By Andrew Chirico
Elm Staff Writer
Following a stretch of four straight victories, the Washington College men’s soccer team suffered their first loss of the season to visiting 19th-ranked Salisbury University. The rivalry matchup ended in a 3-2 double overtime victory against the Shoremen.
“Last night was a tough loss,” said Head Coach Roy Dunshee. “I think we all felt that we deserved something from the game, and a tie might have been a just result. Salisbury is a very difficult opponent. They are perpetually among the nation’s best teams. In my first three years, we didn’t manage to score a goal on them, so this score line demonstrates progress, but at the moment it is cold comfort for our boys who expect more.”
The only goal of the first half came off the foot of junior Brian Wilkinson. Wilkinson was able to take advantage of a penalty kicked due to a Salisbury handball, which occurred within the first 21 minutes of action.
The second half was a much more offensive savvy game for both teams. The Seagulls were able to even the match just under 15 minutes into play. The trouble for WC continued when a Shoremen defender unintentionally played a throw-in into the back of WC’s own net.
The misfortune was turned around in the 72nd minute following a header from the towering sophomore Michael Holowesko. The header was delivered from a corner kick which was assisted by junior Dimitri Kaliakin. Holowesko’s goal evened up the battle on Kibler Field.
The game ended in its 90 minutes of regulation notched up with a 2-2 stalemate. The first overtime only consisted of one shot coming from Salisbury but was saved by WC. The game then went into a second overtime, in favor of Salisbury. The Seagulls scored at the 107th minute mark to give them the win.
“The game was very tight and cagy for 90 minutes, but in the overtime periods, it got very open. Both teams made the tactical decision to gamble and go for the win. Salisbury sent more players forward, and so did we. We had good control of the first overtime, but we got too loose in the second overtime and got punished,” said Dunshee.
Despite the tough loss to a ranked program like Salisbury, the team remains optimistic for their upcoming season.
“What we can learn from the loss is a one goal lead is never enough. Also, we learned how to play from behind for the first time this year, and I thought we reacted well,” said Kaliakin.
WC hosts a dominant #4 Franklin & Marshall squad during Fall Family Weekend, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. The game can be viewed on GooseNationTV.com, found on WC’s athletics webpage.