By Andrew Chirico
Elm Staff Writer
Opening the week of two home soccer matches, the Washington College men’s soccer team suffered a 2-0 loss to Haverford College. To end the week, the Shoremen won their first Centennial Conference game, defeating McDaniel 2-1. WC’s record goes to 5-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play with the win.
WC faced a Haverford squad that came into the match undefeated in the Centennial Conference with a 2-0 conference record. The visiting Fords were able to get on the board once in each half. Their first goal came in the 16th minute off a free kick. The free kick was the conclusion of a very controversial foul called on WC. The Shoremen were only able to get off one shot in the first 45 minutes of play.
The offense for WC was able to find more opportunities early on in the second half when they recorded their first shot on goal just six minutes into play. The visitors got on the board again in the 71st minute to seal the lead. WC was able to mount more scoring opportunities in the second half, recording eight of the nine total shots in the last half.
Junior Dimitri Kaliakin understands that the team needs to take advantage of the opportunities when they are there.
“We have to finish chances and be a little better defending set pieces, but we are very positive because we have just played the three top teams in the conference,” said Kaliakin. “We know if we can rediscover our goal scoring form we will be fine in the coming games.”
The five game losing streak came to an end this past Saturday. WC also ended their two game scoreless drought within the first 10 minutes when junior Brian Wilkinson found the back of the net off a double assist from juniors Cole Strong and Chris Lewandowski. WC put up another goal just eight minutes later from Strong. Wilkinson earned the assist.
WC did not score in the second half but only allowed one McDaniel goal in the second half. The Shoremen took a different approach to the game and it paid off.
“We changed things up tonight. We decided to go for it all and press high up the field. Tonight we decided to press their end and won everything,” said senior captain Jack Butler. “The other conference games we got too comfortable sitting in our own half. We plan to press every team for the remainder of the season.”
The first conference win gives the team confidence heading into the prime of conference play. The Shoremen have five conference games left to climb the standings. “This means a lot in terms of giving us confidence and getting back on a winning track,” said Kaliakan.
WC will travel to Muhlenberg on Saturday, Oct. 10 for a 7:00 p.m. conference game. The game can be seen online on the WC athletic’s homepage.