Tournament MVP Ted DiSalvo Makes 20 Saves as Shoremen Win First Conference Title in 11 Years
CHESTERTOWN, Md. -- Sixth-ranked host Washington College captured its first Centennial Conference Championship in 11 years as the Shoremen defeated visiting Franklin & Marshall, 14-6, in the conference's championship game this afternoon on Kibler Field at Roy Kirby, Jr. Stadium. Senior goalie Ted DiSalvo (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River) made a career-high 20 saves en route to earning tournament Most Valuable Player honors for the Shoremen, who improved to 15-1 and earned their 31st NCAA Tournament bid with the victory.
F&M (13-5) scored the first two goals of the game as Billy Kempner scored an extra-man goal off an assist from Chad Gamble with 12:16 remaining in the first quarter and Will Ballantyne scored off an assist from Jamie McCulloch with 4:50 left in the quarter.
The Shoremen then ran off five unanswered goals. Sophomore midfielder Sid Looney (Westhampton, N.Y./Westhampton) started the run with a goal with 3:37 to play in the first. Junior attackman Stephen Luck (Catonsville, Md./Boys' Latin) followed with a goal off a feed from senior midfielder Kodie Englehart (Coronado, Calif./Coronado) with 1:00 left in the opening period. Sophomore midfielder David McBrien (Bel Air, Md./Calvert Hall) then scored with 26 seconds left in the period to give Washington its first lead of the game at 3-2.
Washington opened the second quarter with back-to-back goals by senior attackman Jim Cusick (Fallston, Md./Calvert Hall), the first off an assist from Englehart at 13:22 and the second on man-up situation off an assist from senior midfielder Hunter Nowicki (Baltimore, Md./Franklin) with 7:41 on the clock, giving Washington a 5-2 lead. Michael Bossidy ended the run with a goal off a Philip Gamble feed with 4:50 left in the half, but Cusick scored off an assist from freshman long-stick midfielder Zachary Kelly (Kennett Square, Pa./Salesianum School [Del.]) just 13 seconds later as the Shoremen took a 6-3 lead into halftime.
Washington scored three times in the first 4:11 of the third quarter to break the game open. Cusick started things off with a goal with 12:44 on the clock. Nowicki then scored an unassisted goal with 12:05 to play and a goal off an assist from Looney with 10:49 to go to give the Shoremen a six-goal cushion. The two teams then traded goals the rest of the third quarter as Ben Ross scored off an Evan Bakst assist at 7:23, Cusick scored off a Nowicki feed at 6:36, Chad Gamble found Kempner for a goal at 4:28, and Looney scored off a Cusick assist at 3:22.
Washington scored the first three goals of the fourth quarter to build its biggest lead of the game. Cusick assisted on a goal by senior attackman JD Campbell (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph) with 12:59 remaining, Looney found Nowicki for a goal with 6:48 left, and Looney found the back of the net for an unassisted tally at 1:31. Bossidy scored for the Diplomats with 39 seconds to go to provide the final margin.
DiSalvo allowed just five of F&M's goals as he subbed out late in the contest. His 20 saves followed an eight-save, one-goal-allowed performance against Gettysburg in the semifinals, giving him 28 saves and a save percentage of 82% for the tournament.
Cusick paced the Shoremen offense this afternoon, scoring five goals and assisting on two others. Looney and Nowicki each finished with three goals and two assists. Looney, who scored seven goals in the Shoremen's semifinal win, finished with as many goals in the conference tournament (10) as he did in the regular season.
Bossidy and Kempner led the Diplomats with two goals each. Cameron Setian made 12 saves in the loss.
The 15 wins for the Shoremen this season are their most since going 18-3 in 2004. This is the fourth Centennial Conference Championship for the Shoremen, who won the title in 1996, 1997, and 2003.
Final selections and first-round pairings for the NCAA Division III Tournament will be announced Sunday at 10 p.m. live on NCAA.com.