LEXINGTON, Va. – Sophomore forward Lauren Paolano (Huntington, N.Y. / Cold Spring Harbor) scored a pair of goals to lift top-seeded Washington and Lee to a 3-1 win over fifth-seeded Shenandoah in the semifinals of the ODAC Field Hockey Tournament at the W&L Turf Field on Friday.
The Generals (13-4) didn't take long to grab the lead, as junior forward Haley Tucker (Manakin-Sabot, Va. / St. Catherine's School) found Paolano with a pass that she deposited past Shenandoah (10-9) first-year goalkeeper Isabella Morande for a goal at the 5:23 mark.
Paolano added a second score just over 11 minutes later at the 16:31 mark off an assist from first-year midfielder Caroline Caruso (Millersville, Md. / Archbishop Spalding). Caruso's feed found Paolano in the center of the circle and she fired home a shot into the near corner for a 2-0 advantage.
W&L upped its lead to 3-0 shortly thereafter, when Tucker dribbled her way into the circle and beat Morande to the near post at the 20:26 mark.
In the second half, the Hornets turned up the pressure, out-shooting the Generals, 8-4, while also carrying a 7-2 advantage in penalty corners for the final 35 minutes. However, the W&L defense held firm until SU broke through with a goal by senior forward Morgan Lingo off an assist from first-year midfielder Daphne Leighty with just 5:51 remaining in the game. However, that would be as close as the Hornets would come, as W&L advances to the ODAC title contest for the third straight year.
For the game, W&L held a 13-10 edge in shots, while Shenandoah claimed a 9-5 advantage in penalty corners.
Junior Ariyel Yavalar (Baltimore, Md. / Garrison Forest School) played all 70 minutes in cage for W&L, posting one save. Morande also played the duration, notching eight saves.
W&L will carry a nine-game winning streak into the ODAC championship game, which will be on the W&L turf field on Saturday evening at 5:00 pm. The Generals will play the winner of the second semifinal between second-seeded Lynchburg and third-seeded Roanoke.