LEXINGTON, Va. -- The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse College Association (IWLCA) recently released its Division III National Preseason Poll and the Washington and Lee women's lacrosse team was tabbed 15th in the rankings.
Salisbury topped the poll, collecting 15 first place votes and 394 overall points, followed by Hamilton, which was the only other first-place vote recipient, garnering five first place votes and 384 overall points. Also included in the Top 10 were Franklin & Marshall, The College of New Jersey, Gettysburg, Cortland, Trinity, Colby, Williams and Stevens. Rounding out the poll were Union, Tufts, Catholic, Middlebury, W&L, Babson, Mary Washington, Amherst, Bowdin and Brockport.
The Generals will face five ranked opponents from the preseason poll during the 2011 season, including Salisbury (No. 1), Franklin & Marshall (No. 3), Cortland (No. 6), Catholic University (No. 13) and Mary Washington (No. 16).
W&L finished its 2010 campaign 14-5 overall and had a perfect 8-0 mark in conference play. The Generals advanced to the ODAC championship game for the eighth consecutive season where they defeated Lynchburg College, 14-6, to earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, eventually falling to Elizabethown College in the first round.
The Generals return five All-ODAC honorees from last season, including a pair of first team members in senior goalkeeper Katharine Farrar (Lexington, Va./Episcopal) and senior midfielder Emmy Mathews (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr). Mathews was also recognized as the ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while earning First Team IWLCA All-Chesapeake Region accolades. Other returnees include senior attacker Wilton Megargel (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne's-Belfield), junior midfielder Christina Benedetti (Derwood, Md./Academy of the Holy Cross) and senior defender Kathy Brown (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville), who were all named to the all-conference second squad.
Mathews finished last season third on the team in scoring with 41 points while collecting 31 ground balls, 34 draw controls and 20 caused turnovers in 18 contests. An IWLCA All-Chesapeake Region First Team honoree as well, Farrar appeared in 18 of the Generals' 19 games last season. She posted an 8.61 goals-against average and a .473 save percentage with a 12-5 overall record.
Megargel finished the 2010 campaign with 45 points, good for second on the team. She registered a team-high 37 goals, while also winning 26 draw controls. Benedetti appeared in 16 contests last season, finishing with 16 points (12g, 4a), 31 ground balls and 25 draw controls. Brown was a key member of the W&L defense, starting all 19 contests in the backfield where she collected a team-high 40 ground balls and 31 caused turnovers to go alsong with 21 draw controls.
W&L will open its 2011 campaign on the road, facing No. 16 Mary Washington on Feb. 20 at 2:00 pm.