Men’s soccer wins Centennial Conference Tournament

By Lauren Zedlar
Elm Staff Writer

On Friday, Nov. 5, the Washington College Shoremen faced the fourth-ranked Franklin & Marshall College Diplomats in the 2021 Centennial Conference Tournament Semifinals. The Shoremen were ranked the second seed, while the Diplomats were the third seed.

The Shoremen were outshot by the Diplomats at a 15-6 margin and had significantly fewer corner kicks. Both teams had few scoring opportunities, and the game went scoreless for both halves.

Two minutes into the first overtime, senior Eric Gwadz scored the game-winning goal with an assist from fellow senior Greg Adams. This is Gwadz’s sixth goal of the season.

“Friday night was an incredible experience. The amount of support for our team is amazing,” Gwadz said. “I appreciate everyone for their support and I’m glad we could make it an enjoyable game.”

Several students, faculty, and family members came out to support the Shoremen on Friday, making attendance reach a season-high of 605, according to the WC Athletics website.

 Senior goalkeeper Anthony Pinto had one save during the match, which marked his fifth game with no goals allowed.

This win advanced the Shoremen to the Centennial Conference Tournament Championships on Sunday, Nov. 7.

The Shoremen faced the Gettysburg College Bullets at Homewood Field on the campus of Johns Hopkins University for the 2021 Centennial Conference Championship.

Early in the match, senior James Strine scored off an assist from Gwadz.

At the 55th minute of the game, the Bullets had a scoring opportunity after heading the ball over the Shoremen goalie, but senior defender Joe Mutscheller made the save.

At the 74th minute, the Shoremen lengthened their lead to 2–0 with an unassisted goal by Gwadz. The Bullets were unable to score any goals, making this a win for the Shoremen and creating history for WC.

This is the first time that the WC men’s soccer team won the Centennial Conference Championships. This win also gives the Shoremen an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament.

“This championship was a testament to all of the work our guys have put in for the last two years. 29 guys bought into our vision of outworking the other team and letting our talent show,” senior Del Jenkins said. “Every player deserves credit for this win and I’m glad we could bring a trophy back to Chestertown.”

This week’s honor of Shoreman of the Week was dedicated to the entire men’s soccer team instead of a single player to celebrate.

Many men’s soccer fans and other Shoremen and Shorewomen came out to support the team at the Championships on Sunday.

“Being at the game and watching them was so surreal, especially later in the game because you could see how excited everyone was getting from the stands as the game came to a close,” junior Courtney Maxwell said.

This will be their first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1973. Their opponent is still unknown at this time, but will be presented during the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Selection Show.

Photo by Grace Hazelhurst
Featured Photo Caption: Shoremen make history once again for WC by beating Diplomats and Bullets.

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