BUENA VISTA, Va. — The Southern Virginia University women's lacrosse team graduates a program-high nine athletes who have contributed to the program's uprising while paving a road for future athletes to follow in their footsteps.
"The 2020 senior class has left a lasting impact on our program at Southern Virginia," said head coach Rainey Whitworth. "Our success this year was a direct result of the weight they carried for this team, and I could not have asked for more. Their commitment, dedication and hard work have led Southern Virginia Women's Lacrosse to where it stands today. We cannot wait to see all they will accomplish in their future endeavors."
The Knights ended the shortened season with an overall 6-0 record, which ties a program record for the longest winning streak while outscoring their opponents 115-35. The Southern Virginia offense shined, finishing fifth in the nation for scoring offense averaging 19.17 goals per game while finishing sixth in the nation in total goals scored with 115.
Southern Virginia Women's Lacrosse Seniors
Maddie Higginbotham joined the team back in 2014 before serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Since returning to the team, Higginbotham has appeared in 16 games, starting two while scoring a goal in the Knights 19-1 victory over Salem.
Allie Moss played in 34 games for the Knights starting five games. Moss is a three-time CAC All-Academic Team member while being named to the Spring Provost's List in 2018 and the IWLCA Honor Roll in 2019.
Ellie Johnson played in 31 games for Southern Virginia, starting ten games. As a defender, Johnson picked up eight ground balls and caused five turnovers. The Northboro, Massachusetts native, is a three-time CAC All-Academic Team member and was named to the 2018 Spring Provost's List while also receiving an IWLCA Honor Roll recognition in 2019.
Sydney Winterton appeared in 37 games for the Knights, starting 15 games in her career. Winterton scored 15 career goals while dishing out 19 assists at the attack position. Winterton picked up 21 ground balls while causing six turnovers and leaves with a 75.7 shot on goal percentage. The Charlottesville, Virginia native is a three-time CAC All-Academic Team member while being named to the 2018 Spring President's List.
Kelsey Ray played and started in 31 games for Southern Virginia in three seasons while collecting 14 points in the form of 12 goals and two assists. As a defender, Ray picked up 36 ground balls and forced 26 turnovers. In 2018, Ray was named to the CAC All-Academic team and earned an IWLCA Honor Roll recognition.
Jesse Call appeared in 28 games for Southern Virginia, starting 14. Call recorded eight career goals while dishing out one assist. Defensively, Call forced 13 turnovers while collecting 18 ground balls. In 2019, the Riverton, Utah native, was named to the CAC All-Academic Team and was named to the IWLCA Honor Roll.
Madilyn K. Pedroza played in 46 games for the Knights, starting 40 games while recording over 2,000 minutes in goal. Pedroza recorded 256 saves while adding 18 wins in goal and will graduate as Southern Virginia's all-time saves leader. Pedroza played a key role in the program's first winning season last year while anchoring the defense this year in the program's 6-0 overall record.
Hannah King played in 36 games, starting 33 after transferring from Adam's State University in 2017. As a midfielder, King recorded 95 points in the form of 71 goals and 24 assists while shooting 44.9 percent in her career. King picked up 79 ground balls and forced 44 turnovers while bringing in 145 draw controls. King scored a career-high six goals against Greensboro in 2018.
Lauren Thatcher played in 47 games while starting 45 at Southern Virginia. Thatcher recorded 120 career points in the form of 74 goals and 46 assists while shooting 37.2 percent while scoring a career-high five goals in the 18-9 victory over Hollins in 2017. Defensively, Thatcher picked up 120 ground balls, forced 30 turnovers, and brought in 29 draw controls. The Fredericksburg, Virginia native graduates second all-time in points with 120 behind Zoe Bradshaw's record of 141 in 2017.