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 Jamesplaced 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.
The women’s soccer team spent Senior Day the right way, taking a dramatic double-overtime win in their match against UMass.
La Salle would nab the first scoring chance of the game, with Shea Collins making a brilliant run down the field in the 22nd minute. Collins would then find Molly O’Brien, who would pass the ball off to Kelli McGroarty, whose shot would be on target, but saved by the UMass goalie.
After going into halftime 0-0, the Explorers would draw first blood, taking the lead in the 52nd minute of play. Senior Camaren Cox would bring the ball up the left side of the field to find freshman Haley Gschrey, whose shot would make it into the far left side of the net to put La Salle ahead 1-0.
The game remained largely defensive from that point on, but the Minutewomen would eventually get an equalizer late in the game. Olivia Gouldsbury found Macy Graves, who headed the ball past La Salle goalie Jordyn Stallard to even the scoreboard at 1-1.
As the game went into its first period of overtime, Mary Kate Vinkler stayed on the ball to try and assist another Gschrey goal, but the freshman wasn’t able to capitalize on the chance.
Although Gschrey’s chance didn’t work out, the Explorers would enjoy the game-winner, thanks to another excellent play by Cox. The senior assisted the game-winning goal in the 107th minute, sending a perfectly timed ball to McGroarty, who sent the ball straight past the opposing goalkeeper to seal the win for Blue & Gold in double overtime.
In addition to their win, the Explorers enjoyed outshooting the Minutewomen 18-12, along with sharing the corner kicks five apiece. Gschrey was the main part of the La Salle attack, recording five shots on goal, while Stallard had a stellar eight saves.
Talk about a statement win. The Raiders are off to a 2-0 start under new interim head coach Rich Bisaccia. Las Vegas has responded well after the Jon Gruden email leaks, which lead to him eventually resigning and handing the keys to the offense over to veteran quarterback Derek Carr. Many speculated that the Raiders’ season would fold after the Gruden departure, but during the past two weeks, Carr has silenced any criticism about Vegas’ playing capabilities, and that was in full display as the Raiders dominated Philadelphia this past Sunday in a 33-22 victory.
Carr was almost perfect against the Eagles, as he completed 31 of 34 of his passes, finishing the day with a 91.1 completion percentage. It was his most accurate day as a passer in his career, with at least 30 pass attempts. Carr is the only quarterback in NFL history who has done that twice in his career. He picked apart the Philadelphia secondary, finishing the day with 323 yards, two touchdown passes, and a passer rating of 113.6. It was the third game this season where the 8-year vet has had a passer rating above 100 and fifth game where he threw for more than 300 yards, which currently leads the NFL. Not bad for a guy who was without his favorite target, Darren Waller, on National Tight End Day. “Derek looked fantastic managing the clock throughout the entire game,” Coach Bisaccia stated, giving props on Carr’s ability to have long, sustained drives that wear out a defense, specifically a six-minute drive in the second half that started on Vegas’ own four-yard line — “those types of drives in the second half are what ice the game.” That same drive ended in a Bryan Edwards touchdown reception on fourth-and-goal, sealing the victory for Raider Nation. Heading into the bye week, Derek is just seven yards behind Tom Brady for the most passing yards this season.
The Raiders advance to a 5-2 record for the first time since 2016. Carr and the Raiders sit in one of the top spots of the AFC. Interim Head Coach Rich Bisaccia has given all the credit to the team’s leadership inside the Las Vegas locker room. “Derek Carr is the voice of the Raiders,” Bisaccia stated in the press conference after the victory Sunday afternoon. “When he talks, all the players trust his leadership that we can get the job done, no matter the circumstances on or off the field.” Despite the fantastic bounce-back performances these past two weeks, Carr has stayed humble. “Given everything that we accomplished and all the crazy stuff that has happened, this is still a game,” Carr stated with a smile on his face. “I tell that to myself and my teammates, go out and have fun, and that is what we have been doing, but the job is far from finished.”
Women’s soccer’s weekend didn’t get off to an ideal start last Sunday, Oct. 3, when the team faced Richmond at McCarthy Stadium. The first 15 minutes saw an intense midfield battle between the Explorers and the Spiders, where the visitors recorded the first shot on goal of the game. A Richmond attacker was knocked away by La Salle goalkeeper Jordynn Stallard, keeping the game scoreless.
Kelli McGroarty made her presence known by creating two chances in two minutes, with her effort in the 22nd-minute meeting at the hands of the opposing goalie, and her 24th-minute chance sailing just over the crossbar. Despite La Salle’s attacking efforts, Richmond would find the back of the net first, with Jessie Prillaman putting the ball into the top right corner of the goal.
Haley Gschrey continued the Explorers’ offensive pressure, putting the ball just wide of the net and another chance denied by Richmond goalie Taylor Montague. In the last gasps of the game, the Spiders struck again, this time with a rocket of a shot off the foot of Molly Weirman, solidifying the 2-0 loss for La Salle.
However, things picked up when La Salle traveled to Washington, D.C. to take on George Washington. This time, the Explorers had the first chance of the match, as Camaren Cox and Molly O’Brien combined to force the opposition goalkeeper into an early save. La Salle goalie Michela Auguadro also put her goalie skills on display, stopping a shot that came from the six-yard box. The offensive pressure from the Explorers kept coming, with Gschrey and Danielle Rooney both getting in close efforts, but to no avail. A breakthrough finally came in the second half, with Bella Gonsiewski making a brilliant run down the right wing and making a cross into the box, where Cox was waiting to slot the ball into the back of the net to give the blue and gold a 1-0 lead. G-W had a couple more chances of their own, but La Salle’s defense held strong to ensure that the team would be coming back to 20th and Olney with a victory.
This past Friday, La Salle Swimming and Diving hosted Drexel University for their annual Pink Meet to support Breast Cancer Awareness. The team wore pink shirts during the home opener after their long two-day meet at Boston College last weekend. While both the men and women honorably took the loss, with the women’s score ending at 168-130 and the men’s ending at 167 to 94, the Explorers still had some pretty impressive highlights.
Starting on the boards, the women did a phenomenal job starting with the one meter. Fifth-year Julie D’Amore led the women with a first-place lead with a score of 240.60. Phoebe Shaya shortly followed with a score of 234.90 and then junior Erica Kenski scored 229.75. The women swept the boards. Shortly after, Shaya had a great personal score of 290 on the 3 meters.
Shaya stated after the meet that “this weekend went really well. The swimmers did really well, and the divers took one, two, and three on both boards. I was super happy with how I did on Friday because I was three points away from breaking the school record and also qualified for zones. That definitely made me feel good about how I am doing so far in the season and I’m looking forward to future meets with my teammates.”
Out of the diving well, the La Salle swimmers also had some highlights in the pool. Annie Moser started the women’s team off strong with first place in the 1000 freestyle. The captain set the perfect tone with her strong race. Following that, junior Toni Rafferty finished first in the 200 fly with a time of 2.11:74 and sophomore Sam Boyes shortly touched the wall right after. The women finished one and two. Finishing the meet off strong, Sara Rizzetto caught the win in the 200 IM.
While the women did take the loss, they remain strong as they prepare for the rest of the season. The ladies have a tri-meet against Delaware and Rider on Nov. 13, giving them plenty of time to get some hard work in.
Well, it was bound to happen, Raider Nation left SoFi Stadium very disappointed as Vegas was handed their first loss of the season, and it was an ugly one against their division rival. The Raiders started very sluggish, which seems to be a common theme this season, as they let the Chargers have a three touchdown lead at halftime. In the first stretch of the season, they have had to come back from behind to win, which has not been a problem for veteran quarterback Derek Carr. In the matchups against the Ravens and Dolphins, they were down by two touchdowns in the first half and still managed to pull off the victories in overtime thrillers. Even though the Raiders fought back in the second half against Los Angeles, it was too much as the final score was 28-14. This loss in Primetime poses the question, are the Raiders and their field general quarterback still a threat in the AFC?
Ever since Jon Gruden returned to the Raiders back in 2018, there was speculation of whether or not Carr had the mental toughness to deal with his head coach, as Gruden is known to be really tough and demanding of his quarterbacks. Carr has pushed the rumors of him getting traded or replaced by a rookie to the side every offseason since Gruden’s return. He has been playing arguably his best football this season and the numbers back it up. In the season opener against Baltimore, Carr put up 435 yards, two touchdowns, and an 89.5 passer rating. In the next two games against Pittsburgh and Miami, Carr threw just shy of 400 yards and two touchdowns and finished with a passer rating above 100 in both games. Currently, he leads the league in passing yards, which shatters the dink-and-doink narrative that was falsely placed on him a few seasons ago.
Carr can thank his receiver core for his solid numbers this year as Ruggs, Renfrow, Edwards and the versatile tight end Darren Waller all had above 200 receiving yards entering the game Monday night. Carr has one of the most accurate deep balls in the league, which has been compared to the likes of Aaron Rodgers while stretching the field vertically without putting too much power on his passes. Al Davis was a huge fan of the deep ball and would have loved to see Carr launch the ball under the lights of Las Vegas. It is without a doubt that Carr has a better supporting cast on both sides of the ball this year, which has been in high demand. Many members of Raider Nation knew Carr had the talents, just needed some help on the defensive side of the ball, and that was evident as Carr has the most 4th quarter and overtime comebacks by any quarterback as of 2015. Even though Monday’s loss was a heartbreak for the Silver and Black, the defense and their pass rush have been consistent which is something to look forward to in their next match-up.
The Raiders will be looking to bounce back at home in Allegiant Stadium after the heartbreaking loss Monday night. Carr’s firepower on offense and his rebuilt offensive line will have a tough task ahead of them as they face off against former teammate Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears. It is in Gruden’s game plan to have a quick start on Sunday. “I have to be better at play-calling in the beginning moments of the game,” Gruden admitted after the loss Monday night. If they want to be contenders in the AFC, the Raiders will need to step up in running the football in order to control the pace of the game, which has been lackluster so far this season and a staple of Gruden’s offense. The depth of this new Raiders’ defense will also be tested in the short week, with loads of injuries in the secondary after Monday’s game. It is definitely going to be another week of adversity for Raider Nation, heading into the second stretch of the season, but they will be looking to grab another win after the gut-punch loss in primetime.
This past weekend, the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams took the trek up to Boston to compete at the Catholic Invite, hosted by Boston College. The two-day invitational saw much success for the Explorers, a great start to the season for both squads. The women’s team ultimately finished second out of six teams and the men fourth of six.
In particular, divers Phoebe Shaya and Sam Henninger both placed first in their events: the Women’s 3M dive and the Men’s 1M dive, respectively. Henninger, who claimed gold in the 1M dive at the Atlantic 10 championship meet last season, is already off to a promising start to reclaim this title for this season, especially after this performance. Shaya also received hardware at the 2021 A-10 championship, with a bronze in the Women’s 1M. Her performance this past weekend is on par for her to medal again in February at the championship. Overall, the divers ended the weekend with several impressive performances. In the women’s 3M, senior Kaitlyn Smykowski placed fifth and junior Erica Kenski finished seventh. As for the women’s 1M, Shaya placed third, graduate student Julie D’Amore ended in 5th, Kenski in 6th, and Smykowski in 8th.
As for the swimmers, the lady Explorers kicked off the meet to a great start with a second-place finish in the first event, the women’s 200-yard freestyle relay. The relay consisted of all returners from last season’s 200 free relay: Toni Rafferty, Sarah Rizzetto, Sam Boyes, and Brynn Peterson. These ladies placed second at the Atlantic 10 championships, where they also broke a school record in the process. Their time this past weekend was only a five-second difference from their personal best last season. This result is promising for the team, allowing for them to have continued dominance in this event.
Rizzetto led the field in the 400 individual medleys, finishing first with a time of 4:34.88, which is eleven seconds faster than anyone else in the field. While Rizzetto did not swim this event last season at the championship, she did place first in the 200 backstroke — the only Explorer to place first in an individual swim race at A-10s.
The women scored at least 16 points in every event, which in the end was what secured them second place. In particular, they were particularly dominant in the 500 free and the 50 free. In the 500, three Explorers received points for a total of 28 in the event. Anne Moser placed third, Brynn Peterson 12th, and Ava Carter 14th. As for the 50, the ladies also scored 28 points, with Rafferty finishing sixth, Lauren Fenn seventh, Boyes 19th, and Raven Domingo 20th.
Other individual performances worth noting include Rizzetto’s third-place finish in both the 200 individual medley and the 200 back, Rafferty’s second-place finish in the 100 free and third place in the 100 fly, and Moser’s second-place finish in the 1000 freestyle.
The relays did very well for the women as well, with the A relays finishing sixth in the 400 medley, fifth in the 200 medley, and second in the 400 free.
On the men’s side, the 100 backstroke was a very strong showing for the Explorers. Trent Burr placed second in the event with Alex Kuriawa third right behind him. Burr continues to show success in backstroke events after placing 14th in the 200 back at the Atlantic-10 championship last April. Burr also showed dominance in the 100 butterfly at the invite, ultimately placing fourth. Kuriawa also found success in other events, finishing 6th in the 100 free.
Other key swimmers at the meet include Zack Miller, Jason Rosales, and Jake Kramer. Miller placed fifth in the 50 free, Rosales 6th in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and Kramer 5th in 1000 free.
As for the relays, the men’s A relay placed third in the 200 freestyle, seventh in the 400 medley, third in the 200 medley, and eighth in the 400 freestyle.
After a successful weekend out of town, the Explorers are ready to start their home meet schedule at Kirk Pool. They will pick back up with the action for the home opener this weekend on Friday, Oct. 8, against cross-town rivals Drexel at 5 p.m.
Women’s soccer faced away games against the University of Dayton and Saint Louis University this week, but unfortunately, they are coming back to 20th & Olney without a win.
While at Dayton, the Flyers were able to score just about four minutes into play, with Itala Gemelli scoring the first shot of the contest.
In the 35th minute, things went from bad to worse for the Explorers as Naya Vialva was shown a red card after committing a foul. Vialva was initially only given a yellow card, but after the officiating crew deliberated on the matter, she was sent off.
Although they were playing with just 10 players, La Salle was able to find some offense in the second half. They were able to tally four shots in just 15 minutes. Junior Emily Banashefski sent a low strike towards the bottom left corner of the goal but wasn’t able to find the back of the net.
Despite the promising energetic offensive push, the home team was able to find two new goals, handing the Explorers a 3-0 loss.
It was then off to Missouri to take on Saint Louis University, where the first half saw very few scoring opportunities. Banashefski found herself in a position to score again, shooting a shot just wide of the right post in the last gasps of the game.
Despite being outshot 5-1, goalkeeper Jordyn Stallard was able to make three saves to keep the game scoreless at halftime.
The second got off to a less-than-ideal start, with the Billikens’ Lyndsey Hackel able to put the home team ahead four minutes in.
Redshirt junior Camaren Cox took a shot of her own in the 59th minute, but the Saint Louis goalie was able to clear the ball without much trouble.
The Billikens were able to put another goal on the board through Caroline Kelly, turning it into a 2-0 contest.
Senior Molly O’Brien threatened in the 72nd minute, but again, the opposing goalie was able to handle the shot and keep the final score at 2-0.
As the first few days of fall kick-off here at La Salle University, women’s golf did not disappoint with their opening tournament at Bucknell University. The six women took the two-day event at Lewisburg by storm coming in eighth out of the eleven teams competing this weekend.
On Saturday, sophomore Kayleigh Zeman started the Explorers off strong when she placed 13th out of 68 athletes shooting during the first round. Zeman happily scored her all-time best with a 76 (+6). Alongside Zeman, sophomore Hannah Basler also led the women’s team to success with a score of 83 (+13). During the second round, Basler boosted her score to an 81(+11) during the second outing. After a long day at the Bucknell Golf Club, the women’s team was ready for day two.
Sunday also has some great competition from the Explorers as the team shot 322. Again, Basler led the way for the women shooting 76 (+6) tying for 23rd place. Not only is that another personal best for Hannah, but it was also a tremendous jump in the ranks by 12 spots, but that’s not the only good news. Zeman tied for 27th (only a couple of spots behind Basler). Best scores were all around this weekend because senior Grace Hickey shot a new score of 84 (+14). The women ended the day in eighth place, an extreme improvement from the previous day.
It was a wonderful job all around from the Lady Explorers. When speaking to Hannah Basler, she said, “The team was feeling really positive. We performed way better as a team than we were expecting, and it was encouraging to start seeing part of the potential of the young team.” Let’s hope Basler carries her optimism for not only the rest of the season but especially for next weekend when the team travels to Annapolis for the Navy Fall Invitational.
Hannah Basler was also nominated for this week’s Explorer of the Week, so go vote!
The Raiders busted open the Steel Curtain at Heinz Field this Sunday, putting up stellar numbers on both sides of the ball. A familiar theme in these two wins has to be their critical plays made on defense.
We have seen some great flashes these two past weeks upfront. Similar to last week, the Raiders were able to generate pressure on the not-so-mobile Ben Roethlisberger. Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue both rallied in 5+ pressures. This duo seems to be living up to the hype. Even when they are not in the game, the depth on this defensive line really shines when you need a big play. Solomon Thomas was able to get in the backfield and sack Big Ben twice. “First time in my career getting two,” he said. Thomas had dealt with injuries and mental struggles in the past. “Hopefully I can have more games like this, and help this team win,” he stated, wearing a big smile after the game.
The Silver and Black generated enough pressure for third-year corner Trayvon Mullen to pick off Big Ben. Mullen praised his teammates’ performance and all the strides they have made on defense. “I feel like we have a group of guys that love playing football and have a sense of urgency.”
The defense’s tough performance allowed for Derek Carr to do what he does best — be clutch in the 4th. Vegas held onto a 2 point lead, Pittsburgh had the chance to force a punt on a 3rd and 10 and get the ball back. However, Carr once again demonstrated why he deserves respect around the league, and oh boy did he deliver. On their own 31 yard line, Las Vegas lined up in a bunch wide-receiver set to the right. Carr launched a bomb to a receiver downfield. Of course, the speedy Henry Ruggs III chased the deep ball down, ran under it, and jogged into the endzone, thus sealing the victory for the Raiders.
The Raiders must lick their wounds and prepare for their next opponent as the Dolphins come to town. It is unsure yet whether or not Tua Tagovailoa will be suiting up in this one, as he went down with a concerning rib injury in their blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills. Tua or no Tua, the Raiders should have a field day upfront defensively, as the Dolphins offensive line had another disappointing week. PFF ranked the Fins with low grades in pass-blocking, with four out of five starters having a grade under 40, and allowing 4 or more pressures on passing attempts. Raider Nation has a good chance to hit the jackpot on defense in week 3.