Basketball one of many things St. Rose grad Antognoli excels in at Lafayette

January 19, 2024 at 7:00 a.m.
St. Rose graduate Abby Antognoli has had a sparkling career at Lafayette College and it has enveloped more than just basketball. But she has been dynamic on the court, leading the Leopards in five statistical categories. Photo courtesy of Rick Smith
St. Rose graduate Abby Antognoli has had a sparkling career at Lafayette College and it has enveloped more than just basketball. But she has been dynamic on the court, leading the Leopards in five statistical categories. Photo courtesy of Rick Smith

By RICH FISHER
Contributing Editor

Basketball is not the sole purpose of Abby Antognoli’s college existence. She has enjoyed numerous other activities during her time at Lafayette College, Easton, Pa.

And yet, to watch her play, one understands that basketball still burns fiercely within her. 

The junior point guard currently leads the Leopards in scoring  (12.8 points per game), assists (53), steals (26), 3-pointers (32) and minutes played (37.5 per game). Last year, the 2021 graduate of St. Rose High School, Belmar, was second on the team in scoring (12.5) while leading in assists (72), steals (44), 3-pointers (33) and minutes played (36.0).

Despite the responsibility of running an offense and scoring points, Antognoli still finds time for other interests while maintaining a 3.97 grade point average as an Economics major. Abby got a B-plus in Financial Theory and Analysis, and while she was upset that it was the first non-A she ever received, her performance in that class helped earn a summer internship as a business consultant for Ernst & Young in Philadelphia.

“Mentally, the change from high school to college is definitely hard,” Antognoli said. “I understand a hard work ethic. But it takes a lot out of you and you need to make sure basketball doesn’t become your whole life or you’re just gonna fall down a dark hole. You gotta find other things to make you happy as well.”

The Bay Head resident happily belongs to the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, which helps enhance life for Lafayette student-athletes. She’s also a Peer Leader, and a member of the Investment, Women in Finance and Empowering Female Athletes clubs.  

“I feel like I’m just a girl who loves to play basketball but that can’t be my whole life,” she said.


Abby Antognoli, 2021 graduate of St. Rose, Belmar, plays for Lafayette College in a game against Notre Dame University, Ind. Photo courtesy of Ashton Pollard, Notre Dame SID

Nonetheless, her passion for the sport has made Abby’s college career somewhat angst-ridden. After her St. Rose teams went 88-19 with two state titles, Antognoli is experiencing losing for the first time. Lafayette is 6-10 this season after going 12-18 and 10-19 her first two years.

“I’ve been struggling with the last few years,” she admitted. “I’ve had to grow my mindset. I have to stay composed when we’re losing. Last year as I became the starting point guard and leader of the team it was a lot for me to figure out how to stay composed and keep everyone willing to work when the season was so tough.

“I knew going into college I wanted to try and change a program – and trying to do that comes with losses,” she continued. “We’re definitely improving from my freshman year. We have so much potential. We’ve had people stepping up here or there but everyone needs to fulfill their role every day in order for us to really compete.”

Abby has always put winning before individual stats but in this case she says, “I had to learn to appreciate small victories. Doing well for myself is something I never considered before but in order to stay positive and keep going, I’m proud of what I’m doing. But there’s more I need to do in order for us to compete.”

Antognoli is asked to be a scorer and playmaker after mostly doing the latter in high school. It has been an adjustment dealing with added defensive attention while looking to create her own shot as opposed to always passing off.

During her freshman year she was taken aback by the increase of physicality and quickness of the college game. She had to develop a quicker release on her 3-point shot while adjusting to the change in speed. Unable to penetrate like she did at St. Rose, Abby honed her mid-range jumper and perimeter shot. It all comes with being asked to score more.

“It’s definitely a little hard for me,” she said. “I’m such a pass-first point guard, I love finding open teammates. But I need to do what’s best for the team. I know I have the green light to shoot and I need to execute on it.”   

Abby realizes there is still time to turn around the losing. No matter what happens, she will look back on her college days as truly rewarding.

“I feel like I’ve grown so much in three years as a person,” she said. “I would not change where I went. The academics, the relationships I’ve built with the professors, and to be close to home where my parents can be at every game have definitely made a difference. I’m very happy I picked Lafayette.” 

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Basketball is not the sole purpose of Abby Antognoli’s college existence. She has enjoyed numerous other activities during her time at Lafayette College, Easton, Pa.

And yet, to watch her play, one understands that basketball still burns fiercely within her. 

The junior point guard currently leads the Leopards in scoring  (12.8 points per game), assists (53), steals (26), 3-pointers (32) and minutes played (37.5 per game). Last year, the 2021 graduate of St. Rose High School, Belmar, was second on the team in scoring (12.5) while leading in assists (72), steals (44), 3-pointers (33) and minutes played (36.0).

Despite the responsibility of running an offense and scoring points, Antognoli still finds time for other interests while maintaining a 3.97 grade point average as an Economics major. Abby got a B-plus in Financial Theory and Analysis, and while she was upset that it was the first non-A she ever received, her performance in that class helped earn a summer internship as a business consultant for Ernst & Young in Philadelphia.

“Mentally, the change from high school to college is definitely hard,” Antognoli said. “I understand a hard work ethic. But it takes a lot out of you and you need to make sure basketball doesn’t become your whole life or you’re just gonna fall down a dark hole. You gotta find other things to make you happy as well.”

The Bay Head resident happily belongs to the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, which helps enhance life for Lafayette student-athletes. She’s also a Peer Leader, and a member of the Investment, Women in Finance and Empowering Female Athletes clubs.  

“I feel like I’m just a girl who loves to play basketball but that can’t be my whole life,” she said.


Abby Antognoli, 2021 graduate of St. Rose, Belmar, plays for Lafayette College in a game against Notre Dame University, Ind. Photo courtesy of Ashton Pollard, Notre Dame SID

Nonetheless, her passion for the sport has made Abby’s college career somewhat angst-ridden. After her St. Rose teams went 88-19 with two state titles, Antognoli is experiencing losing for the first time. Lafayette is 6-10 this season after going 12-18 and 10-19 her first two years.

“I’ve been struggling with the last few years,” she admitted. “I’ve had to grow my mindset. I have to stay composed when we’re losing. Last year as I became the starting point guard and leader of the team it was a lot for me to figure out how to stay composed and keep everyone willing to work when the season was so tough.

“I knew going into college I wanted to try and change a program – and trying to do that comes with losses,” she continued. “We’re definitely improving from my freshman year. We have so much potential. We’ve had people stepping up here or there but everyone needs to fulfill their role every day in order for us to really compete.”

Abby has always put winning before individual stats but in this case she says, “I had to learn to appreciate small victories. Doing well for myself is something I never considered before but in order to stay positive and keep going, I’m proud of what I’m doing. But there’s more I need to do in order for us to compete.”

Antognoli is asked to be a scorer and playmaker after mostly doing the latter in high school. It has been an adjustment dealing with added defensive attention while looking to create her own shot as opposed to always passing off.

During her freshman year she was taken aback by the increase of physicality and quickness of the college game. She had to develop a quicker release on her 3-point shot while adjusting to the change in speed. Unable to penetrate like she did at St. Rose, Abby honed her mid-range jumper and perimeter shot. It all comes with being asked to score more.

“It’s definitely a little hard for me,” she said. “I’m such a pass-first point guard, I love finding open teammates. But I need to do what’s best for the team. I know I have the green light to shoot and I need to execute on it.”   

Abby realizes there is still time to turn around the losing. No matter what happens, she will look back on her college days as truly rewarding.

“I feel like I’ve grown so much in three years as a person,” she said. “I would not change where I went. The academics, the relationships I’ve built with the professors, and to be close to home where my parents can be at every game have definitely made a difference. I’m very happy I picked Lafayette.” 

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.

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