GRANVILLE, Ohio – The 20th-ranked Washington and Lee men's lacrosse team scored the final nine goals of the game, including eight in the fourth quarter, to produce a 15-11 win over 10th-ranked Denison on Sunday at Piper Stadium.
The Big Red (0-1) led 7-5 at halftime and extended its lead to 11-6 with 2:35 left in the third period following a three-goal run in a span of 5:50.
After Denison sophomore attackman Owen Armstrong gave the Big Red the 5-goal advantage with a tally at the 2:35 mark of the third period, the Generals (2-1) began their run. First-year midfielder Jack Hodgson (Richmond, Va. / St. Christopher's) won the ensuing faceoff and first-year midfielder Evans Alison (Huntsville, Ala. / Randolph) found the goal unassisted just seconds later to make it 11-7 with 2:16 left in the penultimate quarter.
The fourth period belonged to W&L, as the Generals possessed the ball for nearly 14 minutes on the game clock and out-shot the Big Red, 16-2, in the frame en route to the 8-goal onslaught.
Sophomore attackman A.J. Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) started the barrage with an unassisted goal just 1:08 into the quarter that made it a 3-goal game (11-8). Hodgson again won the ensuing faceoff and the Generals drew a slashing penalty just under one minute later. W&L converted the man-up opportunity when senior midfielder Jonathan Henry (Charlotte, N.C. / Providence Day) found rope off a feed from Witherell.
Each team had one possession and the Generals successfully killed off a penalty on the defensive end, eventually gaining the ball back with just under 10 minutes remaining. The Blue & White kept the momentum going when Witherell scored off an assist from junior midfielder Jason Myers (Dallas, Texas / Dallas Jesuit) at 9:27, pulling W&L within one goal at 11-10.
Hodgson once again won the faceoff and the Generals drew even at 7:47 when senior attackman Whit Griffin (Richmond, Va. / Collegiate) found junior attackman Sam Dardani (Waccabuc, N.Y. / Westminster), who deposited the ball in the back of the net to make it 11-11.
Hodgson came up with the faceoff win and Witherell fired home the go-ahead goal (12-11) with 6:36 left. Denison took a timeout to try to kill the Generals' momentum, but Hodgson kept the rally alive with another victory at the faceoff X. After receiving a shot clock warning with 4:08 left, Dardani scored 12 seconds later off an assist from junior midfielder Jones Veith (Alexandria, Va. / St. Stephen's & St. Agnes).
Denison finally claimed possession after winning the next faceoff, but couldn't clear the ball to its offensive end and shortly thereafter, Veith fed Dardani for another goal and a 14-11 lead with 2:48 left.
Hodgson won another faceoff and the Generals drew a slashing penalty with 2:21 remaining in the contest. Henry capped the scoring with 1:29 to go on a man-up tally off an assist from Witherell.
W&L finished with a 39-29 advantage in shots, while Denison claimed a 31-30 edge in ground balls. The Generals won 17-of-29 faceoffs, including seven out of nine draws in the final period. The Blue & White also converted on 4-of-6 extra-man chances, while holding Denison to just 1-for-4 on EMO.
Dardani tied a career-high with six points on a career-best five goals and one assist. Witherell finished with six points as well, totaling four goals and two assists. Henry produced the best performance of his career, totaling a career-high four goals, while Veith had a pair of assists. Hodgson won 17-of-27 faceoffs and picked up 10 ground balls, and junior Nick Peterson (Scottsdale, Ariz. / Culver Academy) played all 60 minutes in goal, registering nine saves.
Sophomore attackman Spencer Butler and senior attackman Will Donohue scored three goals each for Denison. Senior attackman Liam Rooney added one goal and four assists. First-year Will Howard played the entire contest in goal and recorded 10 saves.
Washington and Lee will be in action again on Saturday when it travels to Washington College for a 1:00 pm contest.