FOREST, Va. – The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2011 preseason men's lacrosse coaches poll and Washington and Lee was picked to finish fourth out of the league's eight lacrosse-playing institutions.
Roanoke College and Lynchburg College tied for tops in the poll as each tallied 59 total points. Roanoke received five first-place votes, while Lynchburg garnered the remaining three first-place nods. Hampden-Sydney followed in third place (48 pts.) and was followed by W&L (42 pts.), Randolph-Macon (31 pts.), Virginia Wesleyan (23 pts.), Guilford (15 pts.) and Randolph (11 pts.).
The Generals return five starters from a season ago, headlined by sophomore defenseman Joe LaSala (Wilton, Conn./Wilton) and senior defenseman Austin Wernecke (Lutherville, Md./Boys' Latin), who both earned all-conference honors a season ago.
LaSala earned Second Team All-ODAC laurels after recording a team-best 40 caused turnovers and 26 ground balls for a defensive unit that ranked 13th in Division III in scoring defense (6.71 GAA) and 12th in man-down percentage (.821).
Wernecke tallied 34 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers en route to receiving Honorable Mention All-ODAC recognition. A three-year starter in the defensive third, Wernecke was also lauded with honorable mention all-league status following his rookie campaign in 2008.
Sophomore attackman Mac Means (Sewickley, Pa./Sewickley Academy) is the team's leading returning scorer after notching 28 points on 24 goals and four assists during his rookie campaign.
Washington and Lee completed the 2010 season with an 11-6 overall record and a 4-3 ODAC mark. The Generals advanced to the conference tournament semifinals before falling to Roanoke, 15-7.
The Generals open their 2011 season on Tuesday as they host Ferrum for a 5:00 pm contest.
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