Western New York is guaranteed player representation in the NCAA Division I lacrosse semifinals. The question is, will it be one player or will it be three?
Four players out of area high schools will be in uniform when top-seeded Maryland faces No. 8 Albany at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in a quarterfinal matchup in Newark, Del. (ESPN2).
Albany carries three Buffalo players on its roster, including the nation's leading scorer in Timon/St. Jude graduate Connor Fields. The America East player of the year, Fields, a junior attackman, has lit it up for 52 goals and 61 assists in 17 games. He's a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation's outstanding player and is one of only seven players in NCAA history to total at least 50 goals and 50 assists in a season.
Fields is joined on the Great Danes roster by defenseman Matt Perla, a sophomore from Orchard Park, and Ron John, a freshman midfielder from Lake Shore. Perla has appeared in 13 games and has five ground balls. John has played in eight games with one goal.
Maryland has a Timon/St. Jude grad of its own in midfielder Adam DiMillo. He's played in all 16 games with three goals, four points and 11 ground balls.
Fields and DiMillo were a formidable combination during their days as Timon/St./Jude teammates. Fields was honored as the 2014 Prep Talk lacrosse player of the year while that same season DiMillo received the Tom Borrelli Memorial Award that goes to the area's outstanding senior player.
This will be the season's second meeting between Maryland and Albany. The teams squared off on April 12 in Albany with the Terps squeaking out a 12-11 victory. Fields produced three goals and five assists in that game while DiMillo had an assist.
Sunday's winner will face either Notre Dame or Denver in the May 27 semifinals. In the other quarterfinals, Syracuse faces Towson and Ohio State meets Duke.
The final will be played on Memorial Day.
In first-round play, Albany ousted ACC champion North Carolina, 15-12, with Fields contributing a goal, four assists and three caused turnovers. Maryland knocked out Bryant, 13-10, with help from a goal by DiMillo.