Women’s water polo wins the weekend against MAAC and Philly rivals


Mia Mattingly, Staff

La Salle Water Polo

In a string of home games, La Salle’s water polo team went two for three in play for the weekend, edging out teams such as Iona and Villanova, while losing to MAAC conference leader and nationally ranked Wagner. This weekend also allowed the Explorers to yet again start another winning streak this season, with their longest win streak being 12 games, a record for the program in its five year history.

The first game of the weekend was Saturday afternoon against nationally ranked  number 15 Wagner, where La Salle fell 21-11, but several Explorers saw goals throughout the four quarters, such as Shanna Zuanich, Jaycee Morris, Francesca Co, Kalista Hyham, Hannah Woren, Tatum Lomax, Sarah Defusco and Sophia Boettner. Both of the team’s goalies, Emma Gurasich and Caitlin Valentine, spent time in the goal and together totaled eight saves across the game. 

Later that evening, the team hopped back into Kirk pool to take on Iona, a team they had beaten twice before already that season, 14-11 and 15-14, respectively. La Salle pulled ahead at the beginning by two, but the game continued to go back and forth with both the Gaels and the Explorers, both trading leads on different occasions. It was Defusco’s goal on a man up for the Explorers in the last minute of the game that allowed the team to secure the lead for the rest of the game and Hyham’s goal in the last seconds of the game to ensure the win. The Gaels did have an impressive buzzer beater goal, but that was not enough in the end, with the final score being 17-16. 

The final game of the weekend was an early afternoon game against Villanova, who are not only rivals for the water polo team, but for the school as well. A win against Villanova is always a big deal on campus and the water polo team was able to pull it off successfully. The game was most definitely an intense one, with the scores being relatively close and only within two goals for a majority of the game. However, the Explorers going 4-1 in the last quarter solidified the final win of the weekend for the team against the Wildcats. In an impressive fashion, Co’ and Hyham both scored five goals apiece, meaning that the two combined totaled for 10 of the 12 goals, with the final score of the game being 12-9. 

It is also worth noting that this weekend helped Hyham reach a total of 16 points for the weekend and 13 goals, which was enough to earn her a nomination for the NovaCare student athlete of the week, while also breaking the season record for amount of goals scored by reaching 99 goals on the season.   

The team is now on a two game winning streak, which they look to extend this weekend when they play Philly rivals Villanova yet again at Villanova at 5 p.m. Friday and then Virginia Military Institute at 10 a.m. for the final home and conference game of the season. 

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