By John Niswander
Elm Staff Writer
The Shoremen started off their week with a nonconference win over host Catholic University 3-1, thanks to senior Dimitri Kaliakin who broke a school record of assists held for 41 years.
Kaliakin recorded an assist on the opening goal of the game on a pass to Griffin Bull, who curved a ball into the left side of the goal from roughly 25 yards out to give Washington College the advantage in the 16th minute. Kaliakin tied the school record for assists on this goal.
“The goal was developed by Dima playing a ball out wide to me and I saw Lewandowski making a run. Instead of playing a difficult ball, I took a tough in and was lucky the goal keeper was out of position to put it in the back of the net,” said Bull.
This was Bull’s fourth goal of the season and placed him in a tie for second most goals scored on the team this season.
“My confidence has been growing each day in training and in games. Scoring in back- to-back games has been an awesome feeling and it definitely has to do with my teammates finding my feet and putting me in good opportunities to score,” he said.
After Catholic evened the score at 1-1 in the 59th minute, WC regained the lead in the 70th minute, courtesy of Brian Wilkinson, the team’s leading goal scorer on the season, who tipped in a ball off an initial shot sent in by Brian Graham.
WC was able to add an insurance goal just seven minutes later to extend their lead to 3-1, thanks to a record breaking 28th career assist by Kaliakin. He played a ball in to the box that Michael Holowesko finished into the back of the net.
“Everyone was very congratulatory and excited for me, but we were mostly excited for another win. That’s what is most important right now. I will definitely look back at breaking this record and be proud of it. However, it will be bittersweet if we are unable to accomplish our goals this season,” Kaliakin said.
Coach Roy Dunshee reflected on the importance of having a player such as Kaliakin on his team the last four years as he has seen each and every one of his record breaking assists through the years.
“Dima has been an inspiration through his four seasons. He is durable, having never missed a game through injury. He has started every game of his career and never failed to give his best. He has worked relentlessly to improve, and we see the results.”
WC closed out the week escaping with a tie at Gettysburg 1-1. The game was scoreless at half and remained scoreless for a majority of the second half. With just about 20 minutes to play, Gettysburg scored on a diving header off a cross that was played into the box. WC seemed fated for a 1-0 defeat until with just under four minutes remaining Graham capitalized on a rebound off a shot by Kaliakin that hit the post.
“I picked up the ball just outside the box and I saw an opportunity to shoot and took it. The shot hit the post but Brian Graham was there to put in the rebound,” Kaliakin said.
This result was crucial as WC gained a point and now holds sole possession of third place in the Centennial Conference standings with just two games remaining on their schedule.
“It was a big point for us to keep us in a great spot to make the playoffs,” Kaliakin said.
This game marked the fourth conference game that has gone to the overtime period for the Shoremen. Their record in these games is 2-0-2.
“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’s beautiful to be a part of it,” said Dunshee
WC has really found their form as of late and have improved tremendously as the season has progressed. In the month of October, WC holds a record of 5-0-1. They were 3-5-1 prior in their first nine games of the season.
“We have hit our stride at the right time. We feel very comfortable with our system and our personnel and we are healthy. We don’t feel worn out. Our motto is fitness and freshness and we have had good energy in our last few games,” he said.
WC closes out their regular season this week traveling to John’s Hopkins Saturday.