LYNCHBURG, Va. – The 13th-ranked Washington and Lee men's lacrosse team pushed its winning streak to 14 in a row with a 24-9 victory over Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field.
The Generals' (14-3, 9-0) streak spans three calendar months and is tied for the second-longest in program history, matching the 1973 squad. The 1974 team holds the record with 15 straight wins.
W&L got off to a slow start for the second consecutive game, but once again recovered for a comfortable victory. The Generals held a 5-3 lead after the first quarter, but used a seven-goal run across the second and third periods to open a 12-3 advantage with 11:04 left in the penultimate quarter.
Senior midfielder Jones Veith (Alexandria, Va. / St. Stephen's & St. Agnes) scored a pair of goals, junior attackman A.J. Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) notched one goal and one assist, and sophomore midfielder Hudson Hamill (Darien, Conn. / Darien) posted two assists during the decisive run. Senior attackman Sam Dardani (Waccabuc, N.Y. / Westminster) went on to score three goals in the third period, as W&L carried a 15-6 lead into the final quarter.
The Generals continued to apply pressure on the VWU (4-12, 1-8) defense in the final period, scoring nine goals during the frame. Dardani notched two more tallies in the fourth quarter, while senior attackman Charlie Cory (Afton, Va. / Deerfield Academy) added two goals and one assist.
For the game, W&L held a 69-29 advantage in shots and a 51-25 edge in ground balls. The Blue & White also won 27-of-36 faceoffs in the contest.
Three Generals accumulated six points on the afternoon. Dardani finished with a career-best six goals, while Witherell totaled three goals and three assists. Hamill added one goal and a career-high five assists. Veith registered a career-best four points on three goals and one assist, and Cory tied a career-high with four points on two goals and two assists. Sophomore midfielder Thomas Zusi (Chester, N.J. / Pingry School) also set a new career-high for points (4) with two goals and two assists as well.
Witherell now has 82 points on the season, the sixth-best total in program history and just six points shy of his own school record set last season. He also moved into fourth-place on the school's career scoring list with 225 points. He can move into third-place by himself with two more points.
Sophomore midfielder Jack Hodgson (Richmond, Va. / St. Christopher's) continued his domination at the faceoff X, winning 16-of-20 draws. He is now 221-of-336 (.658) on the season, ranking third on the school's single-season faceoff wins list. He is just four behind his win total from last season and only 25 shy of Sandy Harrison's '88 record total of 246 from 1987.
In goal, first-year Jack Taylor (Baltimore, Md. / Saint Paul's) played the initial 42:00 and posted six saves. Senior Nic Peterson (Scottsdale, Ariz. / Culver Academy) played the final 18:00 and made five stops.
Virginia Wesleyan was paced by senior attackman Matt Baldwin's three goals. Graduate attackman Nick Zepko and sophomore attackman Greg Gaetano chipped in two goals each. Senior Chris McTague played the duration in goal and made a game-high 15 saves.
Washington and Lee has earned the top seed for the ODAC Tournament and will host the semifinals and finals next weekend. The semifinals will be on Friday and the championship game will be played Saturday. The game times and opponents have not yet been determined.