Lacrosse opened their season at home as they hosted Fresno State at McCarthy Stadium.
Freshman Emily Johnson netted the first goal for La Salle after nearly ten scoreless minutes. The Bulldogs swiftly countered, scoring five unanswered goals. Fresno State’s Ryleigh Bone had two of the Bulldogs’ five goals and Fresno State went up 5-1.
La Salle was able to score their second goal with a little less than five minutes remaining in the opening half. Freshman Bridget Ruskey scored her first collegiate goal while Brittany Edwards had the assist.
Still, the Bulldogs were not done. Fresno State closed out the first half with two consecutive goals—one coming with just 46 seconds left in the half. Fresno State took a commanding 7-2 lead and went into halftime with a comfortable lead over the Blue and Gold.
The Bulldogs added to their lead less than three minutes into the second half. Fresno State’s Sarah Bloise scored her second goal of the day to open scoring in the final half. Things were looking bleak as the Explorers found themselves down 8-2.
La Salle countered. Freshman Hope Smith scored her first goal as an Explorer with 22:47 left in the half. Maddie Dachowski got the assist, the first in her college career.
Bridget Ruskey picked up two unassisted goals to cut the Bulldogs lead down to three with less than 7 minutes left in the game.
The game continued and neither team was able to score as the minutes ticked down. Brittany Edwards managed a goal with 41 seconds left in the game, but at that point it was too little too late.
The Explorers fell in their opening match-up by a final score of 8-6.
Despite the loss, it was a good showing for La Salle. The team showed that they could respond well to adversity and nearly caught up to the Bulldogs in the second half. It was a great showing for the freshman class as they had 5 of La Salle’s 6 goals. Bridget Ruskey in particular had a strong game with 3 goals and an assist.
The Explorers will be back in action next week at Delaware where they will take on the Blue Hens on Feb. 21st at 6 p.m. The two teams have not played against each other since 2016 where Delaware took a 12-7 victory. This game will be important for the Blue and Gold in building confidence early in the season.
Helen Starrs, Editor