CHESTERTOWN — Its playoff hopes hanging by the proverbial thread, the men’s soccer team here still can finish on the plus side of .500 — the only fall sports team at Washington College that can aim toward that — and can boast of one of the biggest upsets of 2019.
Washington stunned No. 10-ranked Catholic, 2-0, on Oct. 15. Junior James Strine scored what held up as the winning goal with only 26 seconds elapsed and assisted on the insurance goal, halting Catholic’s 13-match unbeaten streak.
Strine gathered in a pass from Cole Gifford and deposited the ball into the lower corner to the left of a diving Jack Long for an immediate 1-0 lead.
Strine had two more chances to score in the first half. In the 17th minute, his shot was saved and then bounced off the post to the right of Long (five saves); in the 39th minute, his shot glanced off the bottom of the crossbar.
Washington salted away the win in the 42nd minute. An opportunistic Strine collected the ball after a Catholic turnover and passed through three defenders to Remy Kriz, who scored from 15 yards out.
Freshman Austin Heid was a winner in his first collegiate start. He faced only two shots on goal, both in the second half — in the 48th and 52nd minutes.
The Cardinals (13-2-1) were defeated on the road for the first time this season. They are coached by Travis Beauchamp, a 1999 graduate of Washington College who starred in soccer (goalie) and baseball (third baseman, pitcher). Beauchamp, who was an assistant coach for the Shoremen while attending graduate school here, entered the WC hall of fame in 2013.
Washington went 1-1 during the week, unable to hold onto a 1-0 second-half lead Saturday against Haverford.
The Fords rallied with two goals over the final 23 minutes.
They improved to 3-1-1 in the Centennial Conference and 7-3-3 on the season.
Washington’s men slipped to 1-4-1 CC, 7-6-1.
Strine, who leads the conference in assists (11) and is tied for the lead in points (23), was held to one shot — and it wasn’t on target.
Washington held a 6-4 lead in shots on goal.
Each side had 10 total shots.
The Shoremen broke a scoreless tie in the 48th minute when Kyle Gaeffke turned and shot after settling a cross into the box from Cole Gifford.
Haverford netted the tying goal in the 68th minute and what turned out to be the winning goal in the 82nd minute.
Washington had the first shot on goal at the 17-minute mark. Michael Iacono (five saves) denied Gaeffke from about 15 yards out and then the put-back by Zack Urbanski sailed out of harm’s way.
Sean Garin’s shot in the 36th minute on a free kick also was saved by Iacono.
The Fords’ best scoring chance in the first half came with 27 seconds remaining on a chip shot by Sykes Cargile that took an unusual bounce off the Kibler turf and went just wide to the right. That led to a corner kick, but not another shot before time expired.
Gaeffke scored 2:53 into the second half. After gathering in a pass from Gifford in the middle of the box, Gaeffke placed a shot into the lower right corner.
Haverford threatened in the 63rd minute when Meinhardt Rentrup’s header off of a free kick barely cleared the crossbar. He had the assist on the tying goal in the 68th minute, winning a 50-50 ball and then finding Paul-Andre Coulibaly for a shot from about 12 yards out.
Rentrup gave the Fords the 2-1 lead with 8:50 to go, blasting a shot from the top of the 18 that eluded keeper Gavin Campbell (two saves).
Washington had the last two shots of the afternoon, including a header by 6-foot-6 Evan Savoth off a free kick with all but 14 seconds remaining that was saved by Iacono. He leads the conference with fewest goals allowed (three) and goals-against average (0.52).
The Shoremen close out the regular season with three conference matches. The last home match is 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 vs. the No. 3-ranked Diplomats of Franklin and Marshall.
After that, the locals travel for night matches to Swarthmore (Oct. 30) and Muhlenberg (Nov. 2).