By Pat Mariboe
Elm Staff Writer
The Shorewomen entered the week knowing that they would be the underdogs in both matches which was something new for them. It’s not every season that a team faces the No. 5 team in the country followed by the No. 6, especially when both are conference opponents.
The team entered their Centennial Conference match-up against Ursinus College with a convincing 11-4 overall record on the season, with a 4-2 record in the CC. The #6 ranked Bears were looking to improve their 11-2 overall record and current undefeated streak in the conference when they visited Washington College on Thursday.
Ursinus was the first team to strike when in the eighth minute, a shot by an Ursinus forward ricocheted off junior goalie Sadie Robertson and found its way into the left side of the cage. The Shorewomen pressed for an equalizer and found one when sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Davis rolled her shot to the near post to find the back of the cage off a penalty corner in the 25th minute. WC couldn’t celebrate their tying goal for long. Seven minutes later, Ursinus added a second goal when a shot was deflected in the front of the crease that found its way into the back of the cage. The Bears entered halftime with the 2-1 lead.
Ursinus then took a 3-1 lead only a few minutes into the second half when a close-range shot found a Bear’s player who’s effort was tapped home to give the away side the lead. Junior defender Jordan Mitchell managed to get one back for the hosts to narrow the score margin by one goal, but the Shorewomen were unable to find another goal, falling to the Bears 2-3 in a highly contested game. The Bears outshot the Shorewomen 16-9.
The usual bright spot for the Shorewomen was the engine of the midfield Davis who tallied yet another CC goal this season.
“Liz [Davis] has played a very impactful role in our attack, defense and midfield transition,” Head Coach Rachel Boyle said. “She trained incredibly hard to be able to play in a key role for our team as a center half. The demands require her to make solid decisions with the ball under pressure and disrupt fluidity of the opposing team. She also plays key roles in the decision making of our corner battery execution and defending our opponents offensive opportunities.”
WC went on the road for their second CC game of the week against No. 5 ranked Franklin & Marshall Diplomats. The home side had suffered only one loss this season and proved to be a tough test for the visiting Shorewomen.
The Diplomats started the scoring early in the 10th minute and added a second goal to the tally with only a minute to go in the first half to make the score 2-0. F&M added the final blow to the Shorewomen when they scored the third and final goal of the game with 11 minutes to play. The Diplomats outshot the Shorewomen 31-3. Robertson had a career high eight saves in the loss.
Despite the two losses suffered over the course of less than a week, the Shorewomen still hope to sneak their way into the playoffs. With the top five teams advancing, WC currently sits tied for sixth with Johns Hopkins who are both a half game back of the fifth and final playoff spot. With their season finale against third-place McDaniel, everything is on the line for the Shorewomen who hope to avoid narrowly missing out on the playoffs for the second year in a row.
“Last year’s disappointment after not making the playoffs was tough,” sophomore Jenn Miller attacker said. “With the way the team has worked this season and became such a strong unit on and off the field, making the playoffs this year is something we both deserve and crave to accomplish.”
The Shorewomen will face the McDaniel Green Terror in their final regular season game of the year on Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. with their playoff hopes on the line. It will take place on the newly finished turf at Roy Kirby Stadium.