After a very tough road loss to York over the weekend to start the season, Washington & Lee bounced back with a big 14-7 win over Christopher Newport on Wednesday night. While it didn’t feel like the momentum ever swayed back and forth too much, W&L was able to find some momentum in the second half and seal the deal.
The #12 ranked Generals were led on offense by Mike Weaver with 5 points (3G,2A). In addition, A.J. Witherell had 4 points (2G,2A) while Jack Hodgson had 2 goals on the night. Hodgson also gave the Generals a huge boost going 18-24 at the faceoff dot. The W&L defense had themselves a day with Jack Taylor making 8 saves off of 15 shots on cage. Out in front of Taylor John Broderick led the way with 3 caused turnovers while also scooping up 1 ground ball.
For the #14 ranked Captains were led on offense by Dylan Rice who tallied 2 goals, and Will Stockhausen put up 2 points (1G,1A). At the faceoff dot CNU struggled with Aidan FitzGerald going 7-20 and Phoenix Hines going 0-7. On the defensive end of the field Miles Collins helped lead the way with 1 caused turnover and 3 ground balls. Will Cogan and Max Wayne also contributed to the defense. In goal Scott McAneney was pretty good with 11 saves off of 25 shots on goal.
Alex Horgan would score pretty early on to give CNU a 1-0 lead with 12:06 in the first. It was a defensive battle for about six minutes after that with both squads going back and fourth. W&L started to heat up about halfway through the first as they went on a 4-goal run that lasted from the 6:50 to :32 mark. CNU got a very late goal with 3 seconds in the first.
Heading into the second quarter W&L held a 4-2 lead. That lead would quickly get trimmed to a one goal 4-3 lead after a CNU man-up goal from Lucas Barry early on in the 2nd. Again, W&L had a bigger answer with a 2-goal run midway through the second to stretch the lead back out to 6-3. During that run the Generals saw Walker Brown and Jack Hodgson score back to back goals in less than a minute. Dylan Rice answered for CNU just a few minutes later. To end the quarter A.J. Witherell found the back of the net with 3:50 to go in the half to out W&L up 7-4.
The Generals went into halftime with a ton of momentum on their side and while the Captains were trying to get back into the groove of things.’
Riding that momentum the Generals came out of the half firing as Mike Weaver continued the offensive success they had seen in the first half. A Stuart Greenspon goal followed to give W&L a daunting 9-4 lead over CNU. As the Captains were down they found momentum with some ball movement that led to a Will Stockhausen goal. Just a minute later CNU found the back of the net again by way of Brady Altobello. That goal cut it to just a 3-goal 9-6 W&L lead with 6:49 in the third.
W&L was able to come back as they went on a 3-goal run from the end of the third to to about midway in the fourth. The last goal in that run was a man-up goal from Ben Mullholland that seemed to take any wind left out of CNU’s sails. The Captains would get one more goal by way of Dylan Rice, but the Generals finished with two goals late in the fourth to seal the bounce back win.
The name of the game was the offensive efficiency from W&L and how many possessions they were able to have with that imbalance at the faceoff dot. CNU was able to make some really good runs but never could flip the switch completely and complete the comeback.
Both of these teams will be back in action on Saturday as W&L will travel to Denision while CNU will have their home opener against Colorado College.