W&L Men's Lacrosse Shoots its Way Past Piedmont, 23-2

Matt Huber

LEXINGTON, Va. – The 13th-ranked Washington and Lee men's lacrosse team fired 62 shots and received goals from 10 different players in posting a 23-2 victory over Piedmont in the second round of the NCAA Tournament played at Wilson Field on Wednesday evening.

The win was W&L's 16th of the season (16-4), tying the school record for wins in a season.  The record had previously been achieved in 2000, 2009, 2013 and 2016.  It was also the 57th victory (57-20) for the W&L senior class, which is tied for the most wins by any class in program history.  The prior record of 57 wins has resided with the 2002 class.

The Generals opened the game with three goals in a span of 1:05 for a 3-0 lead just five minutes into the contest.  Senior midfielder Matt Huber (Great River, N.Y. / St. Anthony's) scored back-to-back unassisted tallies for the second and third goals.

W&L tacked two more on before the end of the first period and began the second quarter with three straight for an 8-0 lead at the 7:00 mark.

Piedmont (9-9) got on the board with a goal by junior midfielder Josh Cobbina off an assist from junior midfielder Nick Burns with 2:25 left before the half.  However, W&L senior attackman A.J. Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) scored unassisted with just 45 seconds left in the second quarter, and the Generals carried a 9-1 lead into the intermission.

The Blue & White began the third quarter with a man-up goal by junior midfielder Jack Ware (Baltimore, Md. / Towson) off a feed from junior attackman Mike Weaver (Lititz, Pa. / Cedar Crest) just 35 seconds into the frame.  Piedmont got a second score on an unassisted goal by junior attackman Brady Jenks, but W&L outscored the Lions 5-1 in the period for a 14-2 lead heading into the final period.

W&L added nine more goals in the final 15 minutes for the final margin.  Senior attackman Robert Cooleen (Princeton, N.J. / Lawrenceville School) notched four of the scores, while sophomore attackman Austin Hudson (Baltimore, Md. / Gilman) added two goals and two assists in the final 10:32.

The Generals out-shot the Lions by a count of 62-12 and W&L held a 50-15 advantage in ground balls.  The Blue & White also won 23-of-27 faceoffs and forced 26 Piedmont turnovers.

Ware, Cooleen and sophomore attackman Taylor Witherell (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) all scored four goals to lead the W&L offense.  A.J. Witherell totaled two goals and four assists, while Weaver posted a career-best four helpers.  Hudson posted two goals and two assists, and senior midfielder Sam Boxley (Roanoke, Va. / Patrick Henry) notched two goals and one assist.  Sophomore Jack Taylor (Baltimore, Md. / Saint Paul's) played the opening 45:00 in goal and recorded four saves with two goals allowed.  Junior Matt Lanigan (Basking Ridge, N.J. / Oratory Prep) played the final quarter and did not face a shot on goal.

Junior Zach Czulada played 49:47 in goal for Piedmont and recorded 21 saves with 18 goals allowed.  Two others saw action in the final 10:13, combining for two saves with five goals allowed.

Washington and Lee advances to the NCAA Third Round, where it will face fourth-ranked York College of Pennsylvania.  The game will likely be played on the road at a time to be determined.

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