Holy Cross' own Executive Vice President Dr. Tina Holland hosted a wonderful pre-game ceremony honoring the collegiate careers of all three seniors.
The Saints competed in their final home game of the 2011 season Wednesday afternoon and hosted an aggressive team from the Illinois Institute of Technology (10-6-1).
Both teams displayed great ball movement and passing, and both
squads hustled the entire length of the field.The Scarlet Hawks opened the scoring in the 4th minute when Graeme Port found a hole in the Saints' defense and slipped a ball by Saints goalkeeper Damian Marciniak.
The Hawks then found themselves the beneficiary of a questionable call on Marciniak in the 19th minute and were awarded a penalty shot, which Tech's Robert Rixer made to give his team a 2-0 advantage.
With two minor plays, the Saints were looking into a 2-0 hole not even halfway through the first half. The Saints gained momentum during the remainder of the half, and had some good scoring chances from well-played crosses deep in the Tech zone.
The call proved to be costly almost immediately, as Rixer tallied his second goal of the game for the Scarlet Hawks just 46 seconds later. Rixer was a thorn-in-the-side for the Saints defense all afternoon with his intense speed, as the forward also runs the 200-meter dash for Tech.
Tech added a marker in the 62nd minute, after Holy Cross had been putting pressure on Tech goalkeeper Jared Svaldi. Holy Cross finally beat Tech's defense in the 73rd minute when Niko Jelicic (Sucuraj, Croatia) threw a ball up for junior Luis Delgado (Lexington, Kentucky) who finished the job and put the Saints on the board.
The Saints did all they could in the final 20 minutes to keep the rally going by creating some scoring chances off hustle plays and smart ball handling, but could not get any closer. Tech tacked on an insurance goal in the 78th minute to put the game out of reach for good.
The seniors shined in their final home game, as Marciniak displayed a number of diving stops, and stonewalled a few Hawks on the doorstep in the second half. Brooks McDonald made his money patrolling the midfield as usual, and made plays on both sides of the field that created openings for teammates and prevented breakaways. Jaime Genis showed his speed and tenacity on the outside, putting pressure on the Hawks keeper all afternoon, and was very disruptive on defense.