LEXINGTON, Va. – The No. 14 Washington and Lee women's lacrosse team closed the first half on a 6-0 run and never looked back as it defeated Virginia Wesleyan, 19-10, on Saturday afternoon at Watt Field.
The game was tightly contested in the opening minutes of the first half, as both teams combined for six free position goals over an 11:22 span. W&L senior midfielder Emmy Mathews (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr) connected on two shots, while senior midfielder Tara Harding (Waterford, N.Y./Clifton Park), junior midfielder Natalie Belva (Colorado Springs, Colo./Liberty), junior attacker Courtney Williams (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) and sophomore midfielder Nikki Salyers (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) each found the net for VWC. During the span, the Generals also added goals from first-year midfielder Alex Van Horn (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) and first-year attacker Margaret Klein (North Andover, Mass./Brooks), leaving the score knotted at 4-4 with 18:38 on the clock.
W&L found its stride over the closing minutes of the opening stanza, netting six unanswered goals to assume a 10-4 advantage at the break. Klein started the scoring with an unassisted goal at the 16:13 mark. Mathews and Megargel added goals of their own just 20 seconds apart, as Mathews found the net for her third free position goal of the contest with 9:45 on the clock, while Megargel claimed an unassisted goal off a won draw control at the 9:25 mark to advance the lead to three goals (7-4). Another close pair of goals by Van Horn and Megargel at the 3:40 and 3:21 marks, respectively, pushed the Generals' lead to five goals (9-4), and junior attacker Maddie McKaig's (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) goal with just one second on the clock secured the six-goal difference for W&L at the half.
The Marlins chipped away at the W&L lead in the second stanza, but were never able to gain an advantage. Belva scored consecutive goals to pull the Marlins to within five goals (11-6) with 19:59 remaining, but a quick response just 14 seconds later from W&L first-year midfielder Meade Brewster (Brookside, N.J./West Morris Mendham) pushed the Generals' advantage back to six points (12-6) with 19:45 on the clock.
After the Brewster goal, VWC tallied three of the contests' next four goals to get to within four points, 13-9, with 13:04 remaining. However, Van Horn netted consecutive markers at the 12:52 and 12:04 marks to extend the lead back to six points (15-9), and the Generals added four additional markers over the final minutes as it claimed the 19-10 triumph to remain perfect against Virginia Wesleyan (17-0) in the all-time series.
W&L's offense was led by Van Horn and Megargel, who finished with five goals apiece. Mathews chipped in five points (3g, 2a) and a game-high six draw controls, while junior midfielder Christina Benedetti (Derwood, Md./Academy of the Holy Cross) collected a game-high five ground balls.
The Marlins were paced by Belva, who netted four goals. Williams won a team-high three draw controls, while junior defender Allison Buckley (Callaway, Md./Leonardtown Business) collected a team-best four ground balls.
In net, W&L senior Katharine Farrar (Lexington, Va./Episcopal) and sophomore Alex Hamill (Darien, Conn./Darien) shared time, with Farrar earning the win with 11 saves in 55:45 of action. Hamill played the final 4:15 of the contest and did not face a shot.
VWC junior keepers Brittany MacKnew (Abingdon, Md./Bel Air) and Michelle Mace Dumfries, Va./Woodbridge Forest Park) split time, with MacKnew taking the loss. MacKnew played 30:00 and stopped nine shots, while Mace also played 30:00, recording five saves.
The Generals return to action on Wednesday, as they host Bridgewater College for a 4:30 pm contest.
VWC goals: Natalie Belva 4; Tara Harding 2; Courtney Williams 1; Courtney Shelton 1; Nikki Salyers 1; Lauren Davis 1.
VWC assists: None.