The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Lacrosse teams mirror success ahead of playoffs

Each with 10-3 records, the W&L women’s and men’s lacrosse teams keep up their winning streaks
Photo courtesy of Generals Athletics

With winter term wrapping up, both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams have been excelling this season. Both teams are fired up, and playing hard to reach the National Championships.

Women’s Lacrosse

Women’s lacrosse continues a strong nine-game win streak after a tight 11-9 win against Old Dominion Athletic Conference foe Roanoke College at home.

Many players have had the opportunity to shine this season and help the team keep a good pace with conference playoffs on the horizon. This includes Sophie Edwards, ’26, and Libby Ford, ’25, who were named offensive and defensive players of the week, respectively, coming off a crushing 16-9 win against The College of New Jersey on March 30.

Throughout this season, the women’s lacrosse team has swept many ODAC weekly awards. The team started with a tough matchup against multiple top-10 teams. Caroline Kranich, senior goalkeeper and co-captain, highlights that these matchups got the team off to a resilient start.

“We started the season with a few close losses. It’s never fun to lose so that was definitely tough for us as a team, but I think we learned a lot from those losses about ways to improve our lacrosse game, but also how to improve mentally and be resilient whenever we are in difficult games,” she said.

The team culture and community drive the success of the team, said Head Coach Maddie Coleman and Kranich.

“We have a lot of strong leaders all over the field – not just the captains and not just seniors – which has been really important to our success this season. A lot of people have stepped up and taken on important roles for us all over the field and on the sideline, too. Having nine seniors who are all really talented and knowledgeable about the game has definitely been an asset to us this season,” said Coleman.

Kranich said the team is taking the days one by one and putting in the effort to “win every day” by showing up to practice and putting in 100% of their efforts.

Coleman said she is proud of her team for “buying-in” to the process of success. She appreciates the day-by-day process trust and the work the team has put in to come together to be better every day.

“We’ve taken really big steps forward from the beginning of the season to get us ready for our conference schedule and championships such as NCAA. Every game we have taken big steps forward,” she said. “The team has really come together chemistry-wise. Everyone supports and pushes one another. It is a great environment…They are hungry to win and get better… We want to win a National Championship and compete for it.”

Kranich echoed, “While we want to win, I think success for us is having fun, enjoying being with each other and being intentional and focused on getting better each time we step on the field.”

Men’s Lacrosse

The men’s lacrosse team is currently on a six-game win streak. They faced ODAC rival No. 11 University of Lynchburg on Saturday, taking a close 10-9 win on the road. Similarly to the women, the men’s team has seen some new faces making big impacts this season.

James Haley, ’26, earned his second ODAC Player of the Week award following the win. Face-off specialist Tyler Spano, ’27, also received a National Player of the Week accolade from USA Lacrosse as the DIII player of the week for his performance in the team win against Gettysburg on March 9.

The team currently sits at No. 8 in rankings by both the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and Inside Lacrosse.

“This team plays one of the most competitive schedules in the country, and we have had some really challenging road games with two tough conference wins recently. While we are certainly pleased with where we are at. This team is really hungry for success and the conference plays down the path,” said Head Coach Gene McCabe.

The team has great leaders and a great culture that helps push the players to be better players and people every day, Spano said.

“Our captains set the example of what it means to be a leader on the field and a great man off the field,” said Spano. “Our team culture is incredibly strong, and we constantly reevaluate and look to improve it. When a team looks out for and cares about each other, it shows up on the field. We understand that a strong culture is what separates the good teams from the great.”

The team has not had an easy start to the season. Three defensive starters have had serious injuries.

“I’m really proud of this team for its resilience, especially with the injuries…players have really stepped up and taken on those roles and done extremely well. It speaks volumes of a team’s depth and resilience in our ability to keep moving forward and not let these situations bother us,” said McCabe.

McCabe said his team is playing well in all phases of the game. Each player is stepping up and coming to practice with the right mindset, he said.

“We’re a really well-rounded team. Our Defense is a powerhouse, our offense is one of the best in the nation. I’ve been really happy to see the success and growth of our goalie play in particular,” he said.

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