FOREST, Va. --- For the second straight season, 12-time defending conference champion Washington and Lee University returns nine starters to its roster that each earned All-ODAC recognition a season ago. That provides for the fuel for the Generals to yet again stand atop the ODAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll as we prepare for the 2023 campaign.
Washington and Lee collected 10 first place votes on the way to an even 100 points at the top of the table. Roanoke College, runner-up last year for the third straight season, garnered the remaining top nod to power an 89-point haul in second place. Shenandoah University rounds out the top-three with 82 markers.
In the following sections, we take a quick look back at last season and get a feel for what to expect for the upcoming women's lacrosse campaign.
2022 ODAC TOURNAMENT | BRACKET
- Washington and Lee and Roanoke met to determine the ODAC champion for the third time in as many seasons.
- The Generals, playing as the top seed, punched their ticket to the final with a 15-6 victory over #4 Lynchburg in the semifinals.
- The Maroons, the seven-team bracket's #2 seed and owner a bye through to the semifinals like W&L, posted a 13-7 triumph over #3 Shenandoah to secure its spot in the title game.
- Playing on Watt Field in Lexington, W&L scored four times in the opening frame to take a 4-1 lead after the first 15 minutes of action.
- Roanoke's Lilly Blair scored twice to make it 4-3 W&L with 1:36 to go in the half, but Hanna Bishop added two more for the Generals before the break for a 6-3 advantage after 30 minutes.
- W&L scored the only two goals of the third quarter and then out-scored Roanoke, 3-2, in the final period to lift the ODAC trophy with an 11-5 result.
- The win marked W&L's 12th straight and record 22nd overall conference crown.
2022 NCAA DIVISION III TOURNAMENT
- Nationally fifth-ranked Washington and Lee, owners of the ODAC's automatic bid to the NCAA's field of 46 teams, was joined Roanoke as an at-large selection.
- The Maroons traveled to Gettysburg College for early round play and promptly dispatched Bryn Athyn, 23-4, in the first round; in round two, RC met the host Bullets and gave nationally fourth-ranked Gettysburg all it could handle; the Maroons owned a 6-3 lead at halftime, but a second-half charge from GC forced overtime; Gettysburg scored 3:20 into the extra frame to post a 9-8 victory.
- Washington and Lee was tapped to host first and second round play and earned a bye into the second round; the Generals met Transylvania University in the round two and trounced the Pioneers via a 21-0 shutout.
- Gettsyburg would again host an ODAC team with W&L traveling to Pennsylvania in the round of 16; W&L met 12th-ranked Wesleyan University (Conn.); a tight match ensued with the Generals posting a 13-11 victory to move on to the quarterfinals; they met the host Bullets for a spot in the final four and Salem on the line; W&L looked strong in the opening frame, taking a 2-1 advantage to the second quarter, but Gettysburg flipped the script and scores four times to take a 5-3 lead into halftime; only four goals were scored in the second half and Gettysburg netted three of them on the way to an 8-4 victory.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING NATIONALLY ENTERING 2023
- ILWomen/IWLCA Division III Preseason Poll: Two ODAC schools featured in the top-25 preseason poll published by the IWLCA and partner ILWomen; Washington and Lee is slotted eighth in the country, while Roanoke caps the official listing as the 25th-ranked team; defending national champion Middlebury College sits #1 after collecting 36-of-37 first place votes.
- Nike/USA Lacrosse Division III Women's Preseason Top-20: Washington and Lee features in this survey as well, but Roanoke was not among those earning a second billing; the Generals are ranked ninth by Nike/USA Lacrosse; defending champs Middlebury top the table.
- USA Lacrosse Magazine Division III Women's Preseason All-Americans: four players from ODAC squads have earned preseason All-America distinction from USA Lacrosse Magazine; W&L defender Eugenie Rovegno - the 2022 ODAC Defensive Player of the Year - attacker Allie Schwab both garnered First Team assignments, while Generals attack Hanna Bishop collected Third Team laurels; Roanoke attacker Lilly Blair - the 2022 ODAC Offensive Player of the Year - earned an Honorable Menton spot.
WELCOME TO THE ODAC!
- Averett University became the 15th full-time member of the ODAC on July 1 and begin its first season of ODAC women's lacrosse this spring; the Cougars previously played out of the USA South Athletic Conference.
- Longtime Averett assistant coach Erin Murphy is in her first season as head coach of the Cougars program; she was the first assistant coach for the program when Averett returned women's lacrosse to its sports sponsorship portfolio in 2017-18.
- Averett posted a 12-5 overall record in 2022 including an 8-2 mark in the USA South table; the Cougars won a USA South first round game against Huntingdon College (17-7), but saw their season come to a close in the semifinals with a loss to Southern Virginia (15-6).
- The Cougars welcome back four of their five All-USA South selections from last season; attacker Elizabeth Peasley was a first team choice, while midfielder Faith Bowlin as a second team pick and the USA South Rookie of the Year; defender Kelsey Steckroth and goalkeeper Kaylee Jobon were third team selections.
RETURNING STATISTICAL LEADERS
The athletes listed below represent the top-three returning statistical leaders for each category from the 2021 spring season.
Save Pct./GAA Minimums | 33% of team goalkeeper minutes played
- Points | 90 - Lilly Blair (RC); 85 - Emma Stiffler (SU); 79 - Reilly Cisar (SU)
- Goals | 71 - Lilly Blair (RC); 58 - Reilly Cisar (SU); 56 - Hanna Bishop (W&L)
- Assists | 41 - Emma Stiffler (SU); 37 - Allie Schwab (W&L); 22 - Aunnie Hacker (BC)/Logan Schweiger (RMC)
- Draw Controls | 114 - Sophia Chickering (RC); 96 - Lauren Roberts (BC); 89 - Eugenie Rovegno (W&L)
- Ground Balls | 56 - Patricia Rogers (LYN); 52 - Erin Reynolds (FC); 51 - Zenna Carson (GC)/Eugenie Rovegno (W&L)
- Caused Turnovers | 32 - Addison Schmidt (RC); 31 - Natalie Mason (RC)/Eugenie Rovegno (W&L)
- GK Minutes Played | 1026:13 - Caroline Kranich (W&L); 1024:22 - Kyleigh Chickering (RC); 1019:58 - Rachael Robinson (BC)
- GK Saves | 176 - Zenna Carson (GC)/Rachael Robinson (BC); 163 - Patricia Rogers (LYN)
- Save Pct. | .481 - Patricia Rogers (LYN); .453 - Caroline Kranich (W&L); .452 - Kyleigh Chickering (RC)
- Goals Against Avg. | 6.14 - Caroline Kranich (W&L); 8.02 - Kyleigh Chickering (RC); 11.39 - Patricia Rogers (LYN)
RETURNING ALL-ODAC TALENT | 2022 ALL-ODAC WOMEN'S LACROSSE AWARDS
Last year, 27 All-ODAC honorees returned to league rosters. This season, that number is higher with 29-of-39 all-conference stars from 2022 set to return in 2023. Washington and Lee leads the list with new head coach Maddie Coleman benefitting from nine All-ODAC standouts including three first teamers. That haul includes reigning ODAC Defensive Player of the Year Eugenie Rovegno.
Roanoke and Shenandoah each return six all-conference athletes. The Maroons are happy to have one more season with Lilly Blair leading the front line after earning ODAC Offensive Player of the Year and ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year accolades. Randolph-Macon features four returning award winners including attacker Rianna Lowery, last year's ODAC Rookie of the Year.
- Lilly Blair, RC -- All-ODAC First Team (Offensive POY/Scholar-Athlete)
- Emma Stiffler, SU -- All-ODAC First Team
- Hanna Bishop, W&L -- All-ODAC First Team
- Allie Schwab, W&L -- All-ODAC First Team
- Annie Bartley, R-MC -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Libby Bowman, RC -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Reilly Cisar, SU -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Lauren Roberts, BC -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Emily Onortato, SU -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Rianna Lowery, R-MC -- All-ODAC Third Team (ROY)
- Julia Thomson, W&L -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Madison Re, SU -- All-ODAC First Team
- Sydney Harrison, RC -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Emily Lerch, SU -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Jenny Lisovicz, W&L -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Kaity Petersheim, BC -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Alla Daniel, LYN -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Walker McKnight, W&L -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Italia Carnazza, R-MC -- All-ODAC First Team
- Addison Schmidt, RC -- All-ODAC First Team
- Eugenie Rovegno, W&L -- All-ODAC First Team
- Natalie Mason, RC -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Julianna Fohner, SU -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Sam Van Belle, W&L -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Rachel Gigson, R-MC -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Allie Doyle, W&L -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Patricia Rogers, LYN -- All-ODAC First Team
- Kyleigh Chickering, RC -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Caroline Kranich, W&L -- All-ODAC Third Team
ODAC HEAD COACHES
Some of the best coaches in the business lead ODAC teams in all sports. Below we take a look at the career records and tenures for the league's men's lacrosse coaches entering the 2023 campaign.
- Erin Murphy (AU) -- First Season as a Collegiate Head Coach
- Ashley Hughes (BC) -- Overall: 77-100 (.435) in 12 years | at BC: 5-12 (.294) in 1 year
- Karen Harvey (FC) -- Overall: 120-111-1 (.519) in 16 years | at FC: 120-111-1 (.519) in 16 years
- Jordan Bowers (GC) -- Overall: 62-66 (.484) in eight years | at GC: First Season
- Bruce Reid (LYN) -- Overall: 175-144 (.549) in 20 years | at LYN: 175-144 (.549) in 20 years
- 1x ODAC COY (2010)
- Bernadette Connor (RAND) -- Overall: 7-18 (.280) in 2 years | at RAND: 7-18 (.280) in 2 years
- MK Geratowski (RMC) -- Overall: 87-60 (.592) in 9 years | at RMC: 87-60 (.592) in 9 years
- 1x ODAC COY (2015)
- Erica Brown (RC) -- Overall: 108-97 (.527) in 12 years | at RC: First Season
- Lindsey Lutz (SU) -- Overall: 131-98 (.572) in 14 years | at SU: 131-98 (.572) in 14 years
- Nicole DeSalvia (VWU) -- Overall: 21-32 (.396) in 4 years | at VWU: 11-27 (.289) in 3 years
- Maddie Coleman (W&L) -- First Season as a Collegiate Head Coach
THE SCHEDULE AND TOURNAMENT
- ODAC teams are slated to play an 8-game unbalanced league schedule; the maximum number of games a team can play overall is 18.
- The first regular season games are set for the weekend of February 17-19.
- The first ODAC game of the season will be played on March 1 when Washington and Lee travels to Ferrum.
- The 2023 ODAC Women's Lacrosse Tournament features eight teams and will be competed over four rounds in a new format:
- First Round: Saturday, April 29 -- #8 at #5 and #7 at #6
- Quarterfinals: Tuesday, May 2 -- Winner of 5/8 at #4 and Winner of 6/7 at #3
- Semifinals: Friday, May 5 -- Winner of 4/5/8 at #1 and Winner of 3/6/7 at #2
- Championship: Sunday, May 7 -- Semifinal Winners at Highest Remaining Seed
- The selections for the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament will be announced on Monday, May 9.
- Salem and Roanoke College will play host to the national semifinals and championship; Kerr Stadium will be the venue for those games on May 27 and 29.
Listed below is the 2023 ODAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll. For more information on ODAC women's lacrosse, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, 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 and Instagram.
2023 ODAC WOMEN'S LACROSSE COACHES POLL
|(#) Denotes First Place Votes|
|1. Washington and Lee University (10)||100 pts.|
|2. Roanoke College (1)||89 pts.|
|3. Shenandoah University||82 pts.|
|4. University of Lynchburg||70 pts.|
|5. Randolph-Macon College||67 pts.|
|6. Virginia Wesleyan University||55 pts.|
|7. Bridgewater College||45 pts.|
|8. Averett University||33 pts.|
|9. Ferrum College||32 pts.|
|10. Randolph College||17 pts.|
|11. Guilford College||15 pts.|