Wolax Woes Continue, But How Does Recent Form Compare To Other Chronic Underachievers?: La Salle Women’s Lacrosse Week In Review 3/21/23

Satire, Sports

Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

Biggest disappointment since you were conceived (Cry about it).

Finding a new and inventive way to sugarcoat every week’s women’s lacrosse article is a challenge I wake up dreading every Monday morning when The Collegian begins its routine publishing ritual.  How could I, someone who knows very little about the sport of lacrosse, find a way to entertain both the writer and myself amid paragraphs detailing twenty-minute Explorer scoring droughts and opposing runs that have scaled as high as twenty-one unanswered (that’s bad in football, the game where they score points in sevens)?  After witnessing a scarring three-loss week that saw the Explorers (0-8, 0-2) drop matches to two previously winless teams in the George Washington Colonials (1-5, 1-0) and the George Mason Patriots (1-7, 1-1) as well as falling to a solid UMBC Retrievers side (6-2), I have decided there is only one thing I can dunk on this week in an attempt to salvage any respect that the university, the team, and Dr. John P. Lacrosse (the inventor of lacrosse) have remaining for our beloved Explorers.  In a celebration of the fact that I know far more about college basketball than I do women’s lacrosse, I will be taking the low road and comparing the La Salle Explorers women’s lacrosse team to teams that have become national punching bags in the first week of this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.

When looking for the ideal NCAA Tournament basketball team to pair up with the La Salle women’s lacrosse team, I had some basic requirements to put both competitors on an even playing field.  First, I must start with teams that did not win a single game in this year’s bracket because that would put them level with lacrosse’s zero wins.  That cuts the field of sixty-eight eligible bachelors in half, leaving us with thirty-four candidates.  Next, I am throwing out all low seeds because I feel that a 16 Seed losing in their first game is not disappointment but rather an expected formality.  That will shave a few more squads off my list.  For my final criterion, I just looked for teams that really inspired me with overall ineptitude.  Whether it was failing to live up to expectations or just playing truly horrendous basketball, I wanted to find a team so bad and soul crushing that they could rival the Explorers in ripping my heart out.  In the spirit of the tournament, I narrowed my candidates down to a final four, which I present to you.  We are left with the Virginia Cavaliers (a 4 Seed who lost in traumatic fashion after turning the ball over in the closing seconds which lead to a game-winning three-pointer for their opponent), the Iowa State Cyclones (a 6 Seed who shot 23.3% from the field, 9.5% from three, and 57.9% from the free-throw line in an eighteen-point loss to a team on one day’s rest), the Arizona Wildcats (a 2 Seed who lost to a 15 Seed, the second time they have done this in school history), and the Purdue Boilermakers (a 1 Seed who became the second team ever to fall at the feet of a 16 Seed).  With the Cavaliers having won a national championship in the past five years, they are excused from the disappointment championship.  The Cyclones’ performance was appalling, but their shooting percentage was nearly five points higher than the worst performance in tourney history.  The Wildcats have nothing going for them here.  They are just lucky the Boilermakers lost to a worse seed and have more national haters.  As you could have guessed before reading this entire paragraph, it’s time to buckle in for this article’s main event.

La Salle Explorers Women’s Lacrosse v. Purdue Boilermakers Men’s Basketball

“Battle of the Disappointments”

As a career disappointment myself, I feel qualified to judge the competition I have created, so rest assured whatever you read from here on out is clear and undisputed fact.  This contest is going to have five rounds, with the team winning the most rounds by the end of the matchup being declared “The Most Disappointing Team Until Wolax’s Plays Their Next Game.”  Let us begin.

Round 1: The Brands

To compare Purdue men’s basketball to La Salle women’s lacrosse is like comparing Sports Illustrated to my articles in The Collegian.  Everyone knows the first one.  Only the parents who care about the people involved with the second one bother to keep up with it.  When I search “purdue men’s basketball” in Google, I get sixteen million results.  Typing in “la salle women’s lacrosse” yields only a third of that number (Over 5,000,000 hits for La Salle women’s lacrosse?  I need answers).  To deny that Purdue men’s basketball is the more recognizable brand would be like denying George Mason’s Shannon Tuozzo one of her nine goals against the Explorers last week.  It can’t be done.  Losing as the bigger brand gives Purdue the early lead.

Purdue Boilermakers Men’s Basketball: 1, La Salle Explorers Women’s Lacrosse: 0

Round 2: The Rosters

Purdue’s roster is highlighted by the likes of their 7’4” goliath of a center, Zach Edey.  The Naismith College Player of the Year frontrunner has some potential to play pro ball, and he is a monster in the paint that cleans up the glass and helps the Boilermakers run smoothly.  In comparison, the Explorers’ tallest player is 5’11” attacker Katie Johnson.  At least to my knowledge, Johnson has zero NBA prospects and was nowhere to be found on Naismith award watchlist articles I perused.  To lose with a colossal talent like Edey is a major fail, meaning Purdue out-disappoints again.

Purdue Boilermakers Men’s Basketball: 2, La Salle Explorers Women’s Lacrosse: 0

Zach Edey and Katie Johnson (Picture is to scale).

Round 3: The Accolades

Purdue put a stamp on a successful regular season by being crowned both the Big Ten Conference’s regular season and conference tournament champions.  The squad earned their sixth straight top four seed in the NCAA Tournament, showing they are consistently a force to be reckoned with.  Their program even has two Final Four appearances to their name, meaning they have played on college basketball’s biggest stage.  While La Salle women’s lacrosse has never sniffed this level of accomplishment on the field, the stellar gameday environments provided by their fans is something the opposition cannot handle.  While the Boilermakers may have banners hanging for conference titles and lengthy tournament runs, the Explorers have the best parent provided tailgate Division I has to offer.  Sad to see La Salle lose with that level of hospitality.  Point for the Explorers.

Purdue Boilermakers Men’s Basketball: 2, La Salle Explorers Women’s Lacrosse: 1

Round 4: Expectations

This year, Purdue did not open the year ranked or projected to win the Big Ten.  They shattered those expectations and earned themselves a 1 Seed in the NCAA Tournament.  Yes, they lost to a 16 Seed, but you could still argue they initially exceeded expectations.  Meanwhile, I personally expected La Salle to win one of their first eight games.  What I fool that makes me.  The Boilermakers may have underachieved on the biggest stage, but the Explorers have underachieved in every way.  Looks like this will be a tie game going into the final frame.

Purdue Boilermakers Men’s Basketball: 2, La Salle Explorers Women’s Lacrosse: 2

Round 5: Losses To Teams From The State Of New Jersey (But Only When The Match Isn’t Played In Illinois)

It’s the metric that matters most in any competition, how you fared against the proverbial “Garbage State” in head-to-head competition (excluding potential wins in the Prairie State).  Purdue boasts an ugly 0-2 mark against such teams, with a stunning 65-64 loss to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights combining with their now famous 63-58 loss to the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights this past Friday to get them to that record.  La Salle on the other hand, has zero of these oddly specific yet incredibly important games played, meaning their 0-0 record is greater than that of Purdue’s.  This means La Salle dodges a bullet as Purdue seizes disappointment from the jaws of… um… appointment?  I don’t know.

Final Score

Purdue Boilermakers Men’s Basketball: 3, La Salle Explorers Women’s Lacrosse: 2

New Jersey (Picture is also to scale).

And just like that, the women’s lacrosse team loses another hard-fought battle, but with a much more respectable scoreline of 3-2.  This upcoming week, the Explorers travel to Amherst, Massachusetts, to take on the #16 UMass Minutewomen (8-1, 2-0)  The game will take place on Wednesday, March 22nd, and action from Garber Field will get underway around 2PM EST.  La Salle will also face off against the VCU Rams (4-5, 0-2) on Saturday, March 25th, at 1PM EST on wonderful McCarthy Field.  Both matches will stream on ESPN+.  I pray they win because I am really running out of ideas for alternative articles.               

From The Collegian, this is Nicholas Signoretta reporting.

Explorers Fall Again, But At Least There Was A Home Crowd: La Salle Women’s Lacrosse Week In Review 3/7/23


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

Grace Lord battling through some contact as she turns up field. (courtesy of @doms.pov)

In a world full of frontrunners and fair weather fans, it’s good to know that some people are loyal to their favorite squads despite a middling record or, frankly, the lack of watchable product on the field.  One team that has decided to test the faith of those who rally behind them is the La Salle University women’s lacrosse team.  To say that the Explorers have done little to inspire in their opening five out-of-conference fixtures would be a fair and accurate assessment from an abused fan who’s watched almost every minute of this year’s campaign (my hate for FloSports can be witnessed here).  Despite the pain that I and many others have endured this year, the crowd was still bumping in La Salle’s recent home opener, the first of two games the Explorers played this past week.

Raquel Nieves feeling the love at McCarthy Stadium. (courtesy of @doms.pov)

The La Salle Explorers (0-5) kicked off their most recent week of suffering with the team’s first matchup of the year within the cozy confines of McCarthy Field.  The opponent for their Mar 1st contest was the Lehigh Mountain Hawks (3-1), a team who the Explorers fell to on the road in the 2022 season.  This year, the Explorers were seeking to put on a show for their home crowd, as the bleachers were moderately packed for the 3PM EST clash against the Mountain Hawks.  Despite the home crowd’s support and cheers, Lehigh opened the game by scoring the first two goals to open their tab for the day.  The Mountain Hawks were not going to just run the Explorers off the field quite yet, as Sara Grassi took advantage of a man-up situation to set the score at 2-1.  Another Lehigh goal would find its way on the board before the end of the 1st Qtr, but a goal in the opening moments of the 2nd Qtr by Maddie Henderson would keep the Explorers within a score.  It wouldn’t be long before the Mountain Hawks answered the Henderson goal, but Claudia Steinmetz and Mackenzie Click would bring the Explorers level at 4-4.  Angered by La Salle’s insolence, Lehigh promptly ripped four straight possessions into the La Salle net to establish a sizeable four goal advantage.  The home team and crowd were not to be silenced though, as an Alana Lathan man-up goal left the score at 8-5 going into halftime.  Play resumed in the 3rd Qtr, and with it came three straight Explorer goals by Molly Maloney, Lathan, and Steinmetz.  With the score level at 8-8 only five minutes into the half, you sure as hell know that a twenty-four minute La Salle scoring drought was about to set in.  By the time a late Katie Johnson goal ended the dry spell plaguing the Explorers, the Mountain Hawks had already done all they needed to do to ensure their 11-9 victory.

The final from McCarthy Field. (courtesy of @lasallelacrosse)

La Salle’s week was not over despite their earlier misfortunes, as they still had another matchup against the Mount Saint Mary’s Mountaineers (1-3) scheduled for Mar 4th at 2PM EST.  The Explorers knocked off the Mountaineers at home last season, so they were hoping that the weekend trip to Waldron Family Stadium might be their chance to finally get in the win column this year.  The game started off right, with Steinmetz striking early to claim a 1-0 lead just two minutes in.  The ensuing 12-2 Mt. St. Mary’s run kills any desire I have to write about this game.  Click scored twice during those forty minutes from hell, and when the dust settled, an 18-7 Mountaineers victory was all that was left.  Ellen Stickney combined with Lathan, Steinmetz, and Maloney to try and make the end result look more respectable, but the damage was done.

The final from Mount Saint Mary’s Waldron Family Stadium. (courtesy of @lasallelacrosse)

This upcoming week, the girls in blue and gold (and white) look to once again harness the energy provided by the rocking McCarthy environment as they kick off A10 play next Saturday, Mar 11th, at 1PM EST against the George Washington Colonials (0-4).  The match will be streamed on ESPN+.  Depending on how the Colonials midweek matchup goes, both they and the Explorers may be squaring off this upcoming weekend with the honor to not be 0-6.  Win or lose, I will be back here with updates considering both La Salle’s women’s and men’s basketball teams seem to be winding down their seasons (aka losing their first A-10 tourney matches).

FloSports Disappoints More Than La Salle Lacrosse: La Salle Women’s Lacrosse Week In Review 2/28/23


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

FloSports.tv with an incredibly favorable and generous review. (courtesy of sitejabber.com)

The La Salle women’s lacrosse team kept their early season out of conference slate cooking with their third… I mean second match of the season this past week as they traveled to no one’s favorite Philadelphia school, Villanova University.  While Villanova might be a sad excuse for a city school, they do not hold a candle to the joke of a streaming service used to broadcast this heater of a lacrosse match between unranked opponents on a weekday afternoon (very thrilling).  The contest was streamed on FloSports.tv, which, to my knowledge, no one owns a subscription for, including Mark Floreani, the CEO of FloSports (or so his LinkedIn claimed).  Due to this broadcasting oversight by the almighty Augustinians running “Villa-No-Fun,” yours truly was forced to watch the play-by-play of this game instead of the actual tape.  In all honesty, it made no difference for my viewing experience as I do not understand the game of lacrosse in video or text form.  Now, on to game.

Mark Floreani: Public Enemy #1. (courtesy of linkedin.com)

For the third straight season, the La Salle Explorers (0-3) faced off against the Villanova Wildcats (4-0) after the series took nearly a decade off in the 2010s.  Since the revival of this rivalry, the Wildcats have taken both matchups with varying degrees of certainty.  A narrow 11-10 Villanova win in 2021 was followed up by a 14-3 thumping of La Salle in 2022, so this year’s game was up in the air when it came to how the Explorers would eventually lose.  The 2023 edition of the series commenced on Wednesday, Feb 25th, at 1PM EST, at Villanova Stadium.  The Wildcats opened the game with an early 4-0 lead before Mackenzie Click got the Explorers on the board with 4:54 remaining in the 1st Qtr.  Villanova would tack on another three scores to make it 7-1 halfway through the 2nd Qtr, but a 3-1 La Salle run featuring goals from Alana Lathan, Katie Johnson, and Maddie Henderson saw the game at what looked to be a mildly contested 8-4 scoreline.  Angered by the Explorers’ efforts, the Wildcats tacked on two goals in the closing twenty seconds of the 1st Half to secure a 10-4 lead at the break.  Villanova got the better end of the orange slices and juice boxes during the rest, as they came out and proceeded to lay the hammer down on La Salle, scoring five goals in the 3rd Qtr without conceding once (few things worse than reading fifteen minutes of play-by-play just to see your team never score).  With the score at 15-4 entering the 4th Qtr, the game slowly crept to a close.  The final was 16-7, as La Salle secured another late 3-1 run with more guest appearances courtesy of Henderson, Click, and Sara Grassi.

Henderson, Click, and Lathan led the team in points with 2 (2 goals for Henderson and Click, 1 goal and 1 assist for Lathan), Click got the most shots with 7 (4 on target), and Maya Rhymes and Liza Dellaratta both secured the most ground balls with 3.  Starting keeper Julia Dellaratta put up 7 saves against 16 shots on goal, good for a 43.75% save percentage.

The final from Villanova: Public Enemy #2’s very uncreatively named Villanova Stadium. (courtesy of @lasallelacrosse)

This upcoming week the girls finally get to celebrate their home opener with a Wednesday, Mar 1st, clash against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks (3-1) at McCarthy Field.  The 3PM EST matchup will be a rematch of last year’s game, where the Explorers fell 13-5 in Bethlehem, PA.  This match will be streamed on ESPN+ (thank you).  And if one La Salle women’s lacrosse game in a week was not enough, the Explorers get a second opponent this week, as they will go toe-to-toe with the Mount Saint Mary’s Mountaineers (0-3) on Saturday, Mar 5th, at Waldron Family Stadium.  The Explorers topped the Mountaineers 10-9 in 3OT last season, so hopefully they prevail in this year’s affair.  This game will stream on ESPN3 at 2PM EST (second thank you).  By the time I sit down to write another one of these masterpieces, I hope to speak of an Explorers win.  Or of my resignation.  Either would suffice.

Nothing Happened At Franklin Field Over Weekend: La Salle Women’s Lacrosse Week In Review 2/21/23

Sports, Uncategorized

Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

The La Salle University Explorer at Franklin Field. (February 18, 2023, colorized)

The University of Pennsylvania administration unveiled a new addition to their historic Franklin Field, home of the Penn Quakers’ football, lacrosse, and track teams.  A plaque, paid for by several donations from the La Salle University women’s lacrosse team, is to be erected at the stadium to commemorate the event of absolutely nothing significant happening recently at the famous Philadelphia sports venue.  The plaque is said to read “Franklin Field: On This Site, In 2023, Nothing Happened.”  The plaque is to be placed at the foot of the east end of the stadium, the side at which the Quakers’ women’s lacrosse team has not scored thirteen goals on this season.  The decision to create the memorial for such a nonexistent reason was a choice that has no real purpose, considering last Saturday was totally uneventful and had nothing interesting surrounding it.

The plaque that is to be erected at Franklin Field. (courtesy of “The Simpsons”)

Penn Quakers’ women lacrosse (0-0) will have their home opener on Wednesday, Mar 22nd, against the #6 ranked Maryland Terrapins (1-1).  It is strange that the Quakers do not play a single home game for the first month of the season, but that is something the university’s administration is clearly set on considering they just never thought to schedule any home games earlier in the year.

A child running on Franklin Field’s track because there definitely was not a game played there recently. (courtesy of the child’s mother)

The La Salle Explorers’ women’s lacrosse team (0-1) continues their season with a road trip to the Villanova Wildcats (2-0) on Wednesday, Feb 22nd.  The game is set to tip off at 1PM EST and will be streamed on flolive.tv.  Hopefully the Explorers are well rested for this contest considering they are coming off a long break after opening their season with a narrow loss to the Iona Gaels.  The girls have most certainly not played another game this season and their trip to Iona is the only time they have touched the field this year.  If you enjoyed this article, please send any positive feedback or the Navy Seals my way because I am definitely not being forced to write this article against my own will.

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 goexplorers.com)

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.