Loyola University Maryland is the top seed in the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s lacrosse tournament, while Ivy League champion Yale University is back in the event for the first time in 20 years.
Syracuse University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Virginia and Princeton University -- winners of 19 of the past 20 championships -- are also part of the 16-team bracket, announced yesterday by the NCAA.
The University of Florida, which launched its program in 2010, is the top seed in the women’s draw, also announced yesterday by the NCAA. Defending-champion Northwestern received the second seed, followed by Maryland and Syracuse, which plays Ivy League-champion Dartmouth College in the first round.
The tournaments begin this weekend. The men’s final is on May 28 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, with the women’s championship the previous day at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York.
Loyola (14-1) finished with a program-record 14 victories, including wins over tournament teams Duke University and the University of Denver, and secured the Baltimore school’s first No. 1 seed in the tournament since 1999. The Greyhounds, who missed out on an undefeated record with a 10-9 overtime loss to local rival Johns Hopkins in the final game of the regular season, will play Canisius College (6-7) on May 12 in the first round.
“It’s a special day for our program,” Loyola coach Charley Toomey said on the school’s athletics website. “I am so proud of our guys. They have worked so hard, day-in, day-out. Our senior leadership and our captains have been special this year.”
Yale (11-4) won the Ivy League’s automatic bid with a 15-7 victory over Princeton yesterday in the conference-tournament final. The Bulldogs will play the fourth-seeded University of Notre Dame (11-2) on May 13; the Tigers (11-4) received an at-large bid and will play defending-champion Virginia (11-3) the same day.
Yale won nine straight games to end the season and take the Bulldogs’ first NCAA tournament berth since 1992.
“It’s been a long hiatus,” coach Andy Shay said on the school’s athletics Web page. “We’ve been hammering at this for a long time, and it’s a big step for our program.”