Last May, Washington College ended a three-year drought from the NCAA tournament, but dropped a 5-4 decision to Goucher in a first-round game at Roy Kirby, Jr. Stadium in Chestertown. That quick exit has lingered around the program, and coach Jeff Shirk said the players are using it as motivation for Wednesday’s first-round home game against Colorado College (13-4).

“The big thing is, I think the guys believe they deserve to be there,” Shirk said Monday. “So we’re not wide-eyed. I think we might have been last year when it was the first experience and it was new to everybody. All of a sudden, we just played tight and slow and just didn’t play like ourselves in last year’s tournament game. So I think that experience is really going to help us be more ready to be loose and fast and just do what we do without succumbing to the pressure of the tournament.”

The Shoremen (12-4) have not won a contest in the NCAA tournament since 2008 and are looking to end that skid Wednesday.

“They’re talking about getting their first win,” Shirk said. “No one’s thinking of anything except for Wednesday. But the focus and the chatter has been to stay loose, stay intense, let’s play fast and concentrate on doing whatever we need to do to get that first tournament win under our belts because it’s nothing that anyone on our team has experienced. They’re definitely focused and ready.”