W&L WOMEN'S LACROSSE NINTH IN PRESEASON NATIONAL RANKINGS

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Washington and Lee's women's lacrosse team has been ranked ninth in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III preseason poll, which was released on Thursday.

Middlebury earned the top-ranking after finishing 2003 as the national runner-up. The Panthers are followed by Amherst, The College of New Jersey, Salisbury, William Smith, Williams, Gettysburg, Mary Washington, W&L and Saint Mary's (Md.).

The Generals posted a 15-3 overall record, won the ODAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season before fall to Mary Washington (12-7) in the opening round.

Washington and Lee welcomes back eight starters, including a trio of 2003 First Team All-ODAC selections in senior attacker Kelly Taffe (Charlottesville, Va./Albemarle), junior midfielder Kitt Murphy (Richmond, Va./St. Catherines) and senior goalie Joanna Perini (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington).

Washington and Lee opens its 2004 campaign when it hosts Lynchburg on Wed., Feb. 25 at 4:00 p.m.

-- GENERALS --