Deja Vu: Cornell prepares for NCAA Tournament opener vs. Maryland

By wbng sports

May 6, 2014 Updated May 6, 2014 at 11:58 PM EDT

Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Cornell lacrosse team has to be having déjà vu as it heads into this year's NCAA Tournament. For the second year in a row the Big Red draws a date with Maryland in the opening round.

Now, Cornell hopes that means another run to championship weekend.

It wasn't exactly smooth sailing during the second half of the year though. After starting 9-0, the Big Red lost four of its final six games, which included a semifinal exit in the Ivy League tournament.

However, the team says those struggles aren't such a bad thing.

"We're definitely battle tested. Obviously we'd like to be undefeated, but with the losses there's a lot to be learned," said junior matt Donovan. "I think we're definitely a better team than we were at the beginning of the year and definitely a stronger team as well."

"We're playing some good lacrosse, we just know we have to play 60 minutes now," said head coach Matt Kerwick. "It's playoffs and if you don't than you're done. Our guys are very excited to go down there and play a full game against an excellent ACC team."

The Big Red travels to College Park, MD for the first round game on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

If Cornell can get by Maryland for the second straight year, they could be looking at a second ACC opponent. The Big Red is in the same quarter as second seed Syracuse.

Those two met once this season. That was a 14-9 win for the Orange in Ithaca last month.

Syracuse plays the winner of Siena and Bryant on Sunday night in the first round. The Saints and Bulldogs face off on Wednesday in a play-in game.

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