BALTIMORE — They’re going to the ‘ship.

Washington’s men are headed to the NCAA Division III soccer tournament, automatically qualifying after winning the Centennial Conference title on Sunday.

This is the Shoremen’s first NCAA berth since 1973, when they competed in the Mason-Dixon and Middle Atlantic conferences.

They are unbeaten in their last seven matches and their 13 wins are the most in program history.

Roy Dunshee is in his 10th year as head coach.

The 29-player roster includes sophomore midfielder Mayowa Taiwo of Chestertown, a 2020 Kent County High School graduate who has appeared in 10 matches this fall with one start.

A Centennial Conference record five schools have been selected to compete in the NCAA tournament field of 64.

Franklin and Marshall, Gettysburg, Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore earned at-large bids.

Washington will be heading to Montclair, New Jersey to take on St. Lawrence (12-6-1) on Saturday, Nov. 13 for the second of two matches in a playoff doubleheader.

Host Montclair St. (16-3-1) will face off against Gordon (12-5-2) in the opening round.

Washington (13-4-1) captured its first Centennial Conference crown after upsetting No. 4-ranked F&M in overtime, 1-0, on Friday night at home and then defeating upstart Gettysburg, 2-0, Sunday.

“This day has been in the making for a long time. Every person that’s been a part of the program helped make this happen. We’ve been talking about this as a team for the last two or three years,” captain Del Jenkins said in a news release. “James (Strine), Greg (Adams) and I decided to come back as fifth-year seniors for this outcome. We’ve worked our butts off every single day to get here and it’s about dang time we brought something home. And that’s the truth.”

Sunday’s championship match was played at Johns Hopkins, the top seed in the five-school CC tourney.

Gettysburg, the five seed, surprised Hopkins in the semifinals, 4-1, after eliminating Swarthmore in the play-in match, 2-1 in extra time.

Washington senior midfielder Eric Gwadz was named the outstanding player in the CC tournament. He scored the golden goal in the sudden victory over F&M and was one-and-one against Gettysburg.

James Strine scored what held up to be the championship-winning goal in the seventh minute Sunday.

Gwadz’s cross from the left side eluded the Gettysburg defense and found Strine, who struck a shot from the right side into the upper right 90 from about 12 yards out.

Gwadz nearly made it 2-0 in the 27th minute, but his shot went just wide to the right.

In the 39th minute, Gettysburg keeper Kevin Muhic made a diving save of a Ben Strine header from the center of the box off of a free kick taken by his brother James.

James Strine had the last scoring chance of the first half, but his shot with all but 37 seconds elapsed was blocked by a Bullet defender and went wide right. Washington was unable to muster a shot off the ensuing corner kick.

Gettysburg’s Aidan Muller nearly tied it up in the 55th minute when his header got over the head of Washington goalie Anthony Pinto, but defender Joe Mutscheller was able to clear the ball before it crossed the line.

Gwadz netted the insurance goal in the 74th minute when he outran the Gettysburg defense and beat Muhic one on one.

Settling into a new role as midfielder, Gwadz has 15 points on six goals and three assists over the last five matches. Before that, he had just one goal on the season.

Playing on the Kibler pitch before a largely partisan crowd estimated to be more than 600, Washington eliminated F&M on Gwadz’s goal in the 93rd minute Friday.

Ben Strine won a header on a throw-in and advanced the ball to Adams along the right sideline. A sprinting Adams carried the ball into the right corner and sent a long centering pass to Gwadz, who had positioned himself in the center of the box — just in case.

F&M keeper Sam Altmann Farrell dove to the ground in an unsuccessful attempt to intercept the pass, and Gwadz was there for an easy tap-in from close range.


NOTES: Forty-three conferences were awarded automatic qualification for the NCAA championship.

The other 21 berths were reserved for Pool C, which includes institutions from automatic-qualifying conferences that did not win their conference championship, and any remaining Pool B teams.

All tournament matches leading up to the national semifinals will be played on the campuses of the competing institutions. Sixteen sites will host four teams for first- and second-round competition on Nov. 12-13 or Nov. 13-14.

Second-round winners will advance to four sectional sites Nov. 19-20 or Nov. 20-21.

Winners of the four sectionals will advance to the national semifinals, which take place Dec. 3 at UNCG Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina, with UNC Greensboro and Greensboro Sports Commission serving as hosts.

The national championship match will be played Dec. 4.

F&M (14-3-1) was selected to host the first and second rounds at Tylus Field for the sixth time in the last seven seasons, opening up play Saturday at 1 p.m. against SUNY Poly (15-2-3). Middlebury (10-4-3) and SUNY Oneonta (10-3-3) will follow at 3:30 p.m. The winners will meet in the second round 3 p.m. Sunday.

Johns Hopkins (11-4-2) will take on 20th-ranked Penn State Harrisburg (15-1-1) on Saturday in University Heights, Ohio, while host John Carroll will take on Bethany in the other first-round match.

Swarthmore (11-4-2) will travel to the campus of Tufts University in Massachusetts. and open the single-elimination tournament on Saturday against Stevens. Two-time defending national champion Tufts (13-1-2) will meet New England College in the other opening-round matchup, with the winners set to meet Sunday at 1 p.m.

Gettysburg (13-5-2) will face Kean (12-4-3) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The winner will draw the victor between host and fifth-ranked SUNY Cortland (16-2-1) and Nazareth, which meet at 5 p.m. Saturday.

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