FOREST, Va. – The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2019 men's lacrosse preseason coaches poll on Friday afternoon and Washington and Lee was picked to finish first out of the league's 11 lacrosse playing schools.
The Generals garnered seven of the 11 first-place votes and topped the poll with 96 points. Lynchburg picked up three first-place votes and sits in second with 91 points, while Roanoke had the remaining first-place vote and registered 86 points. Hampden-Sydney is fourth with 73 points and is followed by Randolph-Macon (64), Bridgewater (49), Shenandoah (47), Guilford (42), Virginia Wesleyan (28), Ferrum (16) and Randolph (14).
W&L has earned the top seed for the ODAC Tournament each of the past two seasons, producing a 25-2 league mark across the last three years. The Generals finished with a perfect 10-0 record in ODAC play last season, earning at at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Blue & White advanced to the third round of NCAA play, before falling to Dickinson by a score of 10-9 in overtime.
The Generals return seven starters and 15 of their top 18 scorers from last season. Among the top returnees for the Generals is senior attackman A.J. Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum), who garnered USILA First Team All-America honors last spring. He tallied a school-record 91 points on 60 goals and 31 assists, and added 43 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers as well. Witherell registered 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).
Junior midfielder Jack Hodgson (Richmond, Va. / St. Christopher's) is also back after receiving USILA Honorable Mention All-America accolades a year ago. 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).
Four other All-ODAC honorees also return, including senior defenseman John Broderick (Manhasset, N.Y. / Chaminade), senior long-stick midfielder Drew Barnard (Darien, Conn. / Brunswick School) and junior midfielders Hudson Hamill (Darien, Conn. / Darien) and Jed Londrey (Richmond, Va. / Collegiate). Hamill was a First Team All-ODAC selection, Broderick and Londrey earned second team honors, while Barnard was a third team honoree.
Washington and Lee opens its season on Saturday when it travels to seventh-ranked York for a 1:00 pm contest.