By John Niswander
Elm Staff Writer
The Shoremen have found themselves in numerous amounts of close games this season. Eight of their 17 regular season games have been decided by one goal, four have gone into overtime, and two have ended in a tie. The senior leadership has been a major reason why this team is finding ways to pull out wins in close games. All nine seniors on the team have made major contributions not only in this season, but in their collective time at Washington College that have given them experience that is all coming together.
“We have been in a lot of close games this year, and we have come from behind several times. We’ve also won two in OT. This is a team that never quits. There is deep conviction in this unit and it springs from how much they care about each other. They believe in themselves and they believe in each other and it is beautiful to be a part of it,” said Head Coach Roy Dunshee.
The senior leadership on the team has been crucial in keeping everyone positive and maintaining the mindset that they are never out of any game, even if they are trailing on the scoreboard.
“We have been keeping spectators on their toes with our last several games with our last minute comebacks. It has been exciting but at the same time we need to do a better job of starting the game off better,” said senior Dimirti Kaliakin.
One of the games WC kept spectators on their toes this season was the regular season home finale vs Swarthmore with a berth to the Centennial Conference Tournament was on the line with a win. WC trailed by two goals twice in the first half, but were able to cut the deficit in half and only trailed by one goal heading into the locker room.
Thanks to a strong second half, WC scored four unanswered goals, three coming after halftime, to seal the victory and the playoff berth for the first time in program history in front of a packed house of WC faithful.
“It was an awesome game to be a part of. We came out a little nervous and let them score some soft goals, but we pulled it back and we were able to make the comeback. The crowd was great and the atmosphere was one of the best, if not the best we have ever had,” said Kaliakin.
“The crowd was great throughout the whole game. Even when were down in the beginning they kept the energy high and helped us pull out the win. Clinching in front of my friends and family was one of the greatest feelings in the world. With how close we were last year to accomplishing this same feat, it felt good to pull out that win and see the past three years of hard work pay off in front of a crowd like that,” said senior Brian Wilkinson.
The Shoremen hope to carry this high level of play and magical season into the playoffs.
“Without a doubt, it was an experience that I do not plan on forgetting any time soon. I hope we can take the momentum gained from this monumental win and finish out the season strong,” said Wilkinson.