The Washington and Lee Student-Athlete

Athletic excellence, academic achievement and campus/community involvement - a combination that often requires the sacrificing of one in order to excel in another. At Washington and Lee however, the student-athletes that don the blue and White have struck a harmonious balance between each distinct part of the college athletic experience and in recent years have continued to raise the bar in the classroom, on the court and in the community.

Since 2000, the Generals have won 80 conference championships in 17 different sports. W&L athletic teams have advanced postseason play on 54 occasions and the 2007 women's tennis team captured the NCAA Division III National Championship. Additionally, the Generals have had three student-athletes garner NCAA National Championships in individual sports.

The success experienced by student-athletes at Washington and Lee has not been limited to the playing arena. In the last 12 years, Washington and Lee has had 28 student-athletes named CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans, 17 student-athletes have been awarded prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships and in the 2011-12 academic year Washington and Lee had 232 student-athletes achieve a GPA of 3.500 or better in either the fall or winter terms.

In addition to the athletic and academic success achieved by the more than 480 student-athletes at W&L, the community and campus involvement that they exhibit makes inclusion in this group truly something to be proud of. The men’s and women’s lacrosse teams have team up with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to help raise funds and awareness for children suffering from pediatric brain tumors and the W&L baseball team has raised over $10,000 in support of cystic fibrosis over the past five years to name a few of the instances in which the W&L athletic community has worked to improve the community as a whole.

Play for W&L


Noteworthy accomplishments by Washington and Lee athletic teams and individuals since 2000.

10 - The number of W&L student-athletes that have captured the ODAC’s annual Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Four W&L men have captured the Doc Jopson award, while six W&L women have laid claim to the Marjorie Berkley award. The awards are given each May to member college seniors and conference sport participants who exhibit the highest athletic, academic, and extracurricular achievements

14 - W&L has won the ODAC Commissioner’s Cup for overall athletic excellence 16 of the last 18 years and has won the women’s overall award in each of the last nine years.  Washington and Lee is the only ODAC school to have ever held all three cups (overall, men’s and women’s) in the same year

17 - Student-athletes granted NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships (Complete Listing Here)

17 - The number of different teams that have captured at least one conference title

28 - Student-athletes Named Academic All-Americans by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and Capital One (Complete Listing Here)

54 - Number of NCAA Postseason appearances made by W&L athletic teams; 19 for the men and 35 for the women. The Generals captured the 2007 Division III National Championship in women’s tennis

66 - The number of student-athletes who have garnered conference athlete/player of the year honors in their respective sports

71 - The number of student athletes who have taken home conference scholar-athlete of the year awards. (The Old Dominion Athletic Conference began handing out scholar-athlete awards for each sport in 2004)

80 - The number of conference championships won by Washington and Lee

232 - Number of student-athletes that earned W&L Scholar-Athlete awards (given to students earning at least a 3.500 GPA) during the 2011-12 academic year.

235 - The number of All-America citations earned by W&L Student-Athletes

Recent Examples of Individual Excellence

Kat Lawson (Soccer '12) - A three-year letterwinner and team captain for the soccer team as a senior, Lawson started all 59 games as a defender over her three seasons at W&L after transferring from Colgate.  She was a three-time First Team All-ODAC honoree and the first two-time First Team All-American in program history.  Lawson received a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Brian Stirling (Swimming '12) - A four-year letterwinner and team captain for the swimming team as a senior, Stirling was a four-time First Team All-Bluegrass Mountain Conference selection.  He graduated holding school record in the 100 butterfly (49.07) and was a member of the record-setting 200 medley (1:32.14) and 400 medley (3:24.93) relay teams.  A five-time All-American, he also received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Chris Washnock (Swimming '12) - A four-year letterwinner and team captain for the swimming team as a senior, Washnock was a four-time First Team All-Bluegrass Mountain Conference selection.  He was a five time All-American honoree in the pool and he twice received Capital One Academic All-America honors.  Washnock was named the 2012 winner of the William McHenry Scholar-Athlete Award as the school's top student-athlete and he was also a recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. 

Greg Kurkis (Football '11) - A four-year letterwinner and team captain for the football team as a senior, Kurkis was a four-time All-ODAC selection and two-time ODAC Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year honoree.  He started every game of his four seasons and was a two-time Capital One Academic All-America honoree.  Kurkis was named the W&L Senior Male Athlete of the Year, in addition to earning the Doc Jopson Award as the top male scholar-athlete in the conference.  He also was a recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Emmy Mathews (Field Hockey/Lacrosse '11) - Mathews was a four-year letterwinner and two-year captain for both the field hockey and lacrosse teams.  She was a three-time all-conference honoree in both sports, garnering ODAC Player of the Year honors in lacrosse as a senior when she also received All-America honors.  She was the ODAC Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a senior and the ODAC Women's Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year her final two seasons.  She was named the W&L Senior Female Athlete of the Year and earned the Marge Berkley Award as the top female scholar-athlete in the conference.

Meredith Freeman (Women's Lacrosse '10) - A four-year letterwinner for the women's lacrosse team, Freeman tallied 114 career points on the field and received a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research on perceptions of aging and wellness in a comparative study of attitudes and health care systems in Germany and America.

Ben Goetsch (Men's Basketball '10) - A four-year letterwinner for both the men's basketball and track & field teams and a basketball captain as a senior, Goetsch was named the ODAC Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the W&L Senior Male Athlete of the Year in 2010.  He received a Fulbright Scholarship to research the differences between the former East and West Germany with respect to athletes.

Isaiah Goodman (Men’s Basketball ’09) - A four-year letterwinner for the men’s basketball team and a two-year team captain, Goodman was instrumental in the creation of the Washington and Lee Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and served as the chair for the NCAA Division III SAAC.

Becca Taylor (Cross Country and Track & Field '09) - A CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and three-time ODAC Scholar-Athlete of Year in cross country, Taylor was among the finalists for a Rhodes Scholarship.

Elizabeth Webb (Cross Country and Track & Field ’09) - A CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and the recipient of both an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and a Fulbright Scholarship, Webb competed in the 2007 NCAA Cross Country Championship, as well as the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championship. She graduated holding five school records.

Greg Bienemann (Basketball ’08) - Graduated ranked sixth all-time in scoring at W&L and as a senior he was named one of 10 finalists for the Jostens Award, which is given annually to the NCAA Division III Basketball Player of the Year.

Alex Sweet (Swimming ’08) - As a senior, he captured the 2008 NCAA Division III National Championship in the 50 free in championship record time. He graduated having earned 15 All-America citations and holding six school-records. He also competed in the 2008 US Olympic Trials in the 50 free.

Nathaniel James (Golf  ’08) - A three-time All-American and a two-time scholar All-American, James made history in 2008 when he became the first NCAA Division III golfer to win the prestigious Byron Nelson Award, which is given annually to a graduating senior. The award is judged on the entire academic and golf career, along with character and integrity while in college.

Katie Kingsbury (Tennis ’07) - A two-time all-conference honoree, and the 2007 Women’s Tennis ODAC Scholar-Athlete of the year, Kingsbury was awarded the NCAA’s highest academic honor when she was granted the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship in 2007. The Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship is given annually to one male and one female athlete across all NCAA divisions.

Patty Roberts (Tennis ’06) - Roberts earned a Coca-Cola Community All-America citation in 2006 as part of her volunteer work in the Lexington community. In addition to her award, Roberts was given $5,000 to give to a charity of her choice, which she in turn donated to Project Horizon of Rockbridge County.

Lindsay Hagerman (Tennis ’05) - A seven-time All-American, the 2005 NCAA Division III Singles National Champion and a recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, Hagerman was also a finalist for the 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year award. The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.

Joanna Perini (Lacrosse '04) - Perrini was a two time All-American for the women's lacrosse team and was honored for her work in the Lexington community with  a Coca-Cola Community All-America citation.  In addition to her award, Perini was given $5,000 to give to a charity of her choice, which she in turn donated to Central Elementary School.

Erika Proko (Tennis ’03) - A six-time All-American and the 2003 ODAC Player of the Year, Proko was a finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year award and was also awarded the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s National Arthur Ashe Award which goes to players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.

Chris Sullivan (Football '02) - A tailback on the football team, Sullivan led all of Division III with 2,024 all-purpose yards in 2001. He was named an Associated Press Little All-American and was among the finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, which is is widely recognized as the premier individual award in Division III football, honoring excellence in athletics, academics and community service.