By Jack Poleto
On Wednesday, Sept. 13, the Washington College men’s soccer team marched onto the pitch at Salisbury University and dismantled the Seagulls’ defense to record their first win of the year — their third ever win against their rivals to the south.
The Shoremen’s first goal came from junior midfielder Katim Njie, a transfer from Pennsylvania State University – Harrisburg. In the eleventh minute, Njie drove by the opposing defenders to score his second goal in his WC career, giving the team an electric start and breath of fresh air on offense.
During the thirtieth minute, senior defender Chris Comber scored off an assist from sophomore forward Shepherd Koffie and senior midfielder Cole Gifford, giving the Shoremen a two-goal lead heading into halftime. This was Comber’s third goal in his time at WC.
After 12 minutes of the second half, Salisbury scored a goal off a penalty kick after being fouled in the box. After saving three goals in the game, the Seagulls finally snuck one by senior goalkeeper Anthony Pinto, a key piece to the Shoremen’s highly ranked defense.
Freshman midfielder Tshazi Kamau scored the Shoremen’s third goal of the game, recording his first of the season, closing off hope of coming back for the Seagulls and handing them their first loss of the year. Njie was credited with the assist.
The Shoremen recorded 11 shots on goal, while Salisbury could only send five shots to Pinto. Njie recorded two of WC’s shots with one going in and two came from senior forward Zak Burgess.
“It was a really good game…the team went in there with the right mentality. It was a big rivalry game, and we had their number,” Burgess said.
This was the Shoremen’s third time ever beating the Seagulls and their second in the past three years. In their previous matchup, WC tied with Salisbury at 0-0.
This outcome would not have been possible without the Shoremen’s recently reinforced offense with Njie, their three freshmen midfielders, and their freshman forward.
“I’m liking the new system,” Burgess said, “We have a few freshmen midfielders that can play…and I think that’s one of our strongest pieces.”
The Shoremen had a second game on Saturday, Sept. 16, against the Dickinson College Red Devils. WC came away with their fifth tie of the season, with a final score of 2-2.
Recording goals in this weekend’s matchup were senior midfielder Ben Strine along with Koffie, both unassisted. The game was a defensive battle, making it tough to score for either side.
The Shoremen have a challenge in their next match against seventeenth-ranked Rowan University on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at home accompanied by a second home game on Saturday, Sept. 23 against McDaniel College.
Last year’s game against Rowan was away in Glassboro, N.J. and the Shoremen lost 1-0, but the Shoremen will try to get this season’s second win with home field advantage.
Photo courtesy of WC Athletics
Photo Caption: Shoreman of the Week senior midfielder Harrison Malone advances against Salisbury defenders.