CARLISLE, Pa. — The Shoremen have qualified for the Centennial Conference soccer tournament for only the second time in program history and, due to a bit of good fortune, they will host a semifinal match Friday, Nov. 5.
Washington (11-4-1 overall) scored a 2-1 victory Saturday at league foe Dickinson (2-11-2) in the regular-season finale for both schools. Junior midfielder Cole Gifford netted what held up to be the winning goal in the 54th minute.
Gifford's goal broke a 1-1 tie.
Washington took a 1-0 lead on James Strine's team-leading eighth goal in the 34th minute.
Dickinson leveled the score with only 27 seconds remaining in the opening half.
Washington coach Roy Dunshee said, "This game was played in tough conditions and it took us some time to adjust to the playing surface. But once again our senior leadership came through. Eric Gwadz provided two lovely assists. James Strine's goal was a thunderous volley and Cole Gifford won it on a real peach."
Washington finishes 6-2-1 in conference matches, locked into a three-way tie for second with No. 16-ranked Franklin and Marshall and Swarthmore.
Based on the head-to-head tiebreaker, Washington earned the No. 2 seed with a 2-0 record vs. F&M and Swarthmore.
F&M and Swarthmore tied their regular-season matchup, meaning that the tiebreaker of record vs. conference teams in descending order of the standings had to be used to determine seeding.
F&M clinched the third seed and a berth in the semifinals with Saturday's 2-0 triumph over 23rd-ranked Johns Hopkins (7-2 CC) on Saturday.
Based on those tiebreakers, Swarthmore is the No. 4 seed and will host No. 5 Gettysburg in the opening round.
With Johns Hopkins having earned the No. 1 seed in the CC field hockey, men's soccer and women's soccer tournaments, in addition to hosting a home football game on Saturday, the playoff format is being adjusted for this year.
The men's soccer tournament will now take place on Tuesday-Friday-Sunday. Rather than the traditional weekend Final Four format with both semifinals and the championship at the No. 1 seed, the No. 2 seeds in field hockey, men's soccer and women's soccer also will host semifinals on Friday.
Thus, No. 2 Washington will host No. 3 F&M, while top-seeded Hopkins will host the winner of No. 4 Swarthmore vs. No. 5 Gettysburg in Friday's other semifinal.
The two semifinal winners will meet at Homewood Field in Baltimore on Sunday for the CC title.
NOTES: Washington at home upset then-No. 2 F&M, 2-0, about midway into the season.
The 11 wins are the most for Washington in 21 years, matching the 11-7-2 campaign of 2000.
The Shoremen's 6-2-1 record in CC matches is a program best; their previous best was 5-3-1 in 2000 and 2016.
The 2016 team, also coached by Dunshee, was the first to qualify for the CC tournament. Washington lost in the semifinal round at top-seeded and eventual champion Haverford in overtime, 2-1.