(Platteville, Wis.) 60 minutes of lacrosse and the University of Wisconsin was the only thing standing between Holy Cross and their first championship in program history.
After battling Northwestern University in the semifinals the Saints moved into the championship game for the second year in a row. In a rematch of last year's championship the Saints took on a very physical and talented University of Wisconsin team.
"We knew Wisconsin would be physical and ready to play today," said second year Head Coach Mike Hodge. "We wanted to get up early and not have to play from behind like last year." The Saints stuck to their game plan and after trading a pair of early goals with the Badgers, the Saints put up 4 unanswered goals to take a 5 - 1 lead heading into half.
The second half was a different story as the Badgers slowly chipped away at the Holy Cross lead. As the third quarter came to a close the Saints held a 6 - 3 lead. Wisconsin kept the pressure on in the fourth and closed the Holy Cross lead to one with 1:30 remaining in the game. After a miss fire from the Wisconsin offense the Saints cleared the ball and ran out the remaining time to escape with a 6 - 5 victory and their first Great Lakes Lacrosse League Championship.
Leading all scorers was senior attackman Pat Pirozzi netting three goals. Fellow senior attackman Levi Burkins added two goals of his own. Senior Ryan Euell and freshman Brian Benedict each put in a goal for the Saints. Jeff Byers and Fritz Schoenhut led the Saints in goal splitting duties, and Byers added his second straight league MVP. The Saints conclude the 2010 season with a perfect 15 - 0 record.
"Our guys have worked hard all year and we have had one goal in mind since we began the season," said Coach Hodge. "Our first championship means a lot to this program and school. This wouldn't have been possible without all the guys that have helped build this program from its inception 9 years ago."