Washington and Lee Men’s Soccer make history on the pitch
LEXINGTON, Va. (WFXR) – For the first time in the program’s history, Washington and Lee’s men’s football is ranked number one in the country. While this is an accomplishment worth celebrating, generals aren’t happy to be at the top. “Every year so far we’ve never had a start like this. The start of the season is always the toughest, coming back, trying to make sure everyone is sharp, ”said senior center-back Jack Rawlings.
The Generals looked sharp in the first half of the men’s soccer season. In eight games, Washington and Lee compiled a record of seven wins and one draw. The efforts resulted in a program first… a number one ranking from both the United Soccer Coaches poll and D3 Soccer.com. “It’s just focusing on ourselves. I don’t think we expected to be here ourselves, but because we just worked and tried to improve day after day game after game. It was mainly us being ourselves. There was no secret to it, ”said senior midfielder Michael Kutsanzira.
Head coach Michael Singleton said a shortened timeline in the event of a pandemic in the spring led the generals to pay more attention to detail and gain a new appreciation for the sport. “Trying to make sure they left the pandemic by being a better player. And that’s one of the things we talked about as a team. They can take games away from us, but that can’t stop each of us from improving individually at what we do… now they appreciate it more. I think just putting more value on him is a very important thing to how they performed this fall, ”Singleton said.
While W&L are proud of their rise in the national rankings, the Generals know that their place at the top is not guaranteed.
Rawlins: It’s a moment in time we should be proud of, but it’s a moment in time. It doesn’t reflect the rest of the season. This does not reflect anything for the future. We are proud of it but we know that we have a lot to prove and that we must continue to work hard every day. “In ten weeks, if we are still number one, we will be extremely happy but we have to realize that this is the start of the season. We are halfway there. It’s something we should be proud of… the work so far, but with the extra goals on our backs right now and the people coming to shoot us in every game we play, we really need to make sure that we’re performing better than ever, ”says Singleton.
The generals will be tested on Friday when they host Lynchburg in a massive ODAC battle. Washington and Lee needed a double overtime earlier this season to beat the Hornets 2-1.