LEXINGTON, Va. – Washington and Lee outscored Sewanee 6-2 in the second half to pull away for a 9-5 victory over the Tigers in the opening round of the NCAA Division III men's lacrosse tournament on Wednesday evening at Wilson Field.
The win improved W&L to 16-3 overall, tying the program record for wins in a season with the 2000, 2009 and 2013 teams. The Generals will face York (Pa.) in the second round on Saturday. The time and location are to be announced.
Sewanee opened a 2-1 lead after one quarter, as a sluggish W&L squad played its third game in five days. First-year attackman Hayden Hunt (Memphis, Tenn./M.U.S.) scored both tallies sandwiched around a single goal from sophomore attackman Sam Dardani (Waccabuc, N.Y. / Westminster) for W&L.
Washington and Lee knotted the game at 2-2 just 2:21 into the second period when junior midfielder Joe Perrella (Larkspur, Calif. / Redwood) ripped a shot over the shoulder of Sewanee junior goalkeeper Selby Austin (Rossville, Tenn./M.U.S.).
The Generals then assumed their first lead with 1:23 left in the half, as senior midfielder Graeme Weaver (Newtown Square, Pa. / Malvern Prep) scored man-up off a feed from senior attackman Austin Tamayo (Oviedo, Fla. / Lake Highland Prep). The Blue & White would not carry the lead into the half; however, as the Tigers went man-up in the final minute and sophomore attackman Robbie Berndt (Virginia Beach, Va./Norfolk Academy) stuck one with 10 seconds left for a 3-3 game at the break.
Senior midfielder Max Hutson (Houston, Texas / Episcopal) gave W&L the lead back just 1:47 into the third period when he scored unassisted, and senior midfielder Jack Clarke (Basking Ridge, N.J. / Delbarton) made it a two-goal game (5-3) with an unassisted tally 16 seconds later.
The Tigers climbed back to within one on a goal by sophomore attackman Pat Dimento (Memphis, Tenn./M.U.S.) at 8:25, but the Generals started the fourth period with three straight tallies for an 8-4 lead they would not relinquish. First-year attackman A.J. Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) fed senior attackman Chris Rusbuldt (Richmond, Va. / Collegiate) for a slam dunk at 13:37 and then Witherell went top shelf for a goal of his own at 8:47. Perrella finished off the run with another wicked shot from distance off a feed from Hutson at 6:33. Each team scored once in the final 1:26 for the final margin.
Sewanee held a 35-25 advantage in shots and a 31-26 edge in ground balls. The Tigers also won 12-of-19 faceoffs.
Witherell paced the W&L offense with one goal and two assists, climbing to within two points of Matt Dugan's '01 W&L rookie scoring record of 56 points. Perrella scored two goals and Hutson added one goal and one assist. Senior Buck Armstrong (Austin, Texas / Episcopal) claimed a game-high seven ground balls and caused two turnovers, and senior Wyatt Devine (Norfolk, Va. / Norfolk Academy) was once again rock solid in goal, notching 10 saves in 60 minutes of action.
Hunt led the way for the Tigers with two goals. Austin played the duration in goal and logged five saves.
W&L will learn the particulars of Saturday's game in a conference call on Thursday morning.