GRAND LAKE, Colo. – The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) released its 2018 Division III preseason coaches poll on Monday and Washington and Lee was picked third.
Defending National Champion Gettysburg sits atop the rankings with 618 points and 19 first-place votes. TCNJ followed in second with 605 points and the remaining six first-place votes, while the Generals earned 559 points to take the third spot. Rounding out the Top 5, Trinity (Conn.) is fourth with 533 points and Middlebury was voted fifth with 519 markers.
W&L finished the 2017 season with a 19-2 overall mark, which set a new program record for victories in a season. The Generals captured their eighth-straight ODAC title and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the first time in program history, before falling to TCNJ, 5-4, in double overtime.
Washington and Lee returns six All-ODAC honorees from a season ago in junior midfielder Haley Tucker (Manakin-Sabot, Va. / St. Catherine's), senior defender Riley Garcia (Manhasset, N.Y. / Manhasset), senior attacker Jess Castelo (Red Bank, N.J. / Lawrenceville), junior midfielder Cordelia Peters (Larkspur, Calif. / Hotchkiss), sophomore defender Caitlin Anderson (Manhasset, N.Y. / Manhasset) and sophomore goalkeeper Elliot Gilbert (Bedford, N.Y. / Deerfield Academy).
A First Team All-American, Tucker posted a team-high 103 draw controls last season. She also recorded 50 points on 37 goals and 13 assists. The first team all-conference, all-region and all-state honoree also picked up 23 ground balls and caused 14 turnovers. Tucker enters the season ranked fourth in program history with 152 career draw controls.
Garcia started all 21 games for the Generals and played a major role for the W&L defense that ranked second in Division III with a 4.14 goals-against average. The Generals held opponents to single-digit totals in 20 contests. The First Team All-ODAC honoree also posted 20 ground balls and caused 17 turnovers.
A Second Team All-ODAC honoree, Castelo ranked third on the team in goals (31), assists (15) and points (46). Appearing in all 21 contests, Castelo also collected 23 ground balls, five draw controls and caused eight turnovers.
Peters led the team with 37 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers, while also winning 20 draw controls. A second team all-conference honoree, she recorded 33 points on 18 goals and 15 assists.
A Second Team All-ODAC selection, Anderson started all 21 games during her rookie campaign. She joined Garcia on the defensive unit that ranked second nationally in goals-against average. She also picked up 25 ground balls, won eight draw controls, caused seven turnovers and dished out an assist.
Gilbert started 20 games during her rookie season in goal. She finished last season ranked second in the nation with a 4.07 goals-against average, while also recording a 52.6 save percentage. She posted 71 saves, 33 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers. Gilbert was named to the Women's Lacrosse All-Tournament team and earned Second Team All-ODAC honors.
The Generals will face three preseason Top 10 teams during the 2018 campaign (Gettysburg, Franklin & Marshall and Salisbury). W&L opens the season on February 17 when it hosts 17th-ranked Mary Washington for a 1:00 pm contest.
To view the complete poll, click here.
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