Twelve-game win streak weighs differently on Washington, McDaniel

Shoremen, Green Terror take differing views into Friday's semifinal of Centennial Conference tournament

May 02, 2012|By Edward Lee

One semifinal of the Centennial Conference tournament pits a pair of familiar faces as No. 1 seed Washington meets No. 4 seed McDaniel in Chestertown, Md., on Friday.

That familiarity, unfortunately, hasn’t bred much success for the visiting Green Terror, which has dropped the last 12 contests in the series.

“They’ve had our number for a long time now,” McDaniel coach Matt Hatton said. “I think if you look closely at the rivalry – although it’s tough to call it a rivalry when you’ve lost 12 games in a row – there are a lot of one- and two-goal losses that we’ve suffered, and this year was no exception to that. I’m hoping that from a mental standpoint, getting over the hump against Gettysburg [a 12-10 victory on April 21 that was the Green Terror’s first win against the Bullets since 1997] was something that opened our guys up to let them understand that we can play with the big boys in the conference. That’s not necessarily indicative of how the game is going to go on Friday, but there’s been a little bit of a mental block at times. There have been some games where we thought we might have had them, and they played really well and we let them off the hook.”

The Shoremen’s 10-9 decision on March 17 was the third time in the last four meetings that Washington had escaped with a one-goal win. Coach Jeff Shirk is aware of his program’s history against McDaniel, but he recognized the value of that streak.

“Unfortunately, that doesn’t help us on Saturday,” he said Tuesday. “I’m sitting here watching McDaniel-Swarthmore right now, and they’re good. If I’m McDaniel, I’ve got the mentality that they let one slip away earlier in the year. They were up big on us, and I think they probably feel that they should’ve gotten that game and that they want their second chance. So I know they’re going to come in confident. [Senior D.J.] Rickels is one of the best attackmen in the conference, and they’ve got a good faceoff kid, and they’ve got good offensive middies. They changed their goalie midseason, so we’re going to see a different goalie, and he’s been playing very well. They’ve got as much confidence as anybody. So we’ve got to be ready to go.”

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