Women’s lacrosse ranks No. 4 in Division III due to run of success against tough teams

The W&L women’s lacrosse team has propelled itself up the rankings with recent wins

Elly Cosgrove

The Washington and Lee women’s lacrosse team has propelled itself to a No. 4 national ranking after huge wins over top-ranked teams.

The Generals have bested top teams such as Catholic University who was ranked No. 5 in the nation before their game against Washington and Lee.   

W&L entered their game against Catholic as the eighth ranked team in the nation.  Attacker Cordelia Peters, ‘19, opened the contest with two out of the first three goals, all within roughly the first four minutes of the game.

“We knew it was going to be a tough, close game and so being able to score the first few goals was huge for us,” Peters said.

The Generals surged ahead of the Cardinals and defeated them 18–3 with eight different players contributing goals.  The team did not expect to beat the strong program by such a large margin.

“It was kind of surprising because we expected it to be a lot closer than it was and throughout the whole game felt a lot closer than it was,” Goalie Elliot Gilbert, ‘20, said. “We took the lead early in the game, but it never really felt like a blow out, because the intensity never dropped.”

This is not the first success that the team has had against top ten ranked competition.  The women also captured a win over No. 7 Salisbury early in the season and No. 4 Franklin & Marshall.  These rankings have changed as the season has progressed.

According to Peters, the win over Catholic has made the team optimistic about their chances in the post-season.

“We’ve played consistently well against top ranked teams,” Peters said, “but beating Catholic by such a large margin was huge sign of how much potential we really have.”

One of the many goals the Generals have been talking about since the fall is making it to the final four.  According to Gilbert, the team is now realizing that this goal now seems very achievable.

The Generals traveled all the way to Washington D.C. to play the Cardinals on March 18.  However, the Generals have now transitioned into ODAC play and are competing closer to home.

“It hasn’t really made a difference for me,” Gilbert said.  “We had overnights when we were playing those further away games which are fun, but it is also nice just to be able to just get on the bus and go and come back in the same day.”

The women’s lacrosse team currently remains undefeated in the ODAC.  In the short term, the team hopes to win the ODAC championship and focus on each game one at a time.

“We are looking at it game by game and trying to take each game as seriously as the next,” Gilbert said, “because it only takes one loss to hurt our ranking. I think we are trying to keep the same intensity in practices that we had when we were playing nonconference, stronger teams.”

The Generals’ next home contest is Apr. 15 against Randolph Macon.  After that, NCAA Playoffs and the team’s hope at a long postseason are just around the corner, as the tournament starts on May 15.