By Pat Mariboe
Elm Staff Writer
After eight straight games without a victory, the Shoremen were looking to get back into the win column against visiting Immaculata University on Oct. 23. The Shoremen were held scoreless on four different occasions in their last string of defeats and hoped to add some goals to the tally. Immaculata, who came into the game with only three wins during the season, struggled to score goals themselves and the Shoremen were looking to get an edge on them.
Washington College had all the pressure in the first half. The first chance for the Shoremen came in the 16th minute when senior forward Sam Draper and senior midfielder Matt Wilfong combined down the left side with a quick give-and-go, eventually leading to a blocked shot from Draper only a few yards out.
WC kept pouring the pressure on Immaculata until the 21st minute when a free-kick from sophomore midfielder Dimitri Kaliakin was cleared out by the opposing defense only for the ball to find its way to senior midfielder Brandon Wilfong. The midfielder hit it one time, rocketing his attempt into the bottom left corner from 25 yards out.
One minute later the Shoremen had a chance for a second goal when sophomore forward Brian Wilkinson crossed a ball over to Kaliakin, who then had a volleyed effort saved by the Immaculata goalkeeper. WC entered halftime with the 1-0 lead thanks to Wilfong’s wonderstrike.
Wilkinson added another goal for the home side only three minutes into the second half, sidestepping a defender and slotting the ball home to make it 2-0 to the Shoremen. Senior goalkeeper Lin Robinson was also involved for the Shoremen in the second half. He was forced into a diving save after a long drive effort with 30 minutes to go. WC had a chance to get a third goal with less than 30 minutes to go but Wilkinson was denied a second after the opposing goalie made a close fingertip save.
The Shoremen outshot Immaculata 20-3 in the contest and recorded nine corner kicks to Immaculata’s two in a 2-0 shutout victory for Washington College.
WC faced off against Gettysburg College in their second game in the span of three days in a Centennial Conference match-up. The Shoremen were without a win in the CC during the season and wanted to notch their first victory.
Gettysburg was the first team to strike in the ninth minute when a shot from the right side of the field found its way into the bottom left corner past Robinson. WC responded quickly a few minutes later when senior midfielder Bob Libera headed one in, evening the score at 1-1 at the end of the first 45 minutes.
With close to 30 minutes to go in second half, Gettysburg got the lead back off a free kick from just outside the 18-yard-box. WC, however, came back again when senior forward Joseph Fili scored on a header off a corner with three minutes to go, leveling the score at 2-2 and taking the game into overtime.
Gettysburg got the winning goal only three minutes into overtime when a Bullets player volleyed home a WC clearance off a corner kick, giving the home side a 3-2 victory over WC. The Bullets would get their revenge for last season when the Shoremen took down Gettysburg 1-0 at home at Roy Kirby Stadium. This was the second overtime loss against a conference opposition in the past week, which was a detrimental loss for the Shoremen.
“Two overtime conference losses in close proximity obviously was not the outcome we were hoping for,” said Libera. “We’re playing a possession style of soccer that in previous years we simply were not good enough to do. This approach of play has enabled us to challenge conference opponents and create opportunities to win games.”
The Shoremen have two conference games remaining on the season with their final home game against Swarthmore on Senior Day when eleven total seniors will start for the Shoremen.
“Unfortunately, our record reflects the realities of this sport. Despite playing well and scoring goals, the final results have not gone our way. With two big conferences games remaining, our team needs to elevate our group effort to get the results we deserve.”
The Shoremen’s final game of the season will take place this Saturday, away against Johns Hopkins. Last year WC recorded a historic 2-1 victory over the Blue Jays on the Kibler turf field with goals coming from a Matt Wilfong penalty kick and junior Jack Butler.