No. 17 Washington’s 13-11 loss to No. 13 Gettysburg Saturday night gave the Bullets sole possession of first place in the Centennial Conference. But all is not lost for the Shoremen.
Washington (8-3 overall and 5-1 in the league) can still capture the regular-season conference title and top seed and homefield advantage in the Centennial Conference Tournament. The Shoremen must beat Swarthmore (4-8, 1-4) Wednesday night at home and then take care of Ursinus (5-7, 1-4) April 28.
Meanwhile, Gettysburg (9-3, 5-0) must lose two of three against Franklin & Marshall (8-4, 3-3) Wednesday, McDaniel (7-6, 3-3) Saturday and No. 9 Dickinson (10-2, 4-1) April 28.
Although it would seem that Washington has the easier schedule, coach Jeff Shirk dismissed that line of thought.
“I think finishing up the Centennial, it’s a little tough to say who’s got it easier because Swarthmore has beaten us in the last two years,” he said Monday. “So Wednesday is going to be a very tough game for us. And then Ursinus, they gave us one of our one-goal losses last year. On paper this year, I think it plays out like it looks like Gettysburg’s road is going to be a little harder than ours, but in reality, we’re going to face two Centennial teams that we lost to last year. So we’ve got to get our guys ready to go.”
Also looming on the horizon is another chapter in the War on the Shore series at top-ranked and reigning nine-time national champion Salisbury this Saturday. But Shirk maintained that the team’s focus is on Swarthmore.
“We’re not talking about anything except for Swarthmore,” he said. “We want to get revenge on Swarthmore for last year’s loss. I think it’s big that we don’t look ahead because we’ve got the War on the Shore this Saturday. It would be very easy to overlook Swarthmore and focus on Salisbury. So we’re just really adamant as a coaching staff that Swarthmore is a very good team, that we’ve lost to them the last two years. We’ve got to be ready to go Wednesday night because we don’t want to back ourselves into the Centennial Tournament. We want to enter it on a high note.”