BALTIMORE, Md. – Lacrosse Magazine released its 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll recently and Washington and Lee sits at No. 14.
Defending National Champion Gettysburg was chosen as the preseason No. 1. TCNJ followed in second and SUNY Cortland, Hamilton and Franklin & Marshall rounded out the Top 5.
The Generals concluded the 2011 season with a 15-5 overall record after a 13-12 loss to Salisbury in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. W&L was perfect in ODAC play, going 9-0 and claiming the ODAC Championship with a 21-13 win over Roanoke.
The Generals return two 2011 All-ODAC selections in senior midfielder Christina Benedetti (Derwood, Md./Holy Cross) and sophomore defender Leanne Stone (Darien, Conn./Darien). Additionally, the Generals return the 2011 ODAC Rookie of the Year Alex Van Horn (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) and senior attacker Maddie McKaig (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis).
Benedetti will serve as one of W&L's captains, and returns after garnering First Team All-ODAC and IWLCA Second Team All-Region honors a season ago. In 14 games (13 starts), she forced 17 turnovers, recorded 39 draw controls, and picked up 23 ground balls for the Generals.
Stone, who appeared in 19 games (18 starts), was a member of a defensive unit that posted a goals against average of 8.56, second-best in the ODAC. She led the team with 26 caused turnovers, and grabbed 30 ground balls en route to an All-ODAC Second Team selection.
As the 2011 ODAC Rookie of the Year, Van Horn recorded a conference-best 5.45 draw controls per game, a total of 109 on the season. She also netted 23 goals in starting all 20 games.
McKaig, who will also serve as a captain for the Generals this season, appeared in 20 games with 14 starts a season ago. The attacker is the team's leading returning scorer after posting 44 points on 29 goals and 15 assists last season.
W&L will face four of the Top 20 teams during the 2012 regular season, including No. 1 Gettysburg and No. 5 F&M. The Generals kick off their season on February 19 when they travel to Christopher Newport for a 3:00 pm contest.