Washington and Lee Heads ODAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll

Washington and Lee Heads ODAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll

Guilford and Shenandoah Round Out Top Three

FOREST, Va. --- Washington and Lee University earned 95 poll points, including six first place votes to lead the 2014 ODAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll.  Guilford College collected four top nods and 88 tallies, while Shenandoah University sits third with 82 points.  Roanoke College received the final first place vote towards 78 points in the annual survey of the league's head coaches.

The Generals captured the program’s fourth straight and ODAC record 14th overall conference title in 2013, defeating Shenandoah, 11-8, in Winchester. W&L earned the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Tournament, but fell to York (Pa.), 13-6, in the first round.

Washington and Lee (10-10 overall, 7-3 in ODAC play in 2013) looks to make it 11 titles in the last 12 years and 2013 ODAC Coach of the Year Brooke O’Brien returns three all-conference players to help reach that goal. Defender Leanne Stone (57 ground balls, 25 caused turnovers) earned IWLCA Third Team All-American laurels last season.  She and Olive Waxter (25 GB, 23 CT) return to lead the Generals’ defense after collecting All-ODAC First Team and All-ODAC Second Team accolades, respectively. Also returning for W&L is second team midfielder Meade Brewster (37 goals, 7 assists, 36 ground balls, 72 draw controls, 21 caused turnovers), who looks to continue her potent two-way play.

Guilford (15-2, 10-0) placed seven players on all-conference teams in 2013 and six return this year in search of another undefeated regular season in league play. Four first team honorees are back, including reigning ODAC Player of the Year, attacker E’Leyna Garcia. Garcia led the conference with 114 points thanks in large part to a NCAA Division III-best 99 goals.  She also racked up 15 assist and 74 draw controls. Fellow All-ODAC First team attack Lily Colley (55 GB) notched second-best ODAC marks in points (111), goals (72), and assists (39). Midfielders Eleanora Keene (48 G, 67 GB, 113 DC, 31 CT) and Becca Colley (33 G, 54 GB, 23 CT) garnered first team and third team honors, respectively. Defenders Summer Fowler (44 GB, 20 CT) and Celine De Perlinghi (29 GB, 14 CT) return to the back line after earning first team and third team accolades a season ago.

Shenandoah (12-5, 8-2) experienced quick success in its first season under the ODAC banner in 2013.  Four all-conference players are back for a run at a second straight ODAC championship game appearance.  Midfielder Samantha Sisson led SU in goals (51), assists (26; tied for fourth in the ODAC), points (77), ground balls (57), draw controls (63) and caused turnovers (30) after earning first team honors last year. Sisson is joined in the midfield by All-ODAC Second Team honoree Liz Bereit (31 G, 18 A, 29 GB, 33 DC, 17 CT). Controlling the backline is goalkeeper Ashley Cross, who registered the best goals-against-average in the league at 8.95 and stopped 130 shots en route to collecting second team honors. Defender Erin Oliver (17 GB, 9 CT) was also tabbed to the second team.

Roanoke (9-8, 8-2) enjoys the return of two first teamers to Salem this spring. The Maroons’ potent offense will be spearheaded by attacker Allison Bonanno, who was third in the conference in points with 106 on 37 goals and a league best 69 assists. Midfielder Darragh Evarts (17 A, 40 GB, 104 DC, 22 CT) netted 71 goals (5 game winners) on the way to earning IWLCA Third Team All-American honors. Lauren Curtin is back between the pipes after registering 121 saves last year.

Lynchburg (9-8, 6-4) also returns a handful of all-conference performers, with a pair of first teamers in tow. Reigning ODAC Rookie of the Year Katherine Francis collected first team honors at the midfield position after leading the Hornets in goals (43), draw controls (56) and caused turnovers (26). Helping to control the Hornets’ defensive unit is first teamer Brianna Lamarca (29 GB, 20 CT). Also back is attacker Bri Slate (35 G, 5 A, 15 GB), who was tabbed to the second team.

Randolph-Macon (12-6, 6-4) and Virginia Wesleyan (4-12, 3-7) both welcome a new coach and return one all conference player this season. MK Geratowski takes over the reins at R-MC and will turn to attacker Betsy Hebert, who was tabbed to the third team after notching 21 goals and 21 assists to lead the Yellow Jackets. Joining Hebert on attack are sophomores Katie Russo and Shannon Jamieson, who combined for 77 points and 60 goals. VWC opens a new chapter for its program under former Marlin All-American Meagan DiCave as head coach.  DiCave returns first teamer Amari Agee (10 G, 40 GB 21 CT), who led the Marlins defense a season ago. Brooke Cabeceiras (22 G, 30 GB), Carla Williams (17 G, 4 A, 34 GB, 21 DC) and Kelly Jacobson (13 G, 7 A, 47 GB, 29 CT) also return to VWC at the midfield position.

Bridgewater (6-10, 4-6) is also under new leadership this year as Danielle Hawkins will guide the Eagles. Hawkins will look to second team defender Caroline Augsberger (24 GB, 25 DC, 18 CT) to lead the way. Midfielder Paige Hennessy is also back after notching 19 goals and 10 assists.

Randolph (4-11, 1-9), Sweet Briar (8-9, 2-8) and Hollins (1-12, 0-10) all return a plethora of talent to their squads this season. Defender Taylor Klevenz registered 33 goals, 26 assists (tied for fourth best total in the league with SU’s Sisson) and 54 draw controls for the WildCats last season. SBC's new head coach Hayley Engster returns to the ODAC after playing for four years at Lynchburg College (2003-2007). Engster welcomes back attacker Kimberly Orchowski, who netted 12 tallies and dished out 28 assists (3rd best output in the ODAC in 2013). Hollins returns its top goal scorer in Chanci Wright (10 G, 29 GB, 28 DC, 24 CT), while Corrine Nicholson is back to direct Hollins defense after stopping 132 shots (tied for fourth best number in the league) in 2013.

The 2014 women's lacrosse season begins on Saturday, February 15.  For more information on ODAC women's lacrosse, visit any of the participating schools’ websites or go to the ODAC’s home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com.  Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter.

(#) Denotes first place votes

1. Washington and Lee (6) 95 pts.
2. Guilford (4) 88 pts.
3. Shenandoah 82 pts.
4. Roanoke (1) 78 pts.
5. Lynchburg 64 pts.
6. Randolph-Macon 58 pts.
7. Virginia Wesleyan 42 pts.
8. Bridgewater 41 pts.
9. Randolph 24 pts.
10. Sweet Briar 23 pts.
11. Hollins 10 pts.