Knights Draw Maryland in NCAA Tourney First-Round Pairing

FDU will play at Maryland of the Big 10 Conference Thursday at 6 p.m. in the first round of the NCAA men’s soccer championship tournament.

The Knights learned their opponent Monday afternoon as the team gathered in front of the big television screen in the Rutherford room of the Student Union. In announcing the pairing, the NCAA noted FDU’s defensive prowess, led by goalie Spencer King, the Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

FDU defeated No. 3 seeded St. Francis Brooklyn, 2-1, Sunday to capture its ninth tournament championship and its 10th league title in a come-from-behind win ignited by freshman Jaime Barbero’s two second-half goals. FDU completed its first sweep of the regular-season title and the tournament without a loss in the league. The Knights are 10-5-3 overall after finishing 6-0-2 in the NEC.

The Knights return to the NCAA tournament for the 19th time. FDU last qualified for the tourney in 2019. They play a Maryland team that earned its tournament berth as an at-large qualifier. Maryland, which lost 2-1 to Indiana in the Big 10 tournament on Nov. 9, has a storied soccer history, winning four NCAA championships, the last in 2018. The teams have never played each other.

Kentucky is the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

FDU is making its 19th trip to the NCAA men’s soccer tournament, this year making the trek to Maryland of the Big 10 Conference. The Knights gathered Monday to watch as the selection committee revealed the tourney bracket.

VIDEO — Tourney-bound Fairleigh Dickinson Knights hear their opponent in the first round of the NCAA.