Gaels Down The Girls In Season Opener: La Salle Women’s Lacrosse Week In Review 2/14/23


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

The final from Iona’s Mazzella Field. (courtesy of lasallelacrosse)

Before I start writing this article, let me preface that as one of the La Salle Collegian’s sports editors, I know very little about the game of lacrosse and the overall scope of NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse.  What I do know is that once both La Salle’s women’s and men’s basketball teams cap off their seasons in early April by hoisting national championship trophies, I’m going to need something to write about for the remaining two months of our spring semester.  That is where I find myself attempting to write about lacrosse, a sport I have never played, cared about, or even watched until about two years ago.  Thankfully, my dedication to our university’s athletics is unwavering, so prepare to read some absolute garbage in my attempt to shine a light on a sport that I am fairly certain is only played in the northeast of the United States.  Now enough of my nonsense.  On to the real article.

For the second season in a row, the La Salle women’s lacrosse team opened their season with a contest against the Iona Gaels of the MAAC.  While last year’s game took place within the confines of cozy Olney, Pennsylvania, this year’s matchup was staged in lovely New Rochelle, New York (I never have and never will go there), on Iona’s very own Mazzella Field (it looked nice in the pictures).  Last season’s opener ended with the Explorers winning a thrilling 14-13 battle, so hopes were high for this year’s edition to pack the same amount of quality entertainment.

Julia Dellaratta was a brick wall last year in net for the Explorers. (courtesy of lasallelacrosse)

The Explorers kicked their new campaign off on Saturday, Feb 11th, with a slow start.  Iona opened the game with two early goals in the 1st Qtr, forcing La Salle to come up with an early response.  Luckily, Maddie Henderson was up to the task.  Just two minutes after Iona established their two-goal lead, Henderson cooked the Gaels defense to score a goal that would cut the lead in half.  Minutes later, Henderson found herself a free position opportunity that she would convert to even the game at deuces.  Iona would close out the initial period with three unanswered goals.  The 2nd Qtr was also a bit of a sleeper until Alana Lathan got herself on board with a goal that would cut the Gaels lead to 5-3 going into halftime.  If Lathan’s goal was the meat of the sandwich, the bread would be another 3-0 Iona run that would be used to establish a daunting 8-3 lead for the home team midway through the 3rd Qtr.  Needing some goals to get back into the game, La Salle dug deep and began cooking up a run with dreams of saving their season opener.  Claudia Steinmetz got the ball rolling with a free position score to trim the lead to four, and, two minutes later, Tori Rolon got her own look from the free position to bring the game within three.  An Iona goal looked to have halted the Explorers rally, but Lathan was back at it just a minute later, catching a peach from Ellen Stickney in traffic and firing home a shot to make the score 9-6 heading into the final period of play.  Stickney would continue the La Salle run with a laser beam on her free position attempt, while Mackenzie Click would tack on another goal from the free position to cap off a 5-1 Explorers run that had the scoreboard reading 9-8 Gaels with 11:45 left to play in the 4th Qtr.  The bad news: La Salle couldn’t get anything going for the rest of the game.  Iona answered with a goal three minutes after Click’s effort to extend the lead to two and a late Gael’s goal left the Explorers settling for an 11-8 loss in their season opener and moving to 0-1 on the year.

Maddie Henderson grilling the opposing defense to the tune of two goal and an assist. (courtesy of

Henderson led the team in points with 3 (2 goals, 1 assist), Rolon got the most shots with 4 (all on target), and Sara Grassi secured the most ground balls with 4.  Starting keeper Julia Dellaratta put up 9 saves against 20 shots on goal, good for a 45% save percentage.

This upcoming week, La Salle gets back on the road on Saturday, Feb 18th, against the Ivy League’s Penn Quakers.  The two sides will face off at Penn’s Franklin Field (have been there, took some nice pictures), where the two squads met last season when the Quakers walked away with a 16-11 victory in front of their home crowd.  The Explorers look to exact revenge on their local rival at 1PM EST in what will be Penn’s season opener.  The game will be streamed on ESPN+.  Expect me to know even less about lacrosse by the time I cover that game.

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