LEXINGTON, Va. – The No. 15 Washington and Lee women's lacrosse team earned its first NCAA Tournament win since the 2007 season as it defeated Christopher Newport University, 15-6, in first round action on Wednesday afternoon at Watt Field.
Washington and Lee (15-4) took an early 3-1 lead in the contest, with all three markers coming on free position shots. Senior attacker Wilton Megargel (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne's-Belfield) started the scoring at the 21:44 mark, but Christopher Newport (13-6) responded, with an unassisted goal from senior attacker Meghan Harkey (Purcellville, Va./Loudoun Valley) with 19:24 remaining in the half. W&L then received free position goals from junior attacker Maddie McKaig (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) and senior midfielder Emmy Mathews (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr) to assume the 3-1 advantage with 13:48 remaining in the opening stanza.
CNU senior midfielder Kaitlin Quigley (Round Hill, Va./Loudoun Valley) scored the only other Captains goal of the half off an assist from Harkey to pull the team back to within one goal (3-2), but W&L used a run of four unanswered goals to close the half and take a 7-2 lead into the break. Mathews scored three of the Generals' four goals during the run, while junior attacker Alli Shearin (Essex Fells, N.J./West Essex Regional) added an unassisted marker.
W&L continued its scoring streak to open the second half, netting six unanswered goals to assume a commanding 13-2 lead with 13:51 remaining. Three quick goals from Shearin, Mathews and senior attacker Kate Speare (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) over a 1:34 span pushed the W&L lead to eight goals (10-2) with 27:16 on the clock.
Speare, first-year midfielder Meade Brewster (Brookside, N.J./West Morris Mendham) and first-year attacker Margaret Klein (North Andover, Mass./Brooks) each added a goal as W&L assumed its largest lead of the contest (13-2) with 13:51 remaining.
Christopher Newport scored three consecutive goals, including one goal from first-year attacker Jessica Singer (Herndon, Va./Herndon) and two goals from Harkey to pull to within eight goals, 13-5, but it was not enough as W&L claimed the final 15-6 margin.
With the win, the Generals advance to second round action in the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament for the sixth time, where they will face No. 5 Salisbury University. The Generals dropped a 12-9 decision to then-No. 1 Salisbury earlier this season.
The Generals were led by Mathews, who finished with six points (5g, 1a), while Speare, McKaig and Shearin each finished with two goals and an assist. Senior defender Kathy Brown (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville) contributed a game-high five ground balls and three caused turnovers and first-year defender Leanne Stone (Darien, Conn./Darien) also added three caused turnovers. Junior midfielder Christina Benedetti (Derwood, Md./Academy of the Holy Cross) and first-year midfielder Alex Van Horn (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) each won a game-high five draw controls.
In net, senior Katharine Farrar (Lexington, Va./Episcopal) played all 60:00, stopping five shots.
Harkey paced the Captains with four points (3g, 1a), while CNU also received goals from Quigley, first-year attacker Jessica Singer (Herndon, Va./Herndon)and sophomore midfielder Becca Geist (Fairfax, Va./W.T. Woodson).
First-year keeper Hannah Wilkerson (Falls Church, Va./Falls Church) played the duration, recording eight saves in the loss.
W&L returns to action on Saturday in second round action, facing No. 5 Salisbury University at 11:30 am at SeaGull Stadium.