LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee women's lacrosse team survived a four-hour, 12-minute weather delay and an early 3-0 deficit to defeat Catholic University by a score of 9-6 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament in Lexington.
The game began at Watt Field at 2:30 pm and finished under the lights on Wilson Field at 8:47 pm. The win was W&L's 14th in a row and improved the Generals to 18-1 on the season, setting a new program record for wins in a season.
The Cardinals (14-5) opened the game with a 3-0 advantage across the first 6:25 of the game. Senior midfielder Ana Brandenburg began the scoring with a goal off an assist from senior attacker Laura Dunn at the 26:41 mark of the first half. Junior attacker Nicolette Crisalli scored 1:54 later off a feed from senior attacker Jenna Van Middelem and senior midfielder Alexis Bosilovic tallied an unassisted goal at 23:35 for the 3-0 lead.
W&L responded with a three-goal run of its own to tie the score at 3-3 with 15:05 left in the first half. Senior midfielder Maggie Waxter (Baltimore, Md. / Roland Park) scored off an assist from senior attacker Hayley Soutter (McLean, Va. / Langley) at 19:57 and Soutter followed with a goal of her own off an assist from senior attacker Sara Holland (Houston, Texas / M.B. Lamar) 28 seconds later. Soutter then capped the flurry with a goal off an assist from sophomore midfielder Cordelia Peters (Larkspur, Calif. / Hotchkiss) at 15:05.
Brandenburg scored twice more before the half, and Soutter and Waxter each scored once for W&L, as the teams entered the halftime break tied at 5-5.
The Blue & White assumed its first lead of the game at the 25:52 mark of the second half on an unassisted goal by junior attacker Jess Castelo (Red Bank, N.J. / Lawrenceville). However, the game was delayed at that point (3:59 pm) due to lightning in the area.
After the more than four-hour delay, the teams resumed play on Wilson Field and the Cardinals knotted the game at 6-6 on a goal off of a free position shot by Dunn at the 24:18 mark. However, it would be all Generals from that point, as the W&L defense stiffened and kept the Cardinals off the board for the remainder of the game.
Sophomore midfielder Haley Tucker (Manakin-Sabot, Va. / St. Catherine's) scored the game-winner unassisted at the 21:21 mark and Holland followed with a goal at 19:03. Soutter gave W&L one more insurance goal with a score off an assist from Holland with 11:31 remaining.
The Generals held a 21-17 advantage on shots, including a 10-6 edge in the second half. W&L also won the ground ball battle, 14-11, and forced 16 Catholic turnovers.
Soutter finished with four goals and one assist, while Waxter scored two goals. Holland added one goal and two assists, and Castelo posted one goal and one assist. First-year goalkeeper Elliot Gilbert (Bedford, N.Y. / Deerfield Academy) played all 60 minutes and registered six saves.
Brandenburg scored three goals and Dunn had one goal and one assist for CUA. First-year Nanci Hernandez and sophomore Christina DeCesaris both played in goal for the Cardinals. Hernandez made nine saves in 49:03 and DeCesaris did not make a save in 10:57 to receive the loss.
Washington and Lee advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals and will host William Smith on Sunday at 2:00 pm for the chance to advance to the Final Four at Roanoke College next weekend.