When Washington College rallied to edge Salisbury, 7-6, on April 17, 2013, it snapped the Shoremen’s 12-game losing streak to the Sea Gulls and was the program’s first victory over the 10-time national champions since May 4, 2002.
Quite naturally, that outcome has been treated differently by both programs.
While insisting that he doesn’t plan on taking No. 7 Washington College (5-0) for a trip down memory lane, coach Jeff Shirk said the players could use that result as inspiration for the latest installment of the “War on the Shore” rivalry, which will take place Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury.
“I think anytime that a team has beaten up on you for so long, to finally have it become competitive again last year, I think that’s big for us because it shows that we’re going in the right direction and that we’re basically moving where we should move,” Shirk said Tuesday. “So I think from a motivation standpoint, it does give the guys confidence. But with it being a new year and a lot of new faces on the Salisbury ream, they’re playing a lot better than they did last year. So I don’t really know if we’ll use it as motivation from a coaching standpoint, but from the guys’ standpoint and definitely the returners’ standpoint, I think it’s going to help them feel like they belong and help them to hopefully self-motivate and go out and play a good game tomorrow.”
On the flipside, coach Jim Berkman downplayed the notion of any lingering emotion for the No. 2 Sea Gulls (7-0).
“I don’t know if it’s motivation from last year,” he said Tuesday. “It’s just that this is always a big game. It’s always been a rivalry game. We’re two of the top seven teams in the country and we’re both undefeated going into this game. So there’s that anticipation and buildup to the game. This is a game that you circle on the calendar before the season that you’re excited to play.”