LEXINGTON, Va. – Fourth-ranked Denison used a four-goal run across the second and third periods to produce a 12-10 victory over 20th-ranked Washington and Lee in ODAC men's lacrosse action on Sunday afternoon at Wilson Field.
The Big Red (1-0) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening 11:03 of the contest, but the Generals scored five of the game's next seven goals to tie the game at 5-5 with 6:36 left in the half. Junior attackman A.J. Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) scored three goals during the run.
Denison grabbed the lead back at the 5:49 mark of the second period on a goal by junior midfielder Jack Waxter, but the Generals scored two straight goals over the next 3:30 to take their first lead of the season, 7-6. First senior midfielder Charlie Cory (Afton, Va. / Deerfield Academy) scored man-up off an assist from sophomore attackman Mike Weaver (Lititz, Pa. / Cedar Crest) at 3:25, and then Witherell scored unassisted at 2:19.
However, Denison began its decisive run and grabbed the momentum back heading into the half on a goal by Waxter off an assist from sophomore attackman Peter Pittroff that tied the game at 7-7 with just 40 seconds remaining before the break.
Denison held possession for much of the third period in pulling out to a 10-7 lead entering the final quarter. The Big Red limited the Generals to just three shots in the penultimate quarter, while firing 14 on cage. Waxter gave Denison the lead back (8-7) on an unassisted goal at 11:34, while sophomore attackman Brant Pittman and junior attackman Brooks Davy provided goals at 8:43 and 2:26.
W&L climbed to within 10-8 on Witherell's fifth goal of the contest just 4:04 into the fourth quarter, but the Big Red received back-to-back goals from Pittroff and junior attackman Spencer Butler to push out to a 12-8 lead with 5:02 left to play.
The Blue & White scored man-up goals at 4:20 and 2:08 to climb back within a pair of scores. Weaver scored off an assist from sophomore midfielder Hudson Hamill (Darien, Conn. / Darien) and Hamill then fed first-year attackman Taylor Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) for another man-up tally. W&L fired five more shots on goal in the final 1:55 of the game, but couldn't find the net again.
For the game, Denison held a 46-35 advantage in shots and claimed 33 ground balls to the Generals' 32 ground balls. W&L dominated at the faceoff X, winning 16 out of 24 draws.
A.J. Witherell led the way with five goals, while Hamill notched one goal and two assists. Taylor Witherell, Cory and Weaver added one goal and one assist each. Sophomore midfielder Jack Hodgson (Richmond, Va. / St. Christopher's) took every faceoff for the Generals, going 16-of-24 and collecting seven ground balls. First-year Jack Taylor (Baltimore, Md. / Saint Paul's) played well in his first career start in goal, making 14 saves in 60 minutes of action.
Waxter led the Big Red with four goals and one assist. Butler scored three goals and Pitroff tallied two goals and three assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Cole Poyfair played the duration for Denison, posting 12 saves, including seven in the fourth quarter.
Washington and Lee returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Washington College for a 1:00 pm contest.