Most of us have heard of the story Charlotte’s Web.
On a windy and wet Mother’s Day Sunday afternoon at Kinsley Field on the campus of York College, the Washington and Lee women’s lacrosse team was introduced to another story — Charlotte’s Wall.
A day after the Generals scored 27 goals in a victory over Cabrini College in the first round of the NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse playoffs, the visitors had no luck finding the net behind York College goaltender Charlotte Wright. The recently graduated Wright stoned the W&L attack at every turn in the first half, helping York build a five-goal lead by intermission.
By the time the Generals were able to finally get one past Wright, it was much too late. York scored the contest’s first 10 goals before W&L finally broke through with 11 minutes, 20 seconds left. While the Generals would score two times after that, it was not nearly enough. The Spartans claimed an impressive 10-3 triumph.
York, ranked No. 5 nationally, improved to 14-4. The Spartans will take on Catholic in the third round of the tournament next Saturday at a time and location to be determined. Catholic defeated host Rowan, 14-11, Sunday afternoon in New Jersey.
“This team is just dangerous when we’re all-in,” York coach Jen Muston said. “And it’s really nice to see when we’re just all clicking on game day. We (the coaches) have just been challenging everyone at practice this past week just to make sure that everyone was firing on all cylinders.”
Wright was especially impressive for York. Her ability to shut down a potent W&L attack seemed to get into the heads of the Generals players, as evidenced by the visitors failing to shoot the ball on nearly all of the free-position opportunities they received.
“I do think that we got in their heads right away since we scored those first two goals,” said Wright, who finished with 11 saves. “And (the defense) was just making stops, so I think they were a little taken aback and didn’t know quite what to do.”
The York goalie also heaped a lot of credit on Muston and her coaches for drawing up a solid game plan. While many of Wright’s teammates were able to watch the W&L/Cabrini game Saturday at Kinsley Field, the Spartan senior was too busy with her own graduation to attend.
“I was at graduation so I couldn’t watch, but coach scouted them very hard,” Wright said. “So we knew their plays inside and out. To us, it was just like another day for us.”
Being mentally prepared figures to be a key for the Spartans as the postseason moves along. After the team’s nine-game winning-streak was snapped with a 12-11 loss in the Capital Athletic Conference semifinals against Mary Washington last weekend, Muston has been working on getting her team back on track.
“Washington and Lee is a great team, but we were ready to battle today,” Muston said. “When you get to this point in the season, the games are not easy. It’s hard. Everyone you play is coming after you and they are all great teams. But I think that we’re in a good place, the challenge is just to keep it there.”
While Wright is officially a graduate now, the Massapequa Park, New York, native isn’t quite ready to end her college days just yet.
“As a team we always say, ‘one more week,’” Wright said. “And after we won today we said ‘one more week.’ And after we win next weekend we’ll say it again. Let’s just never let this end. None of us want to go home.”
Meghan Fox, Melissa Meehling and Skye Slater each finished with two goals to lead the Spartans, while Devin Hursey tallied a team-best three assists to go with a goal in the triumph. The Spartans are now 5-0 all-time in home NCAA playoff games.
York is familiar with its next foe. The Spartans lost at Catholic 14-13 on Tuesday, March 27. Catholic (15-6) is ranked No. 15 in the nation in D-III.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.