By Derek Stiles
Week by week it seems to be the same story for the men’s lacrosse team: another tally in the win column and another record crossed off. As the Shoremen ride their conference win streak, they continue to pick up momentum as games become ever more important. After defeating number 20 Gettysburg this past weekend 13-8, the Shoremen are in position to finish their Centennial Conference regular season with no blemishes in the standings.
The Shoremen can finish their season 8-0 if they’re able to dispatch a Swarthmore side that currently sits at seventh place in the conference standings with a 1-5 record. After finishing fourth in the conference last season with a 5-3 record, this would be a vast improvement for the team heading into the post season as they look to earn a top seed in the national tournament.
Besides their lone loss to rival Salisbury, the Shoremen have only been threatened by fellow Centennial Conference team Ursinus, who the Shoremen eventually took down 9-8 in overtime off of the golden goal scored by senior Kodie Englehart.
On April 19, the team took down a nationally ranked Gettysburg side in their Autism Awareness Game. The Bullets were previously a team that the Shoremen hadn’t been victorious against since 2004 in the NCAA tournament.
Despite the match being fairly close, the Shoremen were in control throughout, as they never trailed after going down 0-1 two minutes into the game. Halftime had the Shoremen doubling Gettysburg’s goals by a score of 8-4 with senior JD Campbell and junior Grant Hughes contributing two goals a piece.
Gettysburg was never able to get within two goals of Washington College, who outshot the Bullets by an astounding 60-26. The Shoremen would also dominate Gettysburg in the turnover and faceoff battles as well, where they caused 18 turnovers while only committing six. Junior Michael Trapp would win 17-23 of his faceoffs.
Hughes and Campbell would each finish with four goals apiece while Englehart netted two on the day. With three assists, senior Hunter Nowicki moved into second on the conference’s point leaderboard with 49 points on the season. Nowicki will play a pivotal part in the Shoremen’s attack when playoff time comes around.
The victory against the Bullets would not only keep the Shoremen’s conference record unbeaten, but it would also clinch them the number one overall seed in the conference tournament that is scheduled to start on April 30. Potential opponents could range from Gettysburg, Dickinson, Ursinus, or even Franklin and Marshall if something drastic were to happen to the Diplomats in their final two games. Despite already guaranteeing themselves the top seed of the conference tournament, the team still looks to finish off their season in style. With a victory over Swarthmore, the team can finish the season on an eight game win-streak and head into their conference tournament with all the momentum.
While the battle for the regular season crown has been awarded to the Shoremen, they still are vying for a top spot in the national tournament as they are tied for number five in the country along with Cabrini (they are number six when it comes down to power points). The team who handed the Shoremen their lone loss of the season thus far and also their Eastern Shore rivals, Salisbury, sit at No.2 in the country as they just defeated previous number two Stevenson this past weekend.
The Shoremen will host the first round of the conference tournament on April 30 at Roy Kirby Jr. Stadium.