Cord Named Centennial Player of the Year, Shirk Tabbed as Coach of the Year
Five Shoremen Garner All-Conference Honors
CHESTERTOWN, MD -- Washington College junior attackman Bennett Cord (Gaithersburg, MD/Gaithersburg) has been named the Centennial Conference Player of the Year, head coach Jeff Shirk has been named the conference's Coach of the Year, and a total of five Shoremen lacrosse players have earned All-Centennial honors in a vote conducted by the conference's head coaches.
Cord, who was also named to the All-Centennial first team, scored a team-high 38 goals and assisted on a team-best 22 others this season. He currently leads the conference in both goals per game (2.24) and points per game (3.53). He also scooped up 28 ground balls this season. Cord is the first Shoreman to be named the conference's Player of the Year since Stephen Berger '04 won the award in back-to-back seasons in 2003 and 2004.
Shirk guided the Shoremen to their first NCAA Division III Tournament berth in four years. In just his second season at the helm, Shirk has turned around a team that went 9-19 overall and 4-12 in the conference over the previous two seasons. Washington went 11-6 on the year, finished first in the Centennial Conference regular-season standings, and was the runner-up of the Centennial Conference Championship Tournament.
Senior goalie Peter Stewart (Annapolis, MD/St. Mary's) and sophomore defenseman Casey McKnight (Ridgefield, CT/Ridgefield) joined Cord on the All-Centennial first team. Stewart finished with a .624 save percentage and a 7.00 goals-against average. He ranks first in the conference in save percentage, second in goals-against average, and third in saves per game (10.82). He also recorded 44 ground balls this season, second-most on the team, and handed out his first two collegiate assists this year. McKnight had a team-best 19 caused turnovers this year and has recorded 28 ground balls. He also handed out one assist this season.
Sophomore midfielder Hunter Nowicki (Baltimore, MD/Franklin) and sophomore short-stick defensive midfielder Kodie Englehart (Coronado, CA/Coronado) were named to the All-Centennial Conference second team. Nowicki tallied 15 goals and 16 assists this season. He was second among all Shoremen in both assists and total points (31). Englehart was a two-way threat for the Shoremen this season. He had 32 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers, but he also scored 12 goals and assisted on five others.
The Shoremen's five all-conference selections are their most in a single season since having six all-conference picks in 2009. Washington had no all-conference selections a season ago and just one in 2010.
This is also the third day in a row a Washington College head coach has been named Coach of the Year for a Centennial Conference Coach. Lacey Lister was named Coach of the Year for softball for the second consecutive year Tuesday, while Al Streelman was named Coach of the Year for baseball yesterday. Shirk's honor marks the sixth time overall that a Washington College head coach has earned Coach of the Year honors in the Centennial Conference since the conference added the award in 2008-09.