Elm Staff Writer
With the start of the spring season, the Washington College men’s lacrosse team will hope to improve upon their 3-5 Centennial Conference record from last season.
Considering the loss of ten standout senior players from the 2018 class, the Shoremen will have to step up to the plate to fill the shoes of their competitive counterparts. This included two second team All-Conference players, a place on the Centennial Conference All-Sportsmanship Team, and two USILA Scholar All-Americans amongst many other accolades.
The Shoremen continue to be led by Coach Jeff Shirk, who now enters his tenth year as Head Coach for the Shoremen.
Under his guidance, the Shoremen have won NCAA tournaments, been ranked fifth in the nation, gone undefeated in Conference matches, and even won the entire Centennial Conference Championship in 2014.
Shirk has expressed his confidence in his players, but also his high expectations for the long standing and highly successful program WC has been honored to uphold their institution.
“My expectations never change,” Shirk said. “On the field, I expect our guys to be prepared and play extremely hard. We talk everyday about the importance of our mental approach to competition. If you are afraid to make a mistake you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to succeed. We accept that we are going to make mistakes but fully commit to the fact that effort and attitude will allow us to overcome any setback. I want my guys to be smart in their decision making while playing loose without fear of consequences. I believe the guys have embraced this and as a result are playing at a very high level.”
For the 2019 season, the Shoremen more than make up for their lost seniors in number as they added 15 new faces to their roster with players hailing from coast to coast with impressive as well as extensive athletic backgrounds.
As for the rising series, the Shoremen will rely on their seniors: Midfielders Charlie Walker, Cole Handy, Trey Ritter, Kevin Trapp, Nick Boyles, Zack Gorassi, and Brady O’Neil, midfielder/forward Carson Metzker, attackmen Casey Grieves and JP Crowley, and defenseman Kevin Wilson.
Among these seniors are captains Wilson, Trapp, and Ritter who have been charged with leading their team to this anticipated victory.
Wilson, from Ellicott City, has been a key player for the Shoremen since his freshman campaign. He started in every game with the exception of one in the 46 matches he has played in as a Shoreman. Since his start at WC, Wilson has garnered an All- Centennial Conference Honorable Mention, Academic All-Conference as well as a spot on the Centennial Conference Academic honor roll in oth 2017 and 2018.
“Fall ball and preseason have been great, we’re all excited to play against a different team but are focused on getting better each day and really emphasizing the little things in order to be successful,” Wilson said.
Fellow captain Trapp shared similar sentiments about the season.
“We are all very optimistic about this upcoming season,” he said. “We have talent and leadership from the seniors all the way down to the freshmen. The coaching staff has given us everything we need to be successful and the guys have been crushing it this preseason so we all can’t wait to get after another opponent.”
Trapp, from White Plains, N.Y., has recorded a total of 32 goals during his career as a Shoreman and garnered a spot on the 2017 All-Centennial Conference second team. He has also totaled 11 assists and 30 ground balls during his 46 match appearances at WC.
Lastly, Ritter from Norfolk, V.A. started in every single game the Shoreman played in the 2018 season and has proved to be a key asset to the program since his freshman year. Thus far in his career, Ritter has totaled 23 goals, 17 assists, and 60 ground balls. As he approaches his final season for the Shoreman and his first as a captain, Ritter shared his excitement for the season.
“As February 1st inched closer we all were excited to get back to school,” he said. “The team has been working hard since the start of our offseason and we are ready to start playing other opponents again. Our talent, leadership, and chemistry are great throughout our entire team. The coaches know our team’s collective mentality for this season and are ready to go.”
WC men’s lacrosse scrimmaged two teams on Saturday, Feb. 9 at home. They practiced for game play against Virginia Military Institute and Arcadia Univrsity.
The Shoremen will have their debut game at home versus Berry College, non-Conference, on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m.