By Andrew Chirico
Elm Staff Writer
Following a historic start to the season, the Washington College men’s soccer team carried their success over to their 2015 home opener. The Sept. 12 match against visiting Albright ended in a 5-0 Shoremen victory.
Not only was it the fourth consecutive win to open the season for WC, but also it is the first time ever in program history that all four games were shutouts. WC opened the season strong with an impressive 6-0 victory against Gwynedd Mercy, followed by 1-0 win against Immaculata. Their success continued against St. Mary’s College of Maryland. with a 1-0 victory in overtime.
The first goal of the game came within 25 minutes when senior Jack Butler scored off an assist from junior Cole Strong. The next 20 minutes of the half remained scoreless for both squads.
The second half offensive attack got going within the 61st minute when sophomore Micheal Holowesko took advantage of a free kick opportunity coming from junior Dimitri Kaliakin. The next three goals were scored from Chris Lewandowski, Skylar Clark, and an in-advertent header by an Albright defender into his own net.
Lewandowski currently leads the team with four goals. Following him is Holowesko with three goals. Stuffing the assists column is Kaliakin with five.
All aspects of the game are clicking for the Shoremen, as they have outscored their opponents by a total of 13-0. Along with the offensive power, the team stresses the importance of a stellar defense. “The way we have been able to start off so well is through a commitment to defense. Everyone, not just our defense, has put in the work to defend better than we ever have.” said Kaliakin.“We feel proud and happy about setting history, but we know we cannot be over confident. It only gets tougher as we get into conference play and we need to continue to stay focused.”
Kaliakin feels if the defense keeps up, the team will compete for a Centennial Conference tournament bid. “The expectations for the conference this year is to make the conference tournament. We feel like if we keep defending well, we have a chance to do well in the conference,” he said.
Along with Kaliakin’s expectations comes Butler’s importance on the team as a whole.
“Something that we have this year that we haven’t had in the past is the ability to trust every player we have to come into each game and play well,” he said.
At least six juniors have started all four games for Head Coach Roy Dunshee’s squad. This was Dunshee’s first ever recruiting class has the top man at WC.
Starting a season 4-0 has historically been in the Shoremen’s favor, and in 1973, the last time the team started a season with four consecutive wins, WC advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The team was a part of the now-extinct Mason-Dixon Conference.
WC kicks off their Centennial Conference campaign when they travel to Dickinson on Sept. 19 for a 6 p.m. showdown. The game can be viewed via Dickinson’s live-stream, found on WC’s athletics webpage.