Washington College Magazine

WC Varsity Teams Score Conference Wins

July 25, 2013
This spring marked the first time in Washington College history that three teams— softball, women’s rowing, and men’s lacrosse—all qualified for NCAA Championship events in the same season.

 And while not a conference championship trophy, the cup raised by the men’s lacrosse team on April 17 sparked a long-awaited celebration. 

That night, the Shoremen rallied from a three-goal, fourth-quarter deficit to stun archrival Salisbury, 7-6, in the annual War on the Shore. It was the Shoremen’s first win in the series since 2002. The Charles B. Clark Cup, named after Charles B. Clark ’34 who was a coach and educator at both schools, was introduced to the series in 2004 and, this spring, the Shoremen claimed the cup for the first time ever. 

The Shoremen finished this spring with a 13-5 record, their most wins in a season since 2008, and were ranked as high as fifth in the nation. They were selected as an at-large team to the NCAA Division III tournament for the second year in a row, marking their first back-to-back NCAA Division III tournament appearances in nine years. They opened the tournament with a 10-7 home win over Colorado College before bowing out in a hard-fought 17-13 loss at Stevenson in the second round.

Still, the most historic performance this spring no doubt belonged to the softball team, which entered the four-team Centennial Conference tournament as the number four seed, but emerged from the weekend with its first conference championship and first-ever berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Shorewomen took control of the double-elimination conference tournament by defeating Muhlenberg, 3-2, and Haverford, 4-2, on the opening day. After a 3-1 loss to Haverford on the second day, the Shorewomen dominated the Fords in the championship game, 9-0, winning in five innings due to the eight-run rule.  The victory gave Washington College its first Centennial Conference Championship in any sport since 2006.

Selected to play in an eight-team, double-elimination, regional in Ithaca, NY, the Shorewomen opened the tourney with an 11-6, nine-inning win over Utica, marking the first-ever NCAA tournament victory for any women’s team in school history. While the Shorewomen were eliminated from the tournament, they finished the season with a record-breaking 27 wins.

The softball team’s performance in early May came one week after order was restored—so to speak—in the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC). While Washington College typically has captured either or both the men’s and women’s championship titles, 2012 was an exception. There would be no denying the Shoremen or Shorewomen their conference trophies in 2013.

The Shoremen blew away their conference rivals, claiming the first-place points in all three scoring races to rack up 51 total points— 21 more than Franklin & Marshall and Mary Washington, who finished in a tie for second place. Head coach John Leekley was named the conference’s Men’s Coach of the Year for the fourth time in five years.

The women had two scoring races—the first and second varsity eights. They finished behind rival Marietta in the second varsity eight, but won the varsity eight over the Pioneers by 6.1 seconds to claim a one-point victory in the total point standings. Mike Davenport was named the MARC’s Women’s Coach of the Year. 

With an automatic, full-team berth to the NCAA Division III Championships in Indianapolis, the Shorewomen finished in sixth place overall. Meanwhile, Mickey Fili ’15, who has emerged as one of Division III’s top rowers since taking up the sport in her freshman year, was named to the College Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Pocock Division III All-America first team. A two-sport athlete who also plays soccer at Washington College, Fili has been a fixture in the Shorewomen’s first varsity eight this season and broke the program’s 2,000-meter and 6,000-meter ergometer records earlier this year. 

The women’s lacrosse team opened its spring with 10 wins in its first 11 games and earned a national ranking for the first time in a decade. The Shorewomen qualified for the Centennial Conference Tournament for the third year in a row, defeating McDaniel, 11-10, in the first round of the tournament. Their season ended with a 17-9 loss to eventual champion Gettysburg in the conference semifinals, but the Shorewomen’s 13 wins on the season marked their most successful year since 2003.  

Joining the softball and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams in making a Centennial Conference Tournament appearance this spring was the women’s tennis team, which qualified for its tournament for the seventh time in eight years. The Shorewomen lost to Haverford, 5-3, in the first round of the tournament, but freshman April Weaver was named the conference’s Rookie of the Year.

Last modified on Jul. 29th, 2013 at 11:55am by Kristen Hammond.