(South Bend, Ind.) In front of an energetic home crowd Tuesday evening at the Indiana Invaders complex the Saints earned their first Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) game of 2010 in thrilling fashion.
Both St. Francis and Holy Cross squandered early opportunities in the first half to take an early lead. Damian Marciniak (Michigan City, Ind.) came up with 3 big saves to keep St. Francis off the scoreboard.
The second half was a different story as the Saints came out not only playing hard, but also wearing their black road jerseys. Both teams continued to battle back and forth and it wasn't until the 74th minute when Xavier Smart (Ontario, Canada) netted the first goal of the game. Robert Campos (Elkhart, Ind.) recorded the assist on the play. Six minutes later in the 80th minute Ulises Ornelas of St. Francis tied the game at 1.
It appeared as though the game was moving into overtime, but in the waning minutes of the second half Nikolas Jelicic (Ontario, Canada) came through with his second goal of the season in the 87th minute to put the Saints back on top. Zoren Maletic (Banja Luka, Repulika Srpska) recorded the assist.
"The guys learned to push through adversity and play with the heart and intensity that we know they have," said Head Coach Dustan Harley. "It was nice to see some of our guys take their game to a level we haven't seen as of yet. It was a great conference win and is a big first step in helping us qualify for the CCAC post season tournament. "
The Saints outshot St. Francis 17 - 15, and led in corner kicks 9 - 3. Holy Cross improves to 4 - 4 - 1 on the year and will travel to Cornerstone University for their final non-conference match-up of the season this Saturday, October 2nd. The Saints return home October 6th, to host Olivet Nazarene University.