(South Lyon, Mich.) The Holy Cross men's lacrosse team opened their 2011 season against Great Lakes Lacrosse newcomers Michigan State and Michigan. Both teams are new additions to the GLLL as well as the South Division.
In game one it was the Saints building an early 4-1 lead over the Spartans heading into half. Senior goalkeeper Fritz Schoenhut came up with big saves and the Saints defense was relentless as Michigan State struggled to find the back of the net.
Building on their first half momentum the Saints built up a 7-2 lead in the third quarter. It looked as though Holy Cross was going to cruise to their first victory of the season, but State ended the fourth quarter with 5 straight unanswered goals. However, it was too little too late and the Saints took game one 9-7 in the first ever meeting between the two sides.
"I was impressed with the way we came out and took the lead over Michigan State," said Head Coach Mike Hodge. "However, we need to finish games and not let the other team get back into the game the as Michigan State did."
In the second game it was the Saints once again jumping out to an early 1-0 lead over the Wolverines of Michigan. The Saints took advantage of an early fast break opportunity on the opening face-off of the game.
Once again it looked as though the Saints were in complete control with a 3-1 lead in the first quarter. However, the Wolverines bounced back and to tie the game at three apiece.
Answering with two goals in the second and third quarter Holy Cross took a 5-3 lead, but Michigan rallied with two of their own goals to tie the game at 5 heading into the fourth quarter.
After trading goals early in the fourth the Saints added two goals midway through the quarter to take an 8-6 lead. Senior goalkeeper Jeff Byers and the Saints defense managed to shut down the Wolverines the rest of the way as they earned their second win on the day.
"Michigan was a good team with some really skilled athletes," said Coach Hodge. "I thought that our defense did a great job shutting them down especially in the fourth quarter. These were two important wins for this program as we move ahead with the season."
The Saints (2-0) will travel to Benedictine University to take on South Division opponents University of Chicago and Southern Illinois on Saturday, April 2nd. The first game is scheduled for 1:30pm against University of Chicago.
The Saints will be home for their only home games of the season next Saturday, April 9th & 10th. The Saints play three games next weekend including a night game at Arlotta Stadium on the campus of Notre Dame.