CHESTERTOWN, MD — Junior midfielder Hunter Nowicki (Baltimore, MD/Franklin) scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal with 1:04 remaining to cap off a 4-0 fourth quarter for the 12th-ranked Washington College men’s lacrosse team as the host Shoremen rallied to beat fifth-ranked Salisbury, 7-6, in the annual “War on the Shore” for the Charles B. Clark Cup. The victory was the first in the series for the Shoremen (11-2) since 2002, their first at home over the Sea Gulls (13-4) since 1990, and their first ever since the cup was added to the series in 2004.
The Sea Gulls looked to have taken control of the game after outscoring the Shoremen, 4-1, in the third quarter to build a 6-3 lead. Washington trimmed the margin to 6-4 just 1:13 into the quarter when sophomore midfielder Luke Birnbaum (Melville, NY/Half Hollows East) scored his first goal of the season off an assist from junior attackman JD Campbell (Baltimore, MD/Mount St. Joseph). The Shoremen got back to within a goal when sophomore midfielder Grant Hughes (Alexandria, VA/St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes) scored an unassisted tally with 6:05 to play. Washington would not evened the score until an outside shot from junior midfielder Kodie Englehart (Coronado, CA/Coronado) off an assist from senior attackman Bennett Cord (Gaithersburg, MD/Gaithersburg) with 2:17 remaining. Sophomore midfielder Michael Trapp (White Plains, NY/White Plains) won the ensuing face-off for Washington, scooping up a ground ball, and Nowicki found the back of the net for the Shoremen after charging down the ride side and firing the ball into the back of the net from a dozen yards out. Salisbury was whistled for its third face-off violation of the half on the next face-off and the Shoremen were able to run out the clock and hold on for the win.
The Shoremen started the game strong, outshooting the Sea Gulls, 12-3, in the first quarter and taking a 2-1 lead after one period. Cord opened the scoring with 12:21 left in the first before Wade Korvin evened things up with 8:05 to play. Hughes put Washington in front with a goal with 1:32 left.
Salisbury held a 12-6 advantage in shots in the second quarter and netted the only score of the period when Greg Korvin found Tyler Smith for a goal with 10:10 to play.
The third quarter belonged to Salisbury as the Sea Gulls enjoyed a 14-3 advantage in shots. Salisbury scored on its first two shots of the quarter as Kluge scored just 40 seconds into the period and then found Zach Hill for a goal 34 seconds later. Freshman midfielder David McBrien (Bel Air, MD/Calvert Hall) scored for Washington with 12:28 on the clock to narrow the margin to 4-3, but Hill scored a behind-the-back goal off an assist from John Brewer with 6:48 left and then netted an unassisted goal with 3:06 remaining to build the three-goal cushion.
Salisbury finished with a narrow 34-32 advantage in shots in the game after Washington held an 11-5 advantage in the fourth quarter. Trapp took every face-off for Washington and won nine of the game’s 16 draws, including each of the last three. Salisbury committed 20 turnovers in the game – including eighth in the fourth quarter – to Washington’s 17. The Sea Gulls turned the ball over on each of their last six possessions.
Hughes was the only Shoreman with multiple goals, netting two on the night, while Cord tallied one goal and one assist. Hill’s three third-quarter goals led all scorers, while Kluge had one goal and one assist for the Sea Gulls.
Both goalies turned in strong performances as Washington junior Ted DiSalvo (Boca Raton, FL/Spanish River) and Salisbury’s Alex Taylor each made 11 saves.
Washington’s most recent victory in the series had been a 14-10 win at Salisbury on May 4, 2002. The Shoremen had lost 12 straight to the Sea Gulls, including two NCAA Division III Tournament games and 10 regular season contests. The Shoremen’s last home win over the Sea Gulls was a 14-12 victory on April 28, 1990. Salisbury had won 10 straight games over the Shoremen in Chestertown. The Charles B. Clark Cup, named after a 1934 graduate of Washington College who coached both programs to national prominence, was added to the rivalry in 2004 and the Sea Gulls had claimed the cup each of the first nine years it was awarded.
The Shoremen return to action Saturday with a 5:00 p.m. Centennial Conference game at Gettysburg.