Witherell Leads W&L Men's Lax Past CNU, 14-6

A.J. Witherell

LEXINGTON, Va. – Sophomore attackman A.J. Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) totaled a career-best eight points on four goals and a career-high four assists to lead the 20th-ranked Washington and Lee men's lacrosse team to a 14-6 win over Christopher Newport on Wednesday evening at Wilson Field.

Witherell gave W&L (1-1) an early 1-0 lead when he scored unassisted just 1:45 into the contest.  The Captains (0-1) retaliated with a goal by senior midfielder Randy Foster off an assist from junior attackman Matthew Crist at 10:37, but the Generals used a 3-goal spurt to claim a 4-1 lead with 3:09 left in the first quarter.

First-year midfielder Garrett Cannon (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) started the run with a goal off a feed from first-year midfielder Hudson Hamill (Darien, Conn. / Darien) at 6:02 and junior midfielder Jones Veith (Alexandria, Va. / St. Stephen's & St. Agnes) followed with an unassisted tally at 3:34.  Witherell then found senior attackman Whit Griffin (Richmond, Va. / Collegiate) with a pass that Griffin deposited past CNU senior goalkeeper Matt Hayden just 25 seconds later for the 3-goal advantage.

The Captains responded with a pair of goals by senior attackman Will Geise to end the first period and begin the second, but W&L used another 3-goal run to push out to a 7-3 lead with 1:34 left in the half.  Witherell scored two of the goals, while Veith assisted on a goal by senior midfielder Joe Perrella (Larkspur, Calif. / Redwood) as well.

Each team would score a pair of goals over the next 5:54 of game action to make the score 9-5 W&L with 10:39 remaining in the third period.  However, the Blue & White took control at that point, scoring five straight goals to assume a 14-5 lead with just 2:25 remaining.  Witherell, Perrella and junior attackman Sam Dardani (Waccabuc, N.Y. / Westminster) each notched one goal and one assist during the run that put the game away.

W&L held a 38-28 advantage in shots, while CNU claimed a 35-30 edge in ground balls and won 13-of-22 faceoffs.

Witherell's outstanding offensive showing was augmented by three goals and one assist from Perrella, two goals and one assist from Veith, and one goal and one assist from Dardani.  Junior goalkeeper Nic Peterson (Scottsdale, Ariz. / Culver Academy) was outstanding between the pipes, notching 12 saves with five goals allowed in 57:35.  He was spelled by sophomore Philip Rech (Darien, Conn. / Darien), who tallied three saves with one goal allowed in 2:25.

Geise scored two goals and Matthew Crist totaled one goal and two assists to lead the Captains.  Hayden played 59:29 in goal and recorded 11 saves with 13 goals allowed.  First-year Scott McAneney played the remaining 31 seconds, surrendering one goal.

Washington and Lee returns to action on Sunday when it travels to 10th-ranked Denison for a 1:00 pm contest.

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