SPRINGFIELD >> The weather has been anything but ideal in the early portion of the spring. But for La Salle boys lacrosse coach Bill Leahy, it’s just another obstacle for the Explorers to work through and overcome.
“I think we excepted the fact that it was just going to be hard. Everything about this year might be hard. It might snow Saturday,” Leahy said. “So, no matter what direction we go, whether it’s weight room or practice or the turf or the grass fields, it’s been kind of embraced. So it’s been good.”
A unrelenting wind was the main issue Wednesday afternoon but with the sun poking through the clouds, La Salle could get down to the business of opening its Philadelphia Catholic League schedule against visiting Archbishop Ryan.
“We’re happy to be out here,” Explorers junior Zac Coar said. “Beautiful weather. We’re just so happy there’s no snow on the field.”
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) April 5, 2018
The Explorers’ offense quickly began to pile up the shots and the goals followed — La Salle led 9-1 halftime lead and went on to cruise past the Raiders 16-1.
“Weather was beautiful. Wind wasn’t the best, but every single game we go out there and have a job to do and just key in on our principles and what really La Salle lacrosse is about,” Coar said. “And I feel like today we represented, we went out and did it.”
Ten different Explorers found the back of the net paced by Coar, the Drexel commit finishing with four goals, three coming after halftime.
“Just my teammates clearing through, getting open for me to have the opportunity to make the shot, make the goal,” Coar said.
Seniors Greg Osbourne and Sean Duffy and junior Shane Osborne all scored twice for La Salle, which went out to a 4-0 lead before Archbishop Ryan (0-3, 0-1) got its lone goal from Nick Taylor with 1:37 left in the first quarter.
“Early they pumped in a ton of shots, the kid (Ryan goalkeeper Brody Alloway) had how many, 20 some saves, right, so we did a lot of things well,” Leahy said. We included everybody so just like a workman day.”
La Salle faces a much tougher test 4 p.m. Friday as it hosts Canadian side Hill Academy, which is ranked second in the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse Top 25. Hill — located just north of Toronto in Vaughn, Ontario — beat the Explorers 12-2 last season.
“We’re trying to work it. You don’t be too high, you don’t be too low, it’s another day out at work,” Leahy said. “Today, it was Archbishop Ryan, we’re grateful that they came, it was a good outing and then Friday the No. 2 team in the nation, the Hill Academy from Canada is coming. Another day at work.”
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) April 5, 2018
The Explorers put the game away with a five-goal second quarter. Shane Osborne scored the first at 9:44 while Mason Lazasz made it 6-1 at 7:04. Gregory Osborne collected the next two goals to put La Salle up seven at 5:10. Matthew Clibanoff’s strike at 3:27 made it an eight-goal margin at intermission.
“This group’s a little different. They like to come to work, there’s a lot of grit,” Leahy said. “Usually it’s nine, 10 to three no matter who we play, today they went out and did the same thing. The just went about their business.”
After Joseph Taylor opened scoring in the third quarter, Coar racked up back-to-back goals while Duffy’s first tally at 4:07 had La Salle up 13-1 and enacted the 12-goal mercy rule running clock.
“Every game you start out and you have an expectation you play up to,” Coar said. “I just feel like if we just keep our head on every single game like that, we’ll come out with a W.”
La Salle 16, Archbishop Ryan 1
Archbishop Ryan 1 0 0 0 — 1
La Salle 4 5 4 3 — 16
Archbishop Ryan Goals: Nick Taylor 1.
La Salle Goals: Zac Coar 4; Sean Duffy 2; Gregory Osborne 2; Shane Osborne 2; Matthew Clibanoff; Robert Foster; Mason Lazasz; Ethan Masucci; Grant Pinto; Joseph Taylor.
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