(Notre Dame, Ind.) The Holy Cross Saints men's soccer team continued their winning ways at home Tuesday evening with a 2-1 win over #12 nationally ranked Robert Morris University. The win for the Saints gives them their first conference win of the year and their biggest win in program history.
The match didn't start out particularly well for the Saints; in the 3rd minute of play, an unlucky deflection had the Saints knock the ball into their own goal giving Robert Morris an early 1-0 lead.
Holy Cross was able to regain their composure after the early goal, and begin to get some solid shots on Eagles goalkeeper Milco Risteski. Luis Delgado (Lexington, Ky.) got the Saints tied up with his 3rd goal of the season. After the goal from Delgado, the Saints looked to take charge.
A red card from Robert Morris University's Patryk Gorajewski towards the end of the 1st half gave the Saints a man advantage for the remainder of the game. The momentum of Delgado's goal, and the ejection of an Eagles player, gave the Saints a sense of confidence heading into the half.
"The guys knew we have been in this situation before," said Saints head coach Omar Gallo. "We've been in every game this year, and our guys knew we had to make a statement and come out strong in the 2nd half."
The 2nd half of play was an intense and physical half. Robert Morris, being a man down, played a smart half and were still able to get a number of scoring opportunities. Saints freshmen goalkeeper Victor Navarro (South Bend, Ind.) had 3 of his 6 saves in the 2nd half.
"Victor was big for us once again," said coach Omar Gallo. He made a number of saves on broken plays for us and really kept us in the game.
Standout freshmen Troy Padgett (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) scored his 9th goal of the season in the 67th minute off a pass from Eduardo Berruezo (Madrid, Spain) which gave the Saints their first lead of the game.
The final 20 minutes of the match contained a lot of action from the visiting Eagles. A last second foul call gave Robert Morris an opportunity to tie the game with 6 seconds left. After the shot was deflected out of bounds, the clock ran out and the Saints were able to celebrate a big upset victory.
"I'm so proud of how hard the guys fought tonight," said Saints head coach Omar Gallo. "We've been in this type of situation all season and given up the game in the final minutes. Tonight we were finally able to play a full 90 minutes, and the scoreboard shows just how good we can be when we play a full game. It was definitely a tough game, but we never gave up. I can't say enough how proud I am of what the guys were able to accomplish."
The Saints (4-4) (1-1 CCAC) will continue their conference schedule in Deerfield, Illinois on Saturday afternoon against the Trojans of Trinity International. The next home for the Saints will be on Wednesday, October 3rd at 5:00pm EST against the University of Saint Francis.