By Lauren Zedlar
Elm Staff Writer
On Saturday, Nov. 13, the Washington College men’s soccer team played in their first National Collegiate Athletics Association Tournament game. This was the first time the Shoremen reached the NCAA Tournament in the program’s history.
Six Shoremen earned 2021 Centennial Conference honors for their regular season performances in addition to their NCAA Tournament achievements.
Senior James Strine earned first team and senior Greg Adams earned second team. Seniors Eric Gwadz and Del Jenkins, and juniors Harrison Malone and Alex Coster earned honorable mention.
Adams was also named to the Academic All-District team by College Sports Information Directors of America.
For the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Shoremen faced the St. Lawrence College Saints at Montclair State University in N.J.
The Shoremen had an early scoring opportunity seven minutes into the game, but they were ruled offside and the goal did not count. Adams had the next two opportunities to score, but was stopped by the Saints’ goalkeeper.
The Saints had their own chance to score with 22 minutes left in the first half, but they were stopped by sophomore goalie Anthony Pinto.
With four minutes remaining in the half, Strine scored unassisted on a corner kick, taking the first lead in the match.
The Shoremen scored another goal in the second half. Adams delivered the goal after an assist from Coster.
The Shoremen won this first match, 2–0. Their victory advanced them further in the NCAA Tournament.
Pinto had a strong game, totaling six saves. This was also his sixth shutout of the season.
“Our team has a lot of heart and it truly showed in the game. We have put in a lot of work to get to this point and with everyone bought in, the sky is our limit,” Malone said. “We are truly a family and will continue to work for each other.”
The second round of the NCAA tournament occured the following day on Nov. 12. The Shoremen faced the host team, the Montclair State University Red Hawks.
The Shoremen and the Red Hawks faced off in the regular season where the Shoremen were ultimately defeated.
Pinto made a save at the 17th minute of the game, stopping the Red Hawks’ best scoring opportunity in the first half. The Shoremen were also unable to score, leaving the game at 0–0 entering the second half.
In the 71st minute, Adams received a throw-in pass from freshman Emanuel Kouadio and scored the first goal of the match. With less than two minutes left in the match, Gwadz scored off a kick from the left side, securing the Shoremen’s 2-0 win.
Pinto once again had no goals scored on him, counting his seventh shutout.
“This is an amazing experience for our team. This is our first time in the NCAA tournament and winning two games this weekend is insane,” Gwadz said. “I’m grateful for my teammates and coaches as they have been supportive throughout the whole process. Excited for the next adventure.”
This win leaves the Shoremen with 16 other teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament.
The Shoremen will face Tufts University from Massachusetts on Saturday, Nov. 20. Their opponent is nationally ranked seventh in the Tournament. The time and location of the game are to be determined.
Photo Courtesy of WC Athletics
Featured Photo Caption: The Shoremen soccer team celebrates at the National Collegiate Athletics Association Tournament.