The box score from Tuesday nights game between Holy Cross and St. Mary's will show a one sided affair won by St. Mary's. However, the 173 in attendance saw a Holy Cross team pour heart, determination, and an unwillingness to give up on the field.
Starting only 10 players the Saints needed to put forth a tremendous effort to keep pace with the Belles. The Saints had a tough time moving the ball forward, and pressuring the St. Mary's defense. A constant barrage of shots and corner kicks kept goalkeeper Ashleigh Lemp (Osceola, IN) on her toes for much of the first half. An own goal in the 24th minute was the first break St. Mary's caught when a bad bounce deflected off a Saints foot. In the 32nd minute the Belles finally broke through with a goal by Katelyn Tondo-Steele. Ashley Morfin and Michelle Leonard recorded the assist. Katy Durkin netted a goal just before the half ended giving St. Mary's a 3-0 halftime lead. The Saints were outshot 18 - 1 in the half.
Losing two more players in the first half the Saints had to play the second half with only 7 field players and a goalkeeper. Ashleigh Lemp, Lindsey Swaim, Marlen Ortiz, Monica Zehr, Brooklyn Hodges, Marie - Louise Resweber, Valerie Patout, and Megan Ohms all gritted their teeth and played a second half that won't soon be forgotten. Great defense by Lindsey Swaim and the Saints kept the St. Mary's offense quiet for the entire half. With an incredible poise in goal, Lemp was able to shut down any shot on goal. In the end, Lemp recorded 11 saves and faced 30 shots.
"The determination, focus, intelligence and will of this team is making a strong base for a great soccer program at Holy Cross," said Head Coach Carlos Reynolds. "I can't ask more from this team, even though we lost the game, we felt as though we won it. Playing against a team as well organized as St. Mary's and with years of competing at a high level gives us hope for the future."
The Saints will travel to Andrews University on Thursday as part 1 of a doubleheader. The men will play at 8pm following the women's game.