LEXINGTON, Va. – The top-seeded and ninth-ranked Washington and Lee women's lacrosse team survived a 50-minute weather delay and used a five-goal run in the first half to produce a 14-7 victory over second-seeded Randolph-Macon in the championship game of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament on Sunday afternoon.
The game began on Watt Field at 2:00 pm and finished on Wilson Field at 4:55 pm. The 2018 title is the Generals' ninth straight conference title and 19th overall ODAC crown.
Randolph-Macon (11-7) claimed a 2-1 edge with 14:56 remaining in the first half following a free position goal from sophomore attacker Mary Castle. W&L (15-4) responded with the aforementioned five-goal run to take a 6-2 edge with 3:02 left in the first half.
Sophomore midfielder Dani Murray (Denver, Colo. / Kent Denver) started the run with an unassisted goal at the 11:10 mark. Senior attacker Mimi MacCowatt (New Vernon, N.J. / Kent Place) gave the Generals their first lead of the contest at 8:05 off of an assist from junior attacker Cordelia Peters (Larkspur, Calif. / Hotchkiss). Dani Murray found junior midfielder Brianna Hayes (Commack, N.Y. / St. Anthony's) for a man-up goal just 1:27 later, and junior midfielder Emily Carden (Charlottesville, Va. / St. Anne's-Belfield) scored off of an assist from first-year attacker Landon Shelley (Charlotte, N.C. / Myers Park) at 5:39 for a 5-2 lead. Senior attacker Jess Castelo (Red Bank, N.J. / Lawrenceville) then capped the flurry with a goal off of an assist from sophomore attacker Collette Murray (Manhasset, N.Y. / Manhasset) at 3:02.
The Yellow Jackets pulled within three (6-3) off of a free position goal from first-year midfielder Kaylyn Hewes at the 2:22 mark, but the Generals answered with two goals in the final 1:07 to take an 8-3 advantage into intermission.
W&L opened the second half with a four-goal spurt to take a 12-3 lead at the 16:13 mark. MacCowatt tallied the first goal off of an assist from Castelo at 21:46 and Shelley scored back-to-back goals over a span of 2:15. Castelo capped the run with an unassisted goal at the 16:13 mark.
Hewes tallied R-MC's first goal in over 25 minutes of game action on a man-up goal that was assisted by first-year attacker Bella Samper with 7:11 remaining. However, the game was delayed at that point due to lightning and a torrential downpour.
After a 50-minute delay, the teams resumed play on Wilson due the poor field conditions on Watt Field. From there, the Yellow Jackets only managed to whittle the lead to seven after closing the scoring with back-to-back goals just 16 second apart with just over four minutes remaining.
For the game, W&L held a slim 31-27 edge in shots and a 22-16 advantage in ground balls. Randolph-Macon won 15 draw controls compared to the Generals' eight.
Shelley led the Generals with a career-high six points on a career-best four goals and two assists. MacCowatt tallied three goals, while Castelo added two goals and three assists, and Dani Murray finished with two goals and an assist. Peters notched a goal and an assist, while Hayes and Carden each scored a goal. Sophomore Elliot Gilbert (Bedford, N.Y. / Deerfield Academy) had a solid game in goal and made 14 saves in 60 minutes of action.
Hewes and junior attacker Lexi Jones each finished with two goals for the Yellow Jackets, while Castle tallied a goal and an assist. Sophomore Elicia Wells played the entire contest in goal and registered nine saves.
For their efforts in the tournament, Shelley, Peters, Gilbert, senior defender Riley Garcia (Manhasset, N.Y. / Manhasset) and sophomore defender Caitlin Anderson (Manhasset, N.Y. / Manhasset) were named to the ODAC All-Tournament team.
Washington and Lee receives the ODAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament and will find out who it will face this evening at 10:00 pm.
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