Shoremen here Tuesday for 1st round of Centennial lacrosse tournament

CHESTERTOWN — Raise your hand if two weeks ago you thought Washington College would qualify for the Centennial Conference men’s lacrosse tournament, let alone be playing at home in the first round.

It we’re being honest, it seemed unlikely, with three games remaining — including one against a top-20 team — and Washington’s only conference win at the time against cellar dweller McDaniel, which would finish 0-8 in the CC.

But back-to-back wins on the road at Franklin & Marshall and then Ursinus put the Shoremen on the bubble and, in a bit of fortuitous scheduling, their nemesis from Gettysburg would be traveling to Chestertown for the regular-season finale on Saturday, April 27.

If you haven’t heard, Washington defeated No. 20-ranked Gettysburg, 18-14. Cam Carrigan, Ben Dickinson and Cory Morgan each scored three goals and Will Charvala came up with a career high of 16 saves to offset Gettysburg’s 56-39 advantage in shots.

Washington (6-10) and Gettysburg (8-7) each finished 4-4 in the conference to tie for fourth. Washington owned the tie-breaker as winner of their head-to-head meeting.

So, here’s where we are.

On Tuesday, No. 4 seed Washington will host No. 5 seed Gettysburg in the expanded five-team tournament. They are meeting for the second time in four days. The opening face-off is at 4 p.m.

The Shoremen are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

This is head coach John Nostrant’s first tournament appearance since taking over the program at his alma mater in May of 2021.

Swarthmore (14-1) is the top seed after going 8-0 in conference games.

The winner of Washington-Gettysburg will travel to Swarthmore on Thursday, May 2.

Thursday’s other semifinal will send No. 3 seed Muhlenberg (6-2 CC, 10-7) to No. 2 seed Dickinson (7-1, 14-2).

Dickinson is the two-time defending conference champion.

The championship game is Saturday, May 4 at the highest remaining seed.

The tournament’s champion will earn the Centennial Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament, slated to begin May 18 with six first-round games. 

Washington closed the regular season with three wins in a row, punctuated by Saturday’s 18-14 thriller — its first win
against Gettysburg since 2014 and its first win over a ranked opponent since February of 2017.

The Shoremen never trailed, denting the scoreboard 2 minutes, 16 seconds in on the first of Carrigan’s three goals.

About three minutes later, Connor Garrison found the back of the net to make it 2-0.

The Bullets scored back-to-back-to-back to open the second quarter for the only tie of the afternoon, 7-7, on Quinton Mather’s extra-man goal with 11:37 remaining in the half.

Morgan, unassisted, restored Washington’s lead for good at 8-7 with nine and a half minutes to go, starting a 3-1 run to close out the half.

The spread was 10-8 after two quarters and 14-9 after three.

The Shoremen took their largest lead at 17-11 on Parker Barta’s unassisted goal with just under seven minutes remaining. That was enough to drive away starting net-minder Chase Morgan (14 goals, five saves), who was replaced by freshman Murphy Hoey (four goals, three saves).

The Bullets went on a late 3-o run to close to 17-14 with just 21 seconds remaining.

Washington scored on the ensuing possession when Tom Merritt scooped up the ground ball off the face-off and found Dylan Kilroy, who bounced a shot into an open net just ahead of the horn.

Carrigan led all players with six points on three goals and three assists. Dickinson (two assists) and Morgan (assist) also had three goals; Kilroy, Luke Brennan (three assists) and Reeve Hargrave contributed two goals apiece.

Gettysburg received multiple goals from a handful of players, led by Stokes Myers with three goals and an assist: 

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Senior close defenseman Michael Nickerson of Worton made his first career start Saturday. He has appeared in eight games this season.

Saturday was Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day at Roy Kirby Jr. Stadium. At halftime, a large American flag, said to cover 80% of Kibler Field, was unfurled as a tribute to those who have served or are currently serving in the military.

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Per Centennial Conference rules, admission charges for Tuesday’s playoff game are as follows: adults, $10; students ages 6 through high school, $5; senior citizens, $5; children under the age of 5, free; and college students, faculty and staff of Centennial schools, free.

To purchase tickets, click  https://washcollsports.com/documents/2024/2/18/CC_Champ_Ticketing_Price_Sheet.pdf to scan the QR code.

 

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