Washington College not shying away from Wednesday's game vs. Dickinson

Shoremen not intimidated about tangling with No. 2 and undefeated Red Devils in semifinals of Centennial Conference tournament

April 30, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Wednesday night’s Centennial Conference tournament semifinal against No. 2 Dickinson would normally be an unenviable task for any opponent. But coach Jeff Shirk said his No. 10 Washington College squad (12-3) is eager for a rematch of a 15-10 loss to the Red Devils (15-0) on April 13.

“I think our guys are excited,” Shirk said Tuesday morning. “There have been a couple bumps in the road that everybody knows about, and the fact that we’re actually in the tournament has guys excited. We’ve tried to stress to them that once you get there, anything can happen, and the reality is, if you look at the four teams in the Centennial tournament, on any given day, any one of them can beat each other. So it’s going to be competitive, and we’re excited about it, and I think it’s pretty easy to get our guys up for this because Dickinson is the one that has everything to lose. They’re undefeated, they’re No. 2 in the country. For the first time in a while, the pressure isn’t on us. It’s on them. So I think the boys are excited and I think they’re ready.”

The Shoremen may not need to win at Dickinson to earn a berth in the NCAA tournament. They were ranked fifth in the most recent South region rankings, trailing only the Red Devils, No. 2 Roanoke, No. 3 Stevenson and No. 4 Salisbury.

Then again, a loss to Dickinson could drop Washington, and Shirk said the team cannot be content with its current position.

“It doesn’t give me any assurance, to be honest with you,” he said. “We talked to the guys yesterday about making sure that we just focus on the task at hand. That’s Dickinson, and we’re chasing the Centennial Conference championship before any NCAA talk. As a coach, I don’t want to sit there on Sunday hoping that we get in. If we can take care of business tomorrow against Dickinson, then we’re going to be guaranteed and then we’ll also have a shot at that conference championship. So our focus is completely on Dickinson so that we don’t have to sit in a room hoping that the committee thinks that we have enough wins to get in.”

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