LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee men's lacrosse team is receiving plenty of preseason plaudits as it begins practice for the 2019 season.
The Generals are ranked eighth in both the Face-Off Yearbook and Nike/US Lacrosse Preseason Division III rankings. Additionally, Face-Off Yearbook has recognized three members of the team on its 2019 Preseason All-America team. Senior attackman A.J. Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) was tabbed to the first team, while junior midfielders Hudson Hamill (Darien, Conn. / Darien) and Jack Hodgson (Richmond, Va. / St. Christopher's) were both selected to the honorable mention squad.
Defending National Champion Wesleyan sits atop both sets of rankings, while runner-up Salisbury is second in both. Other squads appearing in the Top 10 of both rankings include Tufts, RIT, Amherst, Cabrini, W&L, York and Gettysburg, in no particular order.
Witherell earned IMLCA South Region Offensive Player of the Year honors and was named a USILA First Team All-American last season when he tallied a school-record 91 points on 60 goals and 31 assists. Additionally, he posted 43 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers. Witherell tallied at least one point in every game he played (19 games) and had 15 games of four or more points, including a season-best seven points on four occasions.
A two-time ODAC Player of the Year honoree, Witherell currently sits in a tie for second on the school's all-time scoring list with 234 points, and he ranks fourth all-time in goals (145) and eighth in assists (89).
Hodgson was a USILA Honorable Mention All-America selection last season, serving as the team's primary faceoff specialist. A two-time First Team All-ODAC selection, he set a new W&L record for faceoff wins during the 2018 campaign, winning 261-of-400 (.653) draws. He also picked up 118 ground balls and tallied eight points on six goals and two assists. In just two seasons, Hodgson already ranks fifth on the school's career faceoff wins list (486) and is second in career faceoff percentage (.652).
Hamill was a First Team All-ODAC and IMLCA Honorable Mention All-South Region choice in 2018 after finishing third on the team in scoring with 48 points on 16 goals and a team-leading 32 assists. He started all 20 games and chipped in 33 ground balls as well.
As a team, W&L finished 15-5 overall last spring. The Generals advanced to the third round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, before falling to Dickinson in overtime by a score of 10-9.
The Blue & White returns seven starters, including 15 of its top 18 scorers from a season ago. Several starters are also back on defense, including seniors John Broderick (Manhasset, N.Y. / Chaminade) and Drew Barnard (Darien, Conn. / Brunswick School), who both earned All-ODAC laurels. Junior defensive midfielder Jed Londrey (Richmond, Va. / Collegiate) is also back after garnering All-ODAC honors a year ago. Hodgson returns at the Faceoff X and sophomore Jack Taylor (Baltimore, Md. / Saint Paul's) in back in goal after a solid rookie campaign (.548 Save %/8.26 GAA).
The Generals will face a stiff schedule this spring that features games against seven teams ranked in the Top 20 (Gettysburg, York, Christopher Newport, Denison, Roanoke, Lynchburg, Franklin & Marshall). The season begins on February 9 at No. 7/9 York at 1:00 pm.