The Penn State men’s and women’s lacrosse teams both discovered Sunday night that their dreams of national championships remain alive.
Both lacrosse programs earned berths into their respective NCAA tournaments, which officially kick off Friday. The No. 7-seeded men’s squad will host Towson in the opening round at noon Saturday, while the No. 5-seeded women’s team will receive a first-round bye before hosting the winner of James Madison-Louisville on Sunday.
“We are so excited,” women’s coach Missy Doherty said in a news release. “The team has worked so hard all year long, and it’s just a great reward for them and how hard they played and the big wins they’ve had.”
Both teams earned the berths despite losing in the semifinals of their Big Ten tournaments. In the latest rankings, from May 1, the Penn State women are ranked No. 5 nationally while the men are No. 8 in the country.
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The Penn State women (15-3) have already beaten one of their potential opponents in James Madison earlier this season, during a 12-9 home victory in March. They’ve never before faced Louisville.
The Nittany Lions’ men’s team (12-3) last made the NCAA tournament in 2013. They’ve never before received an at-large berth.
If the men win Sunday, they’ll face the winner of Syracuse-Yale the following weekend. A victory would also set a program record for most wins in a season, as the Lions have never before won more than 12 games.