SALEM, VA – The third-seeded Lynchburg College men's lacrosse team scored six goals in a row to start the second half, and defeated second-seeded Washington and Lee University 12-9 in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) semifinal matchup. With the win, the Hornets advance to the ODAC Championship game on Sunday at Roanoke College against Hampden-Sydney College.
The Hornets started off quickly, registering a shot off the opening faceoff win. LC retained possession and took a few more before Campbell Armstrong finally put one in at 13:39. Lynchburg took advantage of a W&L turnover, and Hunter Thompson successfully cleared the ball. He hit Austin Stewart with a pass, and Stewart connected for the Hornets to go up 2-0. The Generals then held onto the ball for nearly five minutes, temporarily interrupted by a failed LC clear attempt, but Washington and Lee could not get past the Hornets defense. Aaron Murphy hit David Alyanakian on the ensuing possession and he fired a shot in the back of the net from distance.
W&L finally got on the board after Christian Zanetis scored off a rebound at 1:16. Washington and Lee got the ball back and scored again with 26 seconds left to cut the LC lead to 3-2.
Lynchburg opened up the second quarter with the ball but missed several shots before the Generals regained possession. Joe Wood tied the game off a pass from Garrett Paglia. W&L almost took the lead 10:02, but a goal was waved off because of an illegal screen. Washington and Lee did take the lead at 7:13, with Jack Reuter scoring the goal.
Zanetis then turned it over the next time he had the ball, and the Hornets capitalized on the other end, as Stewart scored his second to tie it up. Bobby Distler won the following faceoff, and Alyanakian hit Murphy to put LC back on top. Both teams then had several chances to add to their totals, but it was not until the 2:12 mark did Paglia tie the score back up at 5-5. The remaining opportunities went to Washington and Lee until Zanetis scored off a pass from Cameron Dabir with two seconds left to give W&L the 6-5 lead at the half.
It was a slow start after the intermission, but Armstrong finally picked up a ground ball and hit Tommy Kestermann streaking through the middle of the field. Kestermann got into the zone and fired in an unlikely goal from the defenseman at 11:06. Lynchburg took the lead back at 8:28 off a Chris Cornelius strike, with Murphy notching his second assist of the game. Three minutes later, Murphy continued his big game, scoring his second to give LC a two-goal cushion. W&L went on the man-up soon after, but Andrew Fawkes made an early save, allowing the Hornets to kill the penalty easily. Lynchburg pushed the advantage to three, as Stewart ripped a shot off the helper from Thomas Rodenhouse to complete his hat trick.
The Hornets continued their run in the fourth, as Chris Hower picked up the ground ball on the opening faceoff, passed it to Murphy, who hit Stewart only 16 seconds in to put the lead at 10-6. Armstrong added even more as he picked up a loose ball and scored at 12:23 to further the Generals deficit.
Cam Lewis finally ended the 20-minute goal drought and put the scoreboard at 11-7. Lewis then doubled his account at 4:40 to cut the deficit to three. Washington and Lee won the next faceoff, and Wood scored soon after, notching the score at 11-9. The Generals held onto the ball for several minutes, but after another Fawkes save, the Hornets wasted no time, and Murphy scored his third goal of the game at 1:17 to put the final stamp on the game.
Dabir notched two points and five ground balls in the loss for the Generals (11-6 overall). W&L was perfect on all 14 clear attempts and did not commit a single penalty. Washington and Lee outshot Lynchburg 55-34, but Fawkes made a career-high 20 saves to help preserve the win. Distler went 11-18 at the 'X', picking up a team-high four ground balls.
The Hornets (15-4) will play the Tigers who upset the top-seeded Roanoke Maroons in the first semifinal. The championship game will begin at 2 p.m. and live stats and video will be provided once again.