Shoremen advance to round of 16 in NCAA soccer

Washington senior Greg Adams, seen here battling Montclair State’s Kyle Welch for possession of the ball, scored what held up to be the winning goal Sunday night in the 72nd minute of an NCAA Division III Tournament match at Montclair. Our photograph was taken Sept. 5 when the sides met early in the regular season in Chestertown.

MONTCLAIR, N.J. — It’s official.

They are historically good.

For the first time in program history, Washington College’s men have played their way into the round of 16 in the NCAA Division III soccer tournament.

Next up is a date Saturday, Nov. 20 with the two-time defending national champions from Tufts in Medford, Mass.

Washington (15-4-1) is unbeaten in its last nine matches, which include back-to-back shutouts in the opening weekend of tournament play at Montclair State. The 15 wins is the most in program history.

The Shoremen ousted their hosts, 2-0, Sunday on second-half goals from Greg Adams and Eric Gwadz.

Adams ended a scoreless tie in the 72nd minute.

The No. 11-ranked Red Hawks (17-4-1) fired off five shots but were unable to net the equalizer, before Gwadz booted in the insurance goal with 1 minute, 41 seconds remaining.

In addition to punching their ticket to the Sweet 16, the Shoremen avenged a 3-1 loss at home to the then-No. 8 Red Hawks in the first week of September.

In the rematch Nov. 14, the two sides played to a scoreless tie in the first half, though Montclair State led 8-1 in shots.

Josiah Crawford had two chances in the 17th minute.

Washington keeper Anthony Pinto had a save on Crawford’s initial shot and defender Chris Comber turned away Crawford on his attempt to put back the rebound.

A throw-in pass from Emanuel Kouadio set up Adams’ fourth game-winning goal of the season — a jaw-dropping rocket of a shot from the top of the box that found the upper right corner of the net.

Washington has not yielded a goal in four postseason matches.

Pinto recorded his seventh clean sheet of the season; he lowered his goals-against average to 0.65.

The night before, in a match that was delayed as thunderstorms rolled through the area, Washington eliminated St. Lawrence, 2-0.

The Shoremen were making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1973.

James Strine’s corner kick in the 42nd minute eluded keeper Ben Woelfinger, who was screened by a couple of Shoremen on the play

Adams netted the insurance goal in the 55th minute, gathering a through ball from Alex Coster and beating Woelfinger (six saves).

Strine and Adams are fifth-year seniors, availing themselves of the NCAA’s ruling to grant all Division III athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic.

This was the Shoremen’s first-ever win in the national tournament. They are coached by Roy Dunshee.

Montclair moved into the second round after excusing Gordon, 1-0, on freshman Amer Lukovic’s penalty kick in the 51st minute.

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