up with the winner of the 11:30 a.m. game, UConn/Northeastern, on Sunday at 2 p.m. for a berth in the Final Four.