(Lisle, Ill.) After a 2-0 start against Michigan and Michigan State last weekend, the Saints were back on the road for a pair of divisional games at Benedictine University Saturday afternoon. The Saints took on the Salukis of Southern Illinois and the University of Chicago.
After a scoreless first quarter the Saints found themselves down 1-0 early in the second quarter. However, the lead was short lived as the Saints put up 7 unanswered goals before Chicago was able to score a late goal in the final seconds of the game.
Holy Cross goalkeeper Jeff Byers came up with 13 big saves including 5 in the first quarter. Holy Cross attackmen Jake Hlavacek, Brian Benedict, and Sean Tallet each recorded a goal. Midfielder Reed Looney netted 4 goals as the Saints improved their record to 3-0 on the year with a 7-2 victory.
"We came out sluggish in the first quarter," said Head Coach Mike Hodge. "Chicago made our defense work hard, but our guys were able to step up and make plays when we needed them."
In the final game of the day the Saints took on Southern Illinois University. The game was hard fought on both sides as neither team was able pull away.
"Every time either team scored someone would come up with a big shot and even the game," said Coach Hodge. "I thought our guys did a really nice job of keeping their heads in the game after we lost the lead."
Both sides traded goals throughout as the game was tied on six different occasions. With an 8-7 lead in the fourth quarter and two minutes remaining on the clock, Hlavacek came up with a big goal to put the Saints up 2 goals. Looney sealed the victory with his fourth goal of the game and eighth of the day to put the Saints up 3.
"Today was a total team effort," said Coach Hodge. "We got great play from a lot of guys when the game was on the line. Our defense played well and once again our goalies stepped up with big saves. I thought that Reed [Looney] took a lot on his shoulders and carried this team when we needed it most."
The Saints will host their only games of the year next Saturday, April 9th, and Sunday, April 10th. Holy Cross will kick-off the day at 11:00am behind the Pfeil Center against South Division opponent Western Illinois.
The Saints will then head to Arlotta Stadium on the campus of Notre Dame on Saturday night to host the Badgers of Wisconsin at 7:30pm. Admission is free to the event. Holy Cross will finish the weekend on Sunday afternoon in a non-league game against Ohio State (NCLL) at 12:15pm on the HCC athletic fields.