LEXINGTON, Va. – Top-ranked and No. 1-seeded Washington and Lee jumped out to a 9-1 lead and never looked back en route to posting a 20-9 victory over fifth-seeded Shenandoah in the semifinals of the ODAC Women's Lacrosse Tournament held at Watt Field on Saturday. Sophomore attacker Landon Shelley (Charlotte, N.C. / Myers Park) also set the W&L single-season assists record in the victory.
The Generals (16-2) were bolstered by the return of senior attacker Haley Tucker (Manakin-Sabot, Va. / St. Catherine's), who had missed the prior two games. Tucker scored four consecutive goals during the opening stretch that gave W&L an eight-goal lead (9-1) just 11:55 into the game.
Shenandoah (12-7) stopped the bleeding with a goal by junior attacker Jordyn Miller off a free position shot at 13:41, but W&L followed with four straight tallies, including two by senior attacker Cordelia Peters (Larkspur, Calif. / Hotchkiss), for a 13-2 lead at the 5:09 mark. The Hornets got a single tally by sophomore midfielder Alyson Bittinger with 3:22 remaining and W&L carried a 13-3 lead into the halftime break.
SU carried some momentum into the second half and began the second stanza with three straight goals, including two from Bittinger, to cut it to a 13-6 game with 24:08 remaining.
Tucker scored off a feed from Shelley at 22:45, but Shenandoah tacked on two more scores, one by Miller and another by first-year attacker Emma Stiffler, to cut it to a six-goal game (14-8) with 14:50 left.
That would be as close as the Hornets would get, however, as the Generals scored six of the game's final seven goals to close things out. Peters and junior attacker Dani Murray (Denver, Colo. / Kent Denver) had two goals and one assist each during the closing stretch to send the Generals into the championship game.
W&L, which has now won 13 consecutive games, held advantages of 39-17 on shots and 21-10 on ground balls, while each team collected 15 draw controls.
Tucker led the way with a career-high tying seven goals on the day. She now has 58 goals on the season, which ranks third all-time at W&L. Her 74 points represent the fourth-highest total in program history, and she now has 125 goals in her career to move to eighth on the W&L all-time list.
Shelley added two goals and three assists, giving her 46 assists on the season to set the W&L record. It broke the mark of 43 which was held by Leslie Bogart '03 since 2003.
Peters notched four goals and three assists, and moved to eighth on the program's career assists list with 58. Murray had four goals and two assists.
Junior defender Caitlin Anderson (Manhasset, N.Y. / Manhasset) spearheaded a solid defensive effort for W&L, totaling five ground balls, three draw controls and one caused turnover. Junior Elliot Gilbert (Bedford, N.Y. / Deerfield Academy) played 44:50 in goal, earning the win by making two saves with four goals allowed. Senior Ellie Aburn (Towson, Md. / Notre Dame Prep) saw 15:10 of action and notched two saves with five goals allowed.
Shenandoah was led by Bittinger, who tallied five goals on the day. Miller had two goals and one assist, while Stiffler had one goal and three helpers. Sophomore Gionna Maria played the duration in goal, making 11 saves with 20 goals allowed.
Washington and Lee advances to the ODAC Championship game, which will be played on Sunday at 2:00 pm at Watt Field. The Generals will face second-seeded Randolph-Macon, who posted a 13-12 victory over third-seeded Roanoke in Saturday's other semifinal.
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