Phillies are headed to the World Series 

Sports

Andrew Plunket, Staff

Courtesy of Los Angeles Times

For the first time since 2009, the Philadelphia Phillies are headed to the World Series. The Phillies defeated the San Diego Padres 4-3 in Game 5 of the NLCS to become the 2022 National League Champions. This win represents Philadelphia’s ninth overall pennant and its first since the 2009 season, ending a historic championship drought for the Phillies. 

The Phillies held an early lead against the Padres thanks to a two-run shot from first baseman Rhys Hoskins in the bottom of the third. Juan Soto, the star outfielder for the Padres, then responded with a home run in the top of the fourth to cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Despite the occasional hit, the game featured a marvelous pitching battle between Phillies’ ace Zach Wheeler and Padres’ veteran Yu Darvish, which held both teams scoreless until the seventh inning. Ultimately, the rainy weather and a slew of wild pitches forced the Phillies into errors, allowing the Padres to jump out to a 3-2 lead.

Enter Bryce Harper. In the bottom of the eighth inning, with one runner on, Harper crushed a ball into orbit to give the Phillies a 4-3 advantage. With this shot, Harper immortalized himself in the Philadelphia history books and punched the Phillies ticket to the 2022 World Series. Pitcher Ranger Suarez closed out the game for the Phils, and Citizens Bank Park erupted into a euphoric state of celebration. The Phillies were presented with the National League Championship trophy, and Bryce Harper was awarded the most valuable player of the series. 

Despite a 4-1 series win for the Phillies, the Padres proved to be a significant test for the underdog team. Like the Phillies, the Padres themselves were a scrappy underdog. The team won impressive victories against the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers, propelling them to postseason success. The talented bullpen of the Padres and the contributions of star players Juan Soto and Manny Machado tested the Phillies in each game in this series. Yet, as the first law of physics states, “an object in motion tends to stay in motion.”

The Phillies are simply red hot at the moment. They are undefeated at home in this playoff run, with a 9-2 record overall. Led by heavy hitters Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins, the Phillies’ offense has been producing significant runs at a breathtaking rate. And, perhaps most importantly, Bryce Harper has had a historic playoff run. He has the most XBH in a single postseason for the Phillies with eleven, has hit four major home runs, and is on a nine-game hitting streak, one shy of Phillies legend Lenny Dykstra’s postseason record. The Phillies have simply overwhelmed opponents with raw talent and fierce determination, both of which position them quite nicely for a World Series showdown. 
With the Philadelphia Eagles currently boasting a 6-0 record, the Philadelphia Union headed to the MLS Eastern Conference Finals, and the Philadelphia Flyers’ season in full swing, the Phillies’ win caps off a jubilant few weeks for the city of Philadelphia. The Phillies will play the Houston Astros, an American League juggernaut fresh off an ALCS sweep of the New York Yankees, in the 118th World Series. The series’ first game is scheduled for Friday, October 28, in Houston. The Phils will play two games in Houston before heading home to Philadelphia for games three and four. While the Phillies certainly face a significant challenge in the series ahead, they will keep dancing on their own for now.

Eagles Remain Undefeated with Victory Over Jaguars

Sports

Charlie Hug, Staff

Courtesy of Yahoo

It’s been 18 years since Philadelphia sports fans have felt this much excitement over the Eagles. The Birds’ 4-0 start to the season marks the first time that this has happened since the 2004 season, which ultimately resulted in a Super Bowl appearance. After this Sunday’s win against the Jacksonville Jaguars, there is a widespread belief that history might repeat itself. 

The fourth week of the NFL season brought us Doug Pederson’s much-anticipated return back to the City of Brotherly Love. Under the pouring rains of Hurricane Ian, the former Eagles head coach was welcomed back to Lincoln Financial Field with an overwhelming standing ovation after bringing the city its first Super Bowl trophy back in 2017. Unfortunately, this was most likely the highlight of Pederson’s day. 

The Eagles came out slow to start the game, allowing 14 quick points to the Jaguars after an interception off of Jalen Hurts was returned for a touchdown on the first drive, and was followed by a quick offensive touchdown scored by the Jaguars with 3:50 left in the first quarter. The Eagles Defense  bounced back in a big way, holding the Jaguars without a point for the following three quarters until they finally scored a touchdown with 7:19 left in the game. The defense was led once again by Hassan Reddick and the defensive line, who collectively forced five fumbles throughout the game, four of which were recovered by the Eagles. James Bradberry tacked on an interception at the end of the second quarter to give the Eagles defense five total turnovers on the day. Through four weeks, the Philadelphia defense has now tallied five interceptions, five fumble recoveries, and 16 sacks, making them one of the most intimidating defenses in the league. 

On the offensive side of the ball, Jalen Hurts finally showed signs that he is, indeed, human, throwing for 204 yards, one interception, and zero touchdowns. He did rush for one touchdown, but it was all Miles Sanders offensively for the Eagles. It was a breakout day for the fourth year back out of Penn State, one that has been long-awaited for by Philly fans. Sanders racked up 156 total yards and two touchdowns, reaching career highs in both rushes (27) and rushing yards (134) while also scoring his most touchdowns in a game in the past two years. Call it a product of the bad weather or just a great player due for a great game, Miles Sanders’ performance this past Sunday definitely turned some heads for fans who had started to doubt the young star’s backfield presence. 

Coming into Week 5, the Eagles could not feel more confident. They stand as the only undefeated team remaining in the league and have already taken down some highly-regarded teams. Week 5’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals could prove to be one of the Eagles’ tougher matchups so far this season, but with a 2-2 record and two tight wins against mediocre teams, this game could be a chance for the Cardinals to show whether they are true competitors this year. Arizona’s only two losses have both come at home this season, which is where the Eagles will face them next Sunday at 4:25 EST. 

The Eagles Continue Hot Streak with Victory Over Commanders

Sports

Charlie Hug, Staff

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Eagles came into Week 3 hot after back-to-back wins against the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings. Playing in front of the thousands of Philly fans who took the trek down to Landover, Maryland, the Eagles kept their momentum going in a 24-8 rout over the Washington Commanders. In the team’s first meeting with former quarterback Carson Wentz, it was all defense in the first quarter for the Eagles. The team recorded four sacks on Wentz in the first quarter, making them the first team with four sacks in an opening quarter since 2019 and the first Eagles defense to do so since 1991. Coming into the game, the defense was perhaps the biggest question surrounding this Eagles team. After allowing 35 points to the sub-par Detroit Lions, they followed by allowing only 7 points to the reigning NFC North champion, the Minnesota Vikings. In Week 3, the Eagles defense showed that they are officially locked, ultimately ending the game with nine sacks – the most of any team this season- and three forced fumbles on Carson Wentz. 

As for the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles once again showed why they are one of only three undefeated teams remaining in the NFL. Early MVP candidate, Jalen Hurts, continued his spectacular start to the season with another masterful game. He completed 22 of his 35 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns, earning him a QBR of 123.5. This came as a result of a career day from second-year wide receiver Devonta Smith. Smith could not be stopped on Sunday, securing eight catches for 169 yards and a touchdown. The highlight of the day was an incredible 44-yard leaping catch by Smith to put the Eagles at the Commanders’ 1-yard line with 25 seconds left in the first half. Smith was then able to cap off the drive with another highlight catch in the endzone to put the Eagles up 24-0 heading into the half. 

The Eagles get to stay home and play in front of the Philly faithful in Week 4 against a Jacksonville Jaguars team coming off a big win against the Los Angeles Chargers. Should the Eagles pull out a win at home, they look poised to head into their Week 7 bye with an undefeated record after matchups against the inconsistent Arizona Cardinals and the banged-up Dallas Cowboys. The biggest questions still following the Eagles this season: Will Jalen Hurts be able to keep up his MVP-caliber play, and will the defense be able to stay consistent in both the front and back fields? This week’s matchup against Doug Pederson and the Jacksonville Jaguars should be able to prove just that.

Raptors dominate 76ers in game five

Sports

KC Medico, Staff 

Cover picture courtesy of ESPN

The Toronto Raptors walked into a hostile Philadelphia crowd and defeated the 76ers 103-88. This win makes the series 3-2 still favoring the 76ers. 

From the beginning, turnovers were a problem for the Sixers as in the first quarter they had six turnovers. Even with turnovers, they were able to keep the game close as the closing score of the first was 29-27 Raptors. 

It wasn’t until the second quarter when the Raptors blew the game out of the water. They started the quarter with a 12-0 run and the Sixers couldn’t recover. With Raptors All-Star Fred Van Fleet out with a left hip flexor strain they looked to this year’s Rookie of the Year winner Scottie Barnes as he scored eight points in the quarter. 

“We always kind of figure it out,” stated Raptors forward Pascal Siakim. 

The Sixers would miss their first nine shots of the quarter and didn’t score until the six minute mark. At halftime the Raptors were up 54-41. With boos raining in from the Wells Fargo, the Sixers would have to find a way to turn it around. 

With the Raptors tall lineup staying in for most of the game it was clear the Sixers were having a tough time offensively. The Sixers finished the game only making 38.8 percent of their shots from the field and only 27 percent of their three point shots. 76ers center and MVP finalist Joel Embiid stated in his post-game press conference “We all need to be better offensively. We missed a bunch of wide-open shots. At times, I just felt like we just invited, when I was getting doubled, we were not aggressive attacking the ball. We just kept moving the ball around the perimeter, and that gave them time to recover, and that’s why [we] were not able to get anything out of it.”

As it seems with most of the NBA at this point in the season, many stars are getting hurt including Embiid. Embiid has a torn ligament in his right thumb. Most players have surgery and sit out for six or more weeks, however Embiid is fighting through his injury and planning on playing until the season is over. Even with a bad hand Embiid was still the leading scorer for the Sixers putting up 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. 

The Raptors were able to capitalize on the Sixers mistakes and make plenty of shots. The Raptors shot 51.2 percent from the field. The Raptors would go on to win with ease. With momentum leaning towards Toronto, head coach for the Raptors Nick Nurse is not letting that distract him or his players.  “Maybe there is (momentum) but it doesn’t really matter… Ball goes up on Thursday, everybody’s gotta play like heck.”With a red hot Toronto Raptors team and a lackluster 76ers squad tensions are high going into game six which is sure to be a great matchup in Toronto. 

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

Sports

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. 

Phillies eighth inning rally wins over the Mets

Sports

KC Medico, Staff 

Courtesy of ESPN

The Philadelphia Phillies defeated their division rivals the New York Mets 5-4 in the first game of their series. Both teams are coming into this series with only one loss and are looking to get an early edge in the standings over their opponent. 

Many critics of the Phillies pointed out that they have two weaknesses: pitching and defense. Both were on display during the first three innings. In the first inning, the Phillies gave up three runs. Ranger Suarez, the starting pitcher for the Phillies, didn’t get much help from his defense, especially Alec Bohm. 

Alec Bohm had three errors during the game, a career high for him. His first error is what started the Mets to go on their 3-0 tear. 

After throwing 63 pitches, Suarez was pulled in the third inning for Nick Nelson. Nelson shined as he came in and pitched the next three innings without allowing a hit. Phillies manager Joe Giradi stated in his post-game interview “you know the guy that probably won’t get a ton of attention is Nick Nelson. The job that he did, I mean he saved our bullpen… He did a tremendous job.”

In the top of the seventh Nelson walked James McCann who would eventually steal second base, however, Nelson was able to get lineouts on the next two hitters. Giradi figured it was time for pitcher Seranthony Dominguez to take the mound as Nelson threw 45 total pitches. With a runner on second, shortstop Francisco Lindor would pull the ball into right field which would score McCann to put the Mets up 4-0. The Phillies needed a miracle and it would eventually come in the bottom eighth inning and started by none other than Alec Bohm. 

Bohm, who struggled early on defensively, would shine with the bat. Bohm was able to start the rally by getting walked to first. Bohm would finish the game with a double and two walks. Phillies subbed Johan Carmargo for Matt Vierling and would single to right to bring Bohm to third. With Schwarber bringing the top of the order to the plate he grounded to a fielder’s choice at second. The play would bring Bohm home to make the score 4-1. 

Up came J.T. Realmuto, and with a man on first, blasted one into left field for a two run shot cutting the deficit to one. Bryce Harper, after swinging out, would leave the Phillies with two outs. Nick Castellanos took a walk which left Rhys Hoskins to send a line drive down the left side which would bring Castellanos home and Hoskins to second. With a tie ballgame shortstop, Didi Gregorous would send a ball into the gap making the game 5-4 Phillies. With a fist-pump at second and the fans at Citizens Bank Park roaring, all the Phillies would have to do is rely on their defense and pitching. With Segura going out swinging, Brad Hand was brought in to save the Phillies. 

Brad Hand and the Phillies were able to put away the Mets with ease in the final innings of the game, winning the first game of their four game series. With such a heated rivalry, the rest of the series will be must watch TV.

How NASCAR became a leader for diversity in sports

Sports

Aidan Tyksinski, Staff

Header Image: NASCAR

Courtesy of Nascar

As I watched the Daytona 500 this weekend, the first and by far the biggest race of the NASCAR season, it made me remember the first NASCAR race that I was excited to watch. The race was Martinsville in 2020. Although I was excited, it was not just because it was the first time this historic track was being used at night, nor was it because it was the only live sport happening that night due to the pandemic. 

I was excited to watch because earlier that day, NASCAR officials announced that fans could no longer wave Confederate flags on race days. It was a move that no one expected, but in the wake of the George Floyd cases, the heads of NASCAR realized that it was an important step to highlight that they, as an organization, were dedicated to being a more inclusive group.

While the banning of the Confederate flag was huge news, NASCAR has been working on trying to diversify the sport for many years. For as long as anyone can remember, NASCAR had long been a sport dominated by white men, both on and off the track. Prior to 2020, only one black man (Wendell Scott Sr.) had ever won a NASCAR Cup race, which he did all the way back in  1964. In between Scott’s win to the turn of the century, there were no other permanent minority drivers in the Cup Series. Clearly, NASCAR had a diversity problem. So, in the early 2000s, they decided to fix it.

In 2004, NASCAR created Drive for Diversity, a program dedicated to getting more minority drivers to experience driving, owning and working for NASCAR teams. The program was also created to help those in lower-income families be able to get the resources to drive without having to put their own money into racing. After 18 years, the program has been largely a success. 

Three of the best racers for the NASCAR Cup Series today went through the Drive for Diversity program at some point in their career. Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., who last season became the second African American racer to win a Cup Series race, was part of the program in 2010. Kyle Larson, whose mother is Japanese-American, participated in the program in 2012. Daniel Suarez, a Mexican-American racer, was part of Drive for Diversity in 2013 and 2014. Suarez has one top-five finish and four top-10 finishes in his Cup Series career, while Larson finished 2021 as the regular season and overall champion.

This isn’t to say NASCAR hasn’t had a few bumps in the road with their program. The sport has only ever had one full-time woman driver in the Cup Series (Danica Patrick), and in 2020 Kyle Larson was suspended for the entire season after using a racial slur during an E-Sports race while the actual season was shut down from the pandemic. However, the number of female drivers at the lower levels and NASCAR’s swift action against Larson shows that the sport is not messing around when it comes to diversity and racial sensitivity.

While leagues like the NHL and MLB are struggling to get more minority athletes into the sport and the NFL is facing heavy criticism over the lack of Black coaches in the league, NASCAR is showing the sports world that diversity can be accomplished without using affirmative action or making false promises to players about what they will do to make the league more diverse. While the Cup Series and NASCAR have a long way to go, the sport is making strides that no one thought was possible 20 years ago, and that is an accomplishment everyone can appreciate.   

Controversy leads to Leafs winning 3-0

Sports

KC Medico, Staff 

NHL

The Toronto Maple Leafs visited the Philadelphia Flyers in a star-studded battle. The Leafs come into this game second in the Atlantic Division and the Flyers fourth in the Metropolitan Division. What was sure to be a close offensive battle quickly turned into the Leafs dominating the Flyers for three consecutive periods. 

What started this domination was an extremely controversial goal scored by William Nylander in the second period to make the score 1-0. The play started in the neutral zone where Justin Holl intercepted the puck to stop the Flyers’ breakout. Holl passed the puck to Michael Bunting who quickly dished it to Auston Mathews waiting on the blue line. Mathews one-touch passes the puck to a speeding Jake Muzzin who was gaining the Flyers zone. Muzzin attempts to throw the puck to the net to create a chance for Nylander but takes a high awkward bounce off Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim. While in the air, it seemed to perfectly land at Nylander’s foot. It then appears as if Nylander kicks the puck in the net. The call was originally no goal. Upon further review, the refs indicated that he did not kick the puck in the net and it was a good goal. When asked about the goal Nylander stated he didn’t know if he kicked it in or not. 

“I didn’t really know if I kicked it in or not but when I got back to the bench they told me it was a goal. So I was pretty confident it was a goal,” said Nylander.

Nylander would go on to score another goal this time on the power play in the third period and Ondrej Kase would seal the deal-making it 3-0 with five minutes left to play. 

The Flyers struggled on the power play going 0-4. The Flyers’ power play this season has been below average as they are ranked 18 in the league in power-play percentage. During their power play, it seemed that they had a tough time possessing the puck as the Leafs had a very aggressive defense style. Head Coach for the Flyers Alain Vigneault stated in his post-game interview, “our power play drained us of a little bit of momentum and energy. We weren’t very efficient so we’ll be better next game.” 

The Flyers play their next game against the Carolina Hurricanes who have the 10th best penalty kill in the NHL. If the Flyers want to find success they will need to figure things out on the power play.

“Next Man Up” Sixers win versus Bulls 

Sports

KC Medico, Staff 

NBA

The second place Philadelphia 76ers faced off against the third place Chicago Bulls in a showdown that came down to the wire. Seth Curry was the one to hit the dagger that would put the game on ice and Joel Embiid who saved their lead with a monster block resulting in the Sixers winning 103-98. 

Coming into this game, the Sixers were missing three of their starters: Ben Simmons who continues to sit out due to mental health issues, Danny Green out with a hamstring injury and Tobias Harris who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. The 76ers needed to rely on their remaining starters Seth Curry and Joel Embiid to get the job done. 

Curry has been hot by  starting the season averaging 17.1 points and is second in the NBA in three point percentage shooting at 54.1 percent. His hot streak continued into this game where he finished with a statline of 22 points, went 9-for-14 from the field, and five rebounds. 

In a post-game interview, Doc Rivers stated, “You know what he’s doing better, everybody knows who he is now and last year I thought if you got physical with him, they could take him off the ball and deny the catches.” 

Rivers also added that, “Now he’s being relentless in getting open and once he gets open with Joel (Embiid) coming, it’s a tough cover for anyone so we put them in that coverage.”

Joel Embiid had a quiet game putting up 18 points. However, he got a crucial block in the final seconds of the game and with 10 seconds left, the Bulls had a chance to cut the deficit to a one score game. Lonzo Ball inbounded the ball to DeMar DeRozan at the top of the key. DeRozan got a block which allowed him to get a clear path to the basket. He went up for the dunk but out of nowhere Embiid came swooping in to block the dunk attempt to officially seal the game. The call on the floor was initially a foul but upon further review it was clear Embiid got nothing but the ball. 

There were a few headaches along the way to this win for the Sixers, as DeRozan had his third 30-point game in a row finishing with a total 37 points. With help from Zach Lavine who finished with 27 points, the two got on a hot streak to tie the game with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. If not for great plays from Curry and Embiid, the outcome of this game would have favored the Bulls. 

The Sixers will move on trying to continue their early push for the first place spot in the Eastern Conference as Curry and Embiid try to stay hot with their three other starters out to start the season. 

La Salle Cross Country Makes History this Season

Sports

Samantha Boyes, Staff

La Salle Cross Country

La Salle’s men’s cross country team won the Atlantic 10 (A-10) Championships this past weekend. The competition was held in Cedarville, Ohio on Oct. 30 and was a major success for the team all around. Leading the team to success was junior Taonga Mbambo who finished his 6k in fourth place with his senior teammate, Ibrahim Kedir, who finished right behind him in sixth place. This team has depth, because soon Luke Jaciw-Zurakowsky placed 13th right before his teammate Ryan James placed 14th. 

The women’s team placed sixth overall in the A-10 Championship. Leading her team, El Mancini finished in third place as the first Explorer to cross the finish line in the 5k  with a finishing time of 17.32:1. Right after, Liz Mancini took fourth place with a personal best. The other explorers who paved this team’s success were Christine Mancini, who earned 11th place in the 3k split, and Jenna Webb who also placed in the 3k split at 45th place.  

However, the A-10 Championships were not the only time these two teams have been successful. Recently, both teams competed at the Princeton Invitational where the men placed fourteenth in the 4k & the women placed seventh place in the 6.1k. Some other highlights for these runners are their individual accomplishments, especially when all three Mancini sisters earned First Team All-Conference Honors.