Washington College got an emotional lift from last Wednesday’s 7-6 decision over then-No. 5 and reigning national champion Salisbury. Now coach Jeff Shirk acknowledged that the team may have been too high.
The Shoremen stumbled their way to an 8-1 deficit in the first half of an eventual 14-6 loss to then-unranked and Centennial Conference foe Gettysburg last Saturday – an outcome that dropped the team to fourth place in the league and put it at risk of missing the conference tournament.
Shirk said he thought the players were still reliving the good vibes associated with snapping that 12-game losing skid to the Sea Gulls.
“I think we allowed that to happen to us,” he said Tuesday morning. “I think we allowed ourselves to be distracted and allowed ourselves to really lack the focus that we needed to have the chance to be successful against a very good Gettysburg team. In using things as learning experiences and hopefully getting better, we addressed those concerns, and our seniors really took it to heart, and I’m confident that we’re going to be better because of it. But that was a definite letdown.”
Washington (11-3 overall and 4-3 in the league) had a chance to lock up the No. 3 seed in the Centennial Conference tournament and avoid a potential semifinal matchup with No. 2 Dickinson (13-0, 6-0). Instead, the Shoremen, who improved to No. 10 from No. 12 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, fell flat against the Bullets (8-5, 4-2).
“It was reality realized,” Shirk said. “We didn’t show up to play, and we weren’t ready. Going back over stuff and kind of looking over the film and talking to the guys, we could make a number of excuses, but the fact is, I’m not much for making excuses. We weren’t ready to play. Gettysburg is a good team, and they basically handed it to us. This is the point of the year when we want to stay positive and we want to learn from things so that we can hopefully try to make the best run that we can. We addressed it and looked at some film, and now we’re trying to move forward. But the reality is, the bus showed up on Saturday in Gettysburg, but none of our guys showed up.”