The Maryland men's lacrosse program is once again spending Memorial Day Weekend attempting to get the monkey off its back.
The trip to Lincoln Finanical Field in Philadelphia, Penn., will mark the Terps' fifth Final Four appearance since 2011, but each of the previous trips have yielded zero national championships.
In fact, the Terps (16-2, 5-0 Big Ten) have advanced to three national championship games since 2011, but are still looking for the program's first title since 1975.
The Terps entered the 2016 NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed for the first time since 1987 and find themselves once again a part of championship weekend thanks to victories over Quinnipiac (13-6) and No. 8 seed Syracuse (13-7).
But in order to reach another national championship game, the Terps will have to get past No. 5 seed Brown, the champions of the Ivy League and top-ranked team in the country according to the Laxpower.comindex.
Brown (16-2, 6-1 Ivy) defeated Johns Hopkins 17-6 and Navy 11-10 en route to the program's first Final Four appearance since 1994.
The Terps will have their work cut out for them despite the absence of Brown's top points leader, junior attackman Dylan Molloy, who suffered a broken foot in the win against Johns Hopkins.
The Bears will call upon senior attackman Kylor Bellestri, a product of the Bullis School in Potomac, Md., to carry the offensive load, and the powerful dodger is more than capable, evident by his 62 goals and 28 assists this season. Aiding Bellestri is senior Henry Blynn, who enters the Final Four with 50 goals to his name.
While Brown does have arguably the most prolific scoring offense in the country, the Terps boast the most efficient defense in the country, and have a talented and experienced goalie in Kyle Bernlohr at the helm.
Bernlohr was tabbed as a first-team preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse magazine and has backed it up thanks to an eighth best 7.88 GAA in 2016.
The Akron, Ohio native tallied 22 saves to just 13 goals in the Terps first two NCAA Tournament games, but will be facing his most difficult test of the season on Saturday afternoon.
But the Terps are more than just an efficient defensive team. The junior attack trio of Matt Rambo, Colin Heacock and Dylan Maltz are as dynamic a trio as ther is in the country, and wreaked havoc on a stout Syracuse team in the quarterfinals. Rambo finished with four goals and two assists, with Maltz scoring three times and Heacock assisting on two goals.
Opposing teams are forced to exert extra pressure to the Terp' attack, allowing midfielders Henry West, Connor Kelley and Bryan Cole to find time and room up front. Cole has five assists and three goals to his name in the previous two tournament games, with Kelly adding three assists and West three goals.
A victory over Brown will not be easy, but losing is not some the Terps are accustomed to, having won 12 consecutive games since dropping back-to-back losses to Yale and Notre Dame to start the season.
The winner of Maryland vs. Brown will take on the winner of No. 7 Loyola (MD) vs. North Carolina on Monday, May 30 at 1 p.m. ET.