DELAWARE, Ohio -- Washington College needed two things to beat Ohio Wesleyan: Error-free play and a close score.
The Shoremen got neither yesterday as the Bishops rode a four-goal spree in the first quarter to a 14-8 victory in a Division III semifinal lacrosse game at Selby Field.
Ohio Wesleyan broke a 3-3 tie with four goals and led 7-3 at the half, then put away the Shoremen with a 7-2 burst in the second half for a 14-5 lead with 8:57 left. "Ohio Wesleyan got it going," Washington coach Terry Corcoran said. "We made a lot of mental mistakes, a lot of turnovers and that hurt us."
Ohio Wesleyan (12-1) faces the winner of today's Hobart-Nazareth semifinal in the Division III final next Sunday in College Park, Md.
The Bishops are making their fourth appearance in the Division III final, having also played in 1987, 1988, and 1989.
After struggling in last week's 8-7 quarterfinal victory over Washington & Lee, Ohio Wesleyan clicked against the Shoremen.
All-American attackman Andy Greaves, who lead with two goals and three assists, and fellow attacker Jed Cronin, scored unassisted goals to put the bishops up 5-3 in the second quarter. The midfield took over late in the half as Noah Robertson and Chip Crowther added goals in a 50-second burst that pushed the score to 7-3.
"We started to pull away and, at the half, the guys were very confident," said third-year Ohio Wesleyan coach Lelan Rogers, who is making his first trip to a national final. "We got into a run-and-gun game and started to pull away."
The halftime break barely slowed the Bishops, who took a 10-4 lead with 5:46 left in the third period.
Midfielder Tim James, whose behind-the-back goal put the Bishops up 2-1 in the first quarter, notched back-to-back goals to give Ohio Wesleyan a six-goal edge. Theron Foley and Crowther added two goals each.
"Players like Timmy have been big for us all year, and you expect them to step it up in games like this," Rogers said.
Forced into a catch-up game, Washington (12-4) hit a wall against Ohio Wesleyan's physical defense. The Shoremen were outshot 25-17 in the second half and couldn't find a chink in Bishops goalie Dave Breslin's armor. He had 10 of his 17 saves in the final two quarters.
"They didn't give us much, and when they did, we didn't finish it off," Corcoran said. "They are a very good lacrosse team."
Midfielder Chris Cote led Washington with two goals and an assist, and Bart Jaeger (St. Mary's) had two goals. Attackman Jason Paige, who leads the Shoremen in goals and assists, had a goal and an assist.
Coming off last week's emotional 12-11 upset of Salisbury State in the quarterfinals, the Shoremen were focused, Corcoran said. "But we had to keep it close in the first half, and we didn't, and we made some errors," he said.
For Cronin, who had three as sists, the win was special. He transferred from Washington to Ohio Wesleyan two years ago. "We're going to the show, and we beat Washington," he said. "This is sweet."
Wash. College 3 0 2 3 -- 8
Ohio Wesleyan 3 4 4 3 -- 14