SALISBURY -- Washington College coach Terry Corcoran said he knew what it would take for his Shoremen to pull off one of the biggest upsets in the school's long history of lacrosse.
"I turned into a jerk," said Corcoran. "The past couple of years, I had been patting them on the back because they were a young team, but there were no pats on the back this past week."
Corcoran's methods proved effective. No. 7 Washington defeated top-ranked and previously unbeaten Salisbury State, 12-11, in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament yesterday at Sea Gull Stadium.
"I told them they weren't playing with guts and that they weren't playing with heart," said Corcoran, whose team had lost two of its previous four games, including 17-5 to Salisbury three weeks ago. "But our kids weren't intimidated today."
The Shoremen (12-3) will travel to Ohio Wesleyan for a semifinal game Sunday or next Monday. Ohio Wesleyan (11-1) beat Washington & Lee (12-2), 8-7, in its first-round game.
This will be Washington's first trip to the semifinals since 1990, when the Shoremen beat Ohio Wesleyan before losing to Hobart in the championship game.
The winner of the Ohio Wesleyan-Washington game will face the winner of Sunday's Nazareth-Hobart game in the Division III championship May 30 in College Park.
Nazareth, the defending champion, beat Alfred, 15-8, and Hobart defeated Gettysburg, 19-8, in first-round games yesterday.
Early in the game, Salisbury (13-1) looked as though it would pick up where it left off three weeks ago. Junior midfielder Ryan Murphy (Broadneck) fed junior attackman Joe DiNenna (Calvert Hall) for a goal 29 seconds into the game.
But the Shoremen scored the next three goals to take a 3-1 lead with 11:51 left in the first period.
The Sea Gulls then scored two goals in less than three minutes to tie the score 3-3.
The teams traded two goals each before senior midfielder Keith Malfa gave Salisbury a 6-5 lead with 4:41 remaining in the half.
The Shoreman forced a 6-6 halftime tie on a spectacular goal by senior midfielder Greg Mouracade as time expired. Mouracade took a desperation shot from just outside the restraining line that bounced at Salisbury goalie Erik Miller's feet and hit just inside the crossbar.
"That last-second goal sent us into the locker room with all the momentum," said Washington senior defenseman Scott Overend. "We came out in the second half and got back on them right away."
Salisbury coach Jim Berkman said: "Our kids thought they had to beat this team by five or 10 goals, and when we were tied at halftime, we started to panic."
In the opening minute of the second half, Salisbury's Murphy and Washington's Blair Muneses (Boys' Latin) scored seven seconds apart for a 7-7 tie.
Then both defenses tightened, and there was no scoring until junior attackman Jason Paige regained the lead for Washington off an assist by junior midfielder Chris Cote with 5:48 left in the third period. Cote scored unassisted about two minutes later to give the Shoremen a 9-7 lead.
Freshman attackman Jason Coffman scored once and assisted on Dan Mergott's goal, bringing Salisbury to 9-9 46 seconds into the last period. But Greg Lawler and Paige scored to give Washington an 11-9 lead with 7:02 left.
"That kept them in the game," said Berkman. "The longer they hung in there, the more confidence they got and the harder they played."
Senior attackman Chris Soper (Loyola High), who overcame on off-season knee injury to become Salisbury's No. 2 scorer, brought the Sea Gulls to 11-10 with 1:30 left in regulation. Paige regained the two-goal lead for Washington 27 seconds later, but Soper made it 12-11 with 48 seconds remaining.
Salisbury then had three shots to tie. Malfa and DiNenna shot wide, and Washington's freshman goalie, Jon Lundberg, foiled Soper. A pick play put Soper alone in front of the goal, but Lundberg slid across the crease and deflected Soper's shot.
"We had a lot to prove today," said Lundberg, who had 17 saves after replacing starter Andy Manos late in the first quarter. "We played with heart and showed them what Washington College lacrosse is all about."