By Pat Mariboe
The Shoremen were looking to pick up their first victory against Salisbury since 2013 when they faced off in the annual War on the Shore competition on Saturday, March 17.
The Shoremen headed into the contest coming off a four-game win streak and were hoping to test their luck against the No. 8 ranked Sea Gulls.
The team was feeling confident and was determined to come out fighting.
The Shoremen didn’t get the result they were looking for, but held their heads high, as the team showed a vast improvement against their rivals compared to previous years.
“We’ve been preparing just like we have for every other team we’ve played this season,” said sophomore Cooper Sloan. “We’ve been focusing on us and getting better every day so we can play our best on Saturday.”
Ted Kapp, one of the 17 freshmen brought in by Head Coach Jeff Shirk, spoke about his class’s excitement for the game and echoed Sloan’s optimism.
“As freshmen on the team, we are expecting a gritty game that will be a lot of fun,” Kapp said. “The team is treating this game like every other game, which means we are going to play hard.”
It was a back-and-forth duel in the first half versus Salisbury, as both teams shared an even amount of possession. Strong defensive efforts by both teams and limited chances on both sides of the field saw the Sea Gulls take a 3-2 lead.
The Shoremen were looking the part in the second half, scoring the final two goals of the third quarter to bring the game to a 5-5 thriller heading into the fourth quarter.
The game was looking bleak for the Shoremen, until senior Tanner Barbieri scored with 25 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to level the score at 6-6 and bring the game into overtime.
The Sea Gulls came out firing in overtime and the Shoremen’s defensive heroics weren’t enough as Salisbury ended the game with only a minute remaining, with a final score of 7-6.
Despite the loss, the team still thinks they have what it takes to make an impact this season.
“I think that we feel as though we have the talent to compete with any team that we face so it is just a matter of taking care of the little things and putting a whole game together,” said sophomore Jake Whittingslow. “We have all put the work in and bought in to the team’s goals so now we have just been working on getting back to the fundamentals so we take care of business when the time comes.”
Sloan, who had a goal and two assists in the loss, is looking ahead to the team’s upcoming Centennial Conference opponents and only has one goal on his mind.
“We want to win the Conference,” Sloan said. “That’s the goal every year and we know we can get there this year. The last couple seasons have been letdowns when it came time for the Tournament so we’re more driven than ever.”
The Shoremen will play their next game on Saturday, March 24 at home versus No. 16 Dickinson at noon.