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LIU prepares to face Big Ten's Maryland in NCAA Tournament

"Three years in a row in the finals, we went to penalties," LIU coach Michael Mordocco said. "I’d been through two years in a row losing on penalties, so I felt a little more confident this year."

Skoumbakis made the save and was named MVP.

On Monday, the 11-4-4 Sharks learned during the NCAA D-I men’s soccer selection show that they next will face a bigger challenge — a Big Ten-sized challenge. Four-time national champ Maryland (12-3-2) will be their first-round opponent and host on Thursday at 7 p.m.

"I kind of had that feeling," said Mordocco, who won a national championship as a forward with UConn in 2000. "I thought it would be them or Penn State or something like that. No surprise to me. A top program in the country."

Maryland made the field for the 21st straight season.

"It’s exciting to be able to play an opponent of that caliber," Mordocco said.

So how does LIU match up against an opponent of that caliber?

"I don’t know," Mordocco said. "I’m excited to find out. I think our guys will be up for it. Our group of guys play with a tremendous amount of heart."

New York Sports