Washington College’s remarkable turnaround last season absorbed a little bit of a blow when the team fell to Dickinson, 11-6, in the title game of the Centennial Conference tournament on May 6. It was the second-to-last game as the Shoremen lost to Goucher, 5-4, in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Despite the heartache, coach Jeff Shirk said he doesn’t want No. 10 Washington College (10-1 overall and 4-1 in the league) to remember that result or use it as a rallying cry when the No. 2 Red Devils (11-0, 4-0) visit Roy Kirby, Jr. Field in Chestertown this Saturday.
“It’s one of those things where it’s a new team, a new season,” Shirk said Thursday. “They graduated some weapons and they’ve got some new weapons – just like we did. So I think the big thing is just stressing to our guys to stay in the moment and to not look back or forward. Just focus on the task at hand. I don’t want last year to really play a role.”
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Dickinson might not borrow the same approach. After all, the Shoremen won last year’s regular-season meeting, 10-9 in overtime, and claimed the regular-season title and the top seed in the conference tournament.
But Shirk said the Red Devils do not need to use last year’s outcome as motivation because of their status as just one of two teams with undefeated records. (No. 1 SUNY-Cortland is 10-0.)
“I think they’re a confident team,” he said. “So I think they’re going to approach this game just like they did in the first 11 games. They don’t believe that they can lose. They’re the defending conference champions, and they’re afforded that luxury. I just think they’re a confident group. So I don’t know if they’ll use last year for more motivation, but I do think that it helps with their psyche in believing that they can win.”