Wolax Is On Sabbatical; Time For Water Polo: La Salle Women’s Lacrosse Week In Review 3/28/23


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

La Salle Women’s Water Polo v. Charleston Women’s Lacrosse. (c. 2023 colorized)

With one foot already dipping into the pool of satirical nonsense after my most recent journalism effort, this week felt like a good time to harness whatever decency I had left in the tank to conjure up an article so ripe with incomprehensible garbage and gaslighting that it could be sighted whenever I am ultimately fired from The Collegian as one of its sports editors.  The following piece will feature no mention of one sport I have admitted having little to no knowledge about but will instead focus on a second sport that I cannot comprehend and have watched enough matches to still count on one finger (I did thoroughly enjoy the little bit I saw. Makes me wish we had more than one home weekend).

La Salle women’s water polo hosted the likes of Long Island University, Villanova, Virginia Military Institute, and Wagner this past weekend at La Salle’s very own Kirk Pool for some in-conference clashes.  The Explorers opened their weekend with a double-header on Saturday, March 25th.  The first fixture of the day featured the VMI Keydets (3-10, 0-3), a team that La Salle would end up dismantling by a scoreline of 17-6.  The Explorers opened the game with 6-0 run and would stretch their lead as far as thirteen goals when they took a 14-1 advantage late in the 3rd Period.  Shanna Zuanich paced La Salle’s offense with four goals while Hannah Woren clocked in three assists.  Emma Gurasich and Caitlin Valentine combined for eleven saves in net.

Paige Mitchell prepares to release a rocket in La Salle’s win over VMI. (courtesy of @lasallewaterpolo)

La Salle followed up their early game with another matchup just a few hours later as they faced off against the #17 Wagner Seahawks (22-5, 5-0).  The Explorers fell to the Seahawks just a week prior to the tune of 16-7, so this week’s matchup was a chance at redemption on home… water?  A dominant 2nd Period from Wagner saw the Seahawks take a 7-2 lead into halftime, but the Explorers used an offensive burst in the 4th Period to cut the lead to 13-10 with some time left on the clock.  Unfortunately, Wagner stymied La Salle’s remaining comeback efforts as the final score read 15-12 in favor of the Seahawks.  Francesca Co’ and Madelyn Koerper each turned in four goal performances, with Co’ also contributing two assists.  Gurasich stood strong in net, totaling twelve saves in the match.

Emma Gurasich extends to make a great save in La Salle’s loss to Wagner. (courtesy of @lasallewaterpolo)

La Salle wrapped up their homestand with a matchup against the Villanova Wildcats (13-13, 3-3) on Sunday, March 26th.  The game was also doubling as the Explorers’ Senior Day, so hopes were high to send the squad’s veteran out on a strong ending at Kirk Pool.  The matchup played out as a narrow and thrilling affair, with La Salle maintaining slim leads before Villanova would find an eventual equalizer.  Tragedy struck late in the 4th Period when the Wildcats took their first lead since the opening moments of the game to seize a 9-8 lead that would stand as the contest’s final tally.

Hannah Woren has her eyes set on goal in La Salle’s narrow loss to Villanova. (courtesy of @lasallewaterpolo)

La Salle (11-12, 1-4) continues their push for the MAAC Championship next week when they travel to Lexington, Virginia.  Their weekend will feature Saturday, April 1st matchups against the Siena Saints (4-16, 0-5) and the Iona Gaels (11-8, 3-2), while Sunday, April 2nd will see the girls take on the Marist Red Foxes (15-6, 5-0).  The Siena matchup will take place at 11:20AM EST, the Iona game at 6PM EST, and the Marist clash at 11:20AM EST.  Whether I will be reporting on these games is in question.  I like to keep my writing… unpredictable these days.

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 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.

Just Simply Win The A-10 Tournament: La Salle Men’s Basketball Week In Review 3/7/23


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

Official branding for this week’s upcoming A10 Men’s Basketball Championship. (courtesy of seatgeek.com)

There is now only one option remaining for the La Salle men’s basketball team if they want to keep playing basketball this spring.  Left with no other ways to preserve their season, the Explorers (13-18, 7-11) must win this week’s upcoming A-10 Tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.  After an appalling run of form (lost five straight), La Salle will hope to run through five straight basketball games to cut down the nets to claim their first ever Atlantic 10 title.

The group that will lead La Salle University to the promised land: The 2023 NCAA Tournament. (courtesy of doms.pov)

What is a 7-11 conference record good for in the modern A10 economy?  That will get you the #11 Seed and a date with the #14 Seed Rhode Island Rams (9-21, 5-13).  The First Round matchup, or as polite society refers to it, the P.I.G. (play-in game) will take place on Tuesday, Mar 6th, at 4:30PM EST and will stream on ESPN+.  La Salle split their season series with Rhode Island, winning 77-75 in OT at Tom Gola Arena on Jan 7th, and losing in the return trip 72-70 at the Thomas M. Ryan Center on Jan 28th.  Neither team has been in form recently, with Explorers rolling in on the previously mentioned five-game losing streak and the Rams losing eight of their last nine.

If La Salle were to win their first matchup and escape the P.I.G., their next two opponents would be set, with their Second Round game being against the Duquesne Dukes (20-11, 10-8) on Wednesday, Mar 8th, at 7:30PM EST.  The Explorers fell to the Dukes earlier this year 91-74 on Feb 22nd at Tom Gola Arena.  If La Salle can somehow avenge that defeat, they earn themselves a Thursday, Mar 9th, 7:30PM EST date with the Fordham Rams (24-7, 12-6).  As you may guess, La Salle also fell at the feet of Fordham.  That game also took place at Tom Gola Arena on Jan 14th, with the Rams winning 66-64 on a buzzer-beater.  Both games would be streamed on USA Network.  The Semifinals and Finals will take place on Saturday, Mar 11th, and Sunday, Mar 12th.  The former will be found on CBS Sports Network while the latter will be on CBS.

The bracket for the 2023 A10 Men’s Basketball Championship. (courtesy of atlantic10.com)

The moral of the story: La Salle might win a game.  Throw a parade?  No.  Rage in next week’s article?  Possibly.

A-10 Out Of 10 In Disappointment: La Salle Women’s Basketball Week In Review 3/7/23


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

Molly Masciantonio driving to the rim for an easy bucket. (courtesy of @a10conference)

La Salle women’s basketball capped off what was a season of promise and potential with a putrid display in last week’s season finale in the A10 Tournament.  Picked to finish second in the A10 preseason poll, the Explorers find themselves looking at an offseason of regret after maxing out as the #8 Seed and falling in their first game in Wilmington, Delaware.

An early 11AM EST start was on the docket for the Explorers (17-14, 8-7) as they squared off against the #9 Seed George Mason Patriots (16-14, 8-8) on Mar 2nd in the Second Round of this past week’s A-10 Tournament at Chase Fieldhouse.  The Patriots opened the game strong, taking a 18-13 lead at the end of 1st Qtr, but a 7-1 Explorers run gave La Salle their first lead of the game midway through the 2nd Qtr.  A little back and forth saw the Patriots exit the half with a 34-30 lead.  The 3rd Qtr saw George Mason extend their lead to six with a score of 44-38, but an 8-2 La Salle run had the score locked at 46-46 with a little over six minutes remaining in the 4th Qtr.  From there, the Patriots pulled away, fending off one or two Explorers runs as they went on to win the game 64-58.

The final from Chase Fieldhouse. (courtesy of @lasalle_wbb)

With the season over and no more women’s basketball left to play or to write about, I am left with a void in my soul.  Out of all the teams I have written about this year, I enjoyed covering this one the most (probably because the squad is not a flaming dumpster fire).  Alas, I bid this team farewell and hope to be blessed to cover them next year.

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.

Everything’s Irrelevant Since It’s A-10 Tourney Time: La Salle Women’s Basketball Week In Review 2/28/23


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

Official branding for this week’s upcoming A10 Women’s Championship. (courtesy of atlantic10.com)

La Salle women’s basketball has concluded their regular season with a pristine record of 17-13 overall, featuring a crisp 8-7 mark in conference play.  In the modern economy of the Atlantic 10 Conference, that would be good for the #8 Seed in the league’s upcoming conference tournament in Wilmington, Delaware.  Instead of recapping this past week’s games (nothing like losing on the road to 6-20 Dayton), I will instead solely focus on what the Explorers’ actual chances are at being crowned the A-10 Tournament champions for the first time in program history.

Molly Masciantonio thinking about that automatic bid La Salle will get from winning the A10 tourney. (courtesy of shotbyscornely)

La Salle will open the tournament on Thursday, Mar 2nd, with a matchup against the #9 Seed George Mason Patriots (15-14, 8-8) at Chase Fieldhouse.  The matchup will start at 11AM EST and will be broadcast on ESPN+.  For the Explorers, the matchup is not the best draw.  While La Salle beat George Mason earlier this season by a score of 69-62, that came with the backing of homecourt.  Also, the Patriots have won four of their last five, with their only loss coming against the league’s best team and reigning A-10 Tournament champion, the UMass Minutewomen (24-5, 14-2).  To say La Salle would have wanted to face one of the teams that play in the tournament’s opening games on Mar 1st would be an understatement.  To play a team on short rest would be a great break for the Explorers, but unfortunately, they must play an equally rested Patriots team.

The next big obstacle standing in La Salle’s way is their potential opponent for the Friday, Mar 3rd, quarterfinal matchup.  Due to the A-10 bracket not reseeding teams, a win over the Patriots on Thursday gives La Salle a date with the UMass team that I touched on earlier, the same Minutewomen that trounced the Explorers earlier this year in Tom Gola by a score of 66-42.  UMass is on quite the tear too, with their only loss in their past fourteen games being a two-point loss at the A-10’s #3 Seed, the Saint Louis Billikens (14-17, 10-6).  Not an ideal opponent.  If La Salle does find their way into this matchup, the game would be at 11AM EST and stream on ESPN+.

The bracket for the 2023 A10 Women’s Championship. (courtesy of atlantic10.com)

If the Explorers do somehow make it to the semifinals and the finals, those games would take place on Saturday, Mar 4th, at 11AM EST, and on Sunday, Mar 5th, at 12PM EST, respectively.  The semifinal would stream on CBS Sports Network while the final would be on ESPNU.  I pray that next week I will be writing about the A-10 Champion La Salle Explorers.  Realistically, I will be writing their obituary.

Sports Commentary: Men’s Basketball in bottom half of A-10’s again 

Commentary, Sports

Enrique Carrasco, Editor 

Before reading this article, I heavily recommend reading my previous article, “Opinion: Why the Athletic Department Made the Wrong Call,” to understand the significance behind the Men’s team’s success.

If any of you are familiar with my work, you will know I am an avid hater of the Men’s Basketball program at La Salle. While I must admit that some of my comments against the team are due to a personal vendetta against the program and the Athletic Department, none of my comments nor my negativity against the basketball team have ever been misplaced. I have seen this team fail to live up to their hype for three years in a row, and I feel confident that the basketball team will continue this downward spiral long after I leave 20th and Olney. 

Because of this avid hatred, I never fell for the “Our Men’s team is actually good this year” lies that have been floating around campus all season long. I said from day one the team will continue to disappoint all season long, no matter who they bring in to coach and what second-hand talent from other schools they manage to trick into coming to La Salle. Slowly but surely, the Men’s team has continued to prove me right about my hatred for them, and I would be remiss not to admit that their failure brings me joy. 

It is hard to exactly place when the hype train for the basketball team began. Still, I believe it began around January, when the team managed to pull an enormous upset and beat Rhode Island 77-75 in overtime. The team continued to grow this hype when they managed to beat UMASS 78-77 on the road. Considering both schools’ success in previous years, these two wins were significant, and it seemed like the men’s teams might be actual contenders for the A-10 championship. But if we look at the current rankings, Rhode Island is second to last place (we lost to them during our second face off), and UMASS is only one spot above them.  After these two wins, the men’s team went on a (I must admit, somewhat impressive) 5 win streak, putting the team at the cusp of being one of the top teams in the conference. The only thing the team had to do was either defeat George Mason, Duquesne, or George Washington. This was when the school started pushing the narrative that the men’s team was good and could compete against big teams. I, however, was not convinced about their ability and told multiple people to “just wait” and assured people that “the team will fail soon enough, you just have to give them time.” 

To the surprise of very few people, the team did, in fact, fail. They failed to win against George Mason on the road, stop Duquesne from putting up 91 points at home, and failed to at least stop George Washington from putting up 92 points on them on the road. The Explorers dropped from one of the top contenders in their conference to number ten within the A-10’s, once again proving their talent is nothing more than bottom tier. If you recall the article I mentioned early, you’ll be able to remember that the Athletic Department praised the improvement of the experience for the athletes and team that remained after the Title IX fiasco. Yet, it seems that the athletic department only wanted to make the experience better for the basketball team rather than give actual funding to other teams, and the results of which can be seen in the results from not only the basketball team, but also all of our other sports. No single team that remains on campus had a winning season (none even went above .500), and the teams that are currently active are failing to produce any form of momentum or winning streaks.  The men’s team has two regular season games left, one on the road against Dayton (currently ranked 3rd in the A-10s) and their senior night against Loyola Chicago (currently ranked last in the A-10s), meaning the best record the team can finish with is 15-16 in the season, a game short of being .500 . I must admit, I would not be surprised if the men’s team managed to lose both games in the season, pushing themselves even further down in the A-10 rankings. 

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.

Mixed Week Leaves Explorers With Work To Do: La Salle Women’s Basketball Week In Review 2/21/23


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

Molly Masciantonio feeling herself while the Explorers’ offense is cooking. (courtesy of shotbyscornely)

La Salle University women’s basketball had another middling week when all things were said and done, splitting their two games, and leaving plenty of questions unanswered as the final week of regular season A-10 play approaches.

The Explorers opened their week at Tom Gola Arena on Thursday, Feb 16th, with an early game against the Fordham Rams (16-10, 8-5).  Although the game tipped-off at 11AM (peak class hours for Lasallian students), the gym was not without a great home crowd.  The game was labeled as “Kids Day,” meaning Gola was packed with young students from local schools who were spending their field trip cheering on the girls in blue and gold.  The Explorers opened the 1st Qtr strong, amassing an 18-12 lead heading into the first break, but a dismal 2nd Qtr left the girls defending a 26-25 advantage into the locker room.  Needing a strong second half to secure the home victory, La Salle pulled through.  Kayla Spruill led the effort, leading the Explorers with 24 points and going 4 of 6 from deep, further adding to her record of most career 3-Pointers made in La Salle women’s basketball history.  La Salle’s twenty-one point 4th Qtr was enough to give the Explorers the 61-49 win and some momentum heading into the weekend.

The final from Tom Gola Arena. (courtesy of lasalle_wbb)

La Salle finished their week with a trip to the Midwest to face off against the Saint Louis Billikens (12-17, 8-6).  The Sunday, Feb 19th, contest was big for both teams who find themselves caught in a logjam of quality sides contending for a coveted bye in the A-10 tournament only a few weeks away.  The early going saw the Explorers trade blows with the Billikens, amassing a 19-12 lead at the end of the 1st Qtr that would be trimmed down to a 33-31 advantage heading into halftime.  A strong 3rd Qtr by St. Louis would give the home squad a six-point lead going into the 4th Qtr, but a 13-2 La Salle run gave the Explorers a 59-54 advantage with just over six minutes left.  It is here that an agonizing 11-0 Billikens run would seal La Salle’s fate as the Explorers eventually fell 74-63.

The final from Saint Louis’ Chaifetz Arena. (courtesy of lasalle_wbb)

The split week now leaves La Salle with a record of 16-12, with a mark of 7-6 in conference play.  What this means is that the Explorers will need some wins this upcoming week if they wish to have a chance at a double-bye for the upcoming A-10 tournament.  Luckily for the Explorers, the upcoming slate has two winnable games.  The first contest will be at the Dayton Flyers (5-19, 4-9) on Wednesday, Feb 22nd, with a start time of 7PM EST.  The Flyers have been horrid this year, so hopefully this is a win.  La Salle’s next game is their regular season finale, which means it will be Senior Day when the Explorers face off against the VCU Rams (7-19, 4-10) at Tom Gola Arena on Saturday, Feb 25th, at 2PM EST.  The Rams did beat the Explorers earlier this year, so hopefully the girls get revenge on their Virginian foes.  Both games will be streamed on ESPN+.  I hope to report back next week with good news concerning those contests.