FOREST, Va. – The Washington and Lee women’s soccer team was picked to finish third in the ODAC women’s soccer preseason poll, released on Thursday afternoon.
Defending conference champion Lynchburg College topped the poll, amassing 116 points and eight first-place votes. Virginia Wesleyan ranked second with 110 points and three first-place votes, while W&L was the final first-place vote recipient, collecting 101 points and one first-place vote. Roanoke (92) and Bridgewater (85) rounded out the top five placings, followed by Randolph-Macon (69), Eastern Mennonite (58), Guilford (56), Emory & Henry (40), Hollins (26), Randolph (23) and Sweet Briar (16).
W&L takes to the field after a 10-6-2 (7-3-1 ODAC) campaign in 2010, advancing to the ODAC Tournament semifinals before falling to eventual champion Lynchburg College.
Returning for W&L this season are a pair of Second Team All-ODAC honorees from 2010 in senior defenders Heather Deisher (Cape Girardeau, Mo./Cape Central) and Kat Lawson (White Post, Va./Clarke County). Last season, the duo helped the Generals post 10 shutouts and a 0.64 goals-against average, which was the second-best mark in the conference. Lawson will serve as a tri-captain this season, alongside a pair of classmates in defender Page Minton (Bowling Green, Ky./Bowling Green) and keeper Emily Leary (Cincinnati, Ohio/Kings).
Offensively, W&L returns four of its top five scorers from a season ago, including junior midfielder Ainsley Daigle (Lafayette, La./Episcopal School of Acadiana), junior defender Alex Todd (New Orleans, La./Isidore Newman), senior forward Kat Barnes (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) and senior midfielder Anne Masich (Raleigh, N.C./Needham B. Broughton).
Daigle finished last season with 10 points (4g,2a), while Todd added eight points (4g) and Barnes and Masich registered seven points apiece (2g,3a).
The Generals open their season at Watt Field, playing host to N.C. Wesleyan on Sept. 1 at 4:00 pm.