FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Senior attackman Sam Dardani (Waccabuc, N.Y. / Westminster) tied his career-highs for goals (5) and points (6) in helping lead the Washington and Lee men's lacrosse team to a 14-7 victory over Mary Washington on Wednesday afternoon at the UMW Turf Stadium.
W&L (3-3) grabbed the lead at the 10:54 mark when junior attackman A.J. Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) fed sophomore midfielder Garrett Cannon (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum), who ripped a shot past UMW (4-2) junior goalkeeper Billy Senicola for a 1-0 lead.
Mary Washington responded to the W&L goal with a pair of scores from junior attackman Chris White just 2:35 apart to take a 2-1 lead at the 5:15 mark of the first quarter. However, that would be the Eagles' only lead of the contest, as the Blue & White tallied the game's next four goals to assume a 5-2 advantage with 3:00 left in the first half. Sophomore midfielder Jack Hodgson (Richmond, Va. / St. Christopher's) got the rally started when he won the opening faceoff of the second quarter and ran straight to goal, sending a shot past Senicola to knot the score at 2-2 with 14:47 left in the half. Dardani scored off an assist from junior midfielder Nick Anders (Richmond, Va. / Collegiate) at 8:25, and A.J. Witherell scored unassisted at 3:46 for a 4-2 lead. A.J. Witherell then found first-year attackman Taylor Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum), who scored to complete the run at the 3:00 mark.
The Eagles pulled to within 5-3 on a goal by junior midfielder Cole Hogan with 1:19 left in the half, but W&L had the answer, as sophomore midfielder Jack Ware (Baltimore, Md. / Towson) tallied an unassisted goal with just nine seconds left for a 6-3 W&L lead at the break.
The two teams each exchanged goals back-and-forth until it was a 9-5 game midway through the third quarter, before the Generals scored two straight to extend to an 11-5 lead. First Dardani scored off an assist from A.J. Witherell at 4:12, and then Dardani assisted on a Taylor Witherell goal at 1:10.
Mary Washington opened the fourth period with goals from senior midfielders Conor Healy and Owen Dingman to climb back to four (11-7) with 9:00 left in the contest, but W&L closed with three more scores to put the game way. A.J. Witherell scored the first goal at 8:28 and Dardani scored the final two off assists from A.J. Witherell and sophomore midfielder Hudson Hamill.
W&L held a 39-27 advantage in shots, won the ground ball battle 35-27 and claimed 14 out of 24 faceoffs.
Dardani's five-goal, one-assist effort was supplemented by two goals and a career-high tying five assists from A.J. Witherell. Taylor Witherell and Ware chipped in two goals each, while Hodgson won 13-of-22 faceoffs. First-year Will Atkins (Washington, D.C. / St. Albans) posted five saves while playing all 60 minutes in goal.
Dingman paced the Eagles with two goals and two assists. White chipped in two goals, while Senicola logged 12 saves in 60 minutes in goal.
Washington and Lee returns to action on Saturday when it opens ODAC play by hosting Shenandoah for a 1:00 pm contest.