FOREST, Va. -- The Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) released its preseason women's lacrosse coaches poll on Thursday afternoon and Washington and Lee was the unanimous choice to finish atop the standings.
W&L received all 10 first-place votes and finished with 100 points. Lynchburg followed with 87 points, while Roanoke (82), Randolph-Macon (68) and Virginia Wesleyan (57) rounded out the top five. Finishing the poll was Guilford (53), Bridgewater (42), Sweet Briar (31), Hollins (18) and Randolph (12).
W&L completed the 2010 season 14-5 overall and a perfect 8-0 in conference play. The team enters this season as the defending conference champions after defeating Lynchburg College, 14-6, in last year's ODAC championship match, the 11th title in program history. W&L earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament where it fell to Elizabethtown College, 13-12, in the first round.
The program was also recently tabbed in the Top 20 in two lacrosse preseason polls, ranking 15th in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse College Association (IWLCA) and 14th in the Lacrosse Magazine polls.
W&L returns five All-ODAC honorees from last season, including a pair of first team members in senior goalkeeper Katharine Farrar (Lexington, Va./Episcopal) and senior midfielder Emmy Mathews (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr). Mathews was also recognized as the ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while both she and Farrar earned First Team IWLCA All-Chesapeake Region accolades. Other returnees include senior attacker Wilton Megargel (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne's-Belfield), junior midfielder Christina Benedetti (Derwood, Md./Academy of the Holy Cross) and senior defender Kathy Brown (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville), who were all named to the all-conference second squad.
The Generals open their 2011 season on the road, facing No. 16 Mary Washington on Feb. 20 at 2:00 pm.