NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Senior midfielder Max Hutson (Houston, Texas / Episcopal) scored off of a rebounded shot with 17 seconds left in double-overtime to lead the Washington and Lee men's lacrosse team to a 10-9 season-opening win at Christopher Newport on Thursday evening.
Despite leading 7-2 with 6:34 left in the third period, the Generals (1-0) needed a goal by senior midfielder Christian Zanetis (Manhasset, N.Y. / Manhasset) off an assist from junior attackman Chris Comerford (Manhasset, N.Y. / Chaminade) with 48 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
W&L led 6-2 at halftime on the strength of two goals and one assist from junior midfielder Joe Perrella (Larkspur, Calif. / Redwood) and nine first-half saves from senior goalkeeper Wyatt Devine (Norfolk, Va. / Norfolk Academy). First-year attackman A.J. Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) scored a spectacular unassisted goal from behind the cage at the 6:34 mark for the 7-2 lead, but the Captains (0-1) began dominating at the faceoff X, wining 3-of-4 draws in the third period and 5-of-7 in the fourth.
The extra possessions paid dividends for CNU, which closed the third period with goals by first-year defender Thomas Courtney and junior midfielder Randy Foster, to make it a 7-4 game with 15 minutes left in regulation.
Junior attackman Ryan Mills scored unassisted just 1:35 into the fourth quarter to cut it to a two-goal game (7-5), but Witherall found Comerford in front of goal for a slam dunk that stretched the W&L lead back to three (8-5) at the 11:05 mark.
However, the Captains got one back just 51 seconds after Comerford's goal, and tallies by first-year attackman Jacob Hale and Mills just 23 seconds apart knotted the score at 8-8 with 6:13 left in the fourth period.
CNU took its only lead of the contest with 1:53 left when senior midfielder Joey Rolando scored off an assist from sophomore midfielder Shane McKenna, but Comerford found Zanetis for the equalizer that forced the extra frames.
Devine turned back three shots in the overtime sessions and the Generals fired five shots on cage in the second overtime before Hutson came up with the game-winner.
CNU held a 48-36 edge in shots and a 38-28 advantage in ground balls for the contest. The Captains also won 16-of-23 faceoffs.
Witherall finished with a game-high five points on two goals and three assists, while Perrella tallied two goals and one assist. Zanetis and junior attackman Whit Griffin (Richmond, Va. / Collegiate) added two goals each. Devine finished with 16 saves in 67:43 between the pipes.
Rolando notched two goals and one assist to lead the way for CNU. Foster had one goal and two assists, and Mills registered a pair of scores. Junior Matt Hayden played the duration in goal and logged 14 saves.
Washington and Lee returns to action on Saturday, February 20, when it hosts 17th-ranked Denison for a 1:00 pm contest.