No. 14 Rutgers men's lacrosse takes on No. 7 Maryland in 1st round of Big Ten Tournament
The Rutgers men's lacrosse team begins the Big Ten Tournament with a matchup against Maryland. The game will be played at SECU Stadium in College Park, Maryland. The winner will go on the road to play Johns Hopkins in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.
The Scarlet Knights (8-5, 1-4) hold the No. 6 seed in the tournament, which is the lowest position. The Terrapins (8-4, 3-2), on the other hand, hold the No. 3 seed. As for the rest of the tournament field, No. 1 seeded Penn State and the No. 2 seeded Blue Jays (11-4, 4-1) hold first-round byes, and No. 4 seeded Michigan and No. 5 seeded Ohio State will battle for a chance to play the Nittany Lions (9-3, 4-1).
The matchup between No. 14 Rutgers and No. 7 Maryland will be the second time that these two teams have met in the last two weeks. On April 16, the Terrapins defeated the Knights at SHI Stadium on Busch campus by a score of 11-8.
The loss in the last matchup marked Rutgers' 12th all-time loss in 12 meetings against Maryland. Coming into the 13th all-time matchup with no wins against the Terrapins, the Knights' backs are against the wall. Rutgers will be looking to flip the script and make history with a victory over Maryland in the first round.
The Knights' NCAA Tournament chances have dwindled of late as they have lost 4 of their last 5 games. Coming off of a historical 2022 season in which Rutgers made the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament, missing the tournament altogether would be disappointing for a program that had high hopes this season.
The Knights currently have a .8 percent chance of getting an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, according to Lacrosse Reference's bracketology. The site also gives Rutgers a 5.2 percent chance of winning the Big Ten Tournament, which would grant it an automatic bid.
The Knights have a golden opportunity to boost their resume for the NCAA Tournament with a matchup against a strong, highly-ranked Terrapins team. A win would also advance Rutgers to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals and open up the opportunity for more matchups against other highly touted Big Ten programs.
To pull off a victory over Maryland, the Knights will need to step up their offensive play. Over its last two games, Rutgers has scored just 13 goals combined, including just a 5-goal performance against No. 5 Penn State.
The Knights' offense has all the skill and potential to bounce back following their last two games, but they will need to rely on the production of senior attackers Ross Scott and Brian Cameron and sophomore attacker Dante Kulas. Scott, Cameron and Kulas have scored 25 goals apiece this season and will look to add more to their tallies against the Terrapins.
Scott is the player most likely to turn things around for the team in the postseason. He was a major part of Rutgers' postseason success in 2022 and was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team and the NCAA All-Tournament Team. As the Knights look to knock off Maryland and string together some victories, Scott will need to be a major part of the offense.
The game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. tomorrow and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.
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