(Notre Dame, Ind.) Riding an 18 game winning streak that started on February 20th, 2010, the Saints lacrosse program returned home for their only games of the season Saturday and Sunday on the Holy Cross athletic fields.
Holy Cross opened Saturday with a 9-4 victory over South Division opponent Western Illinois. The Saints took an early lead and never let up as they pushed their winning streak to 19 and their overall record to 5-0.
Later in the afternoon it was the Saints hosting the Badgers of Wisconsin in a non-divisional match-up. After taking an early 5-1 lead it looked as though the Saints were going to cruise to their 20th straight win, but the Badgers fought back with 3 goals to pull within 1.
In the second half both teams traded goals throughout, but the Saints prevailed with an 8-6 victory and pushed their season record to 6-0.
"We didn't play our best on Saturday," said Head Coach Mike Hodge. "All year we have struggled to play a complete 60 minutes, but we have come up with big plays when we needed them."
Entering Sunday's match-up with Ohio State (NCLL), the Saints were looking to upset the Buckeye's in a non league game. Trailing 2-0 early in the first the Saints needed a big play to keep the game close.
Midfielder Reed Looney came up big with a shot from 20 yards out that pulled the Saints within 1. Holy Cross added two more unanswered goals before the first quarter ended. However, in the final seconds of the 1st, Ohio State scored a quick goal that trickled past goalkeeper Jeff Byers as time expired.
The second and third quarters belonged to the Buckeyes as they built up an 8-3 lead before the Saints were finally able to get a goal back. In the end it was Ohio State ending the Saints 20 game streak 10-5.
"Ohio State was a good team and the better one on Sunday," said Coach Hodge. "Hopefully we can learn from our mistakes and finish the year strong next Sunday."
Holy Cross will close out the 2011 regular season at Northwestern University Sunday, April 17th, against Lake Forest College. A win over the Foresters will give the Saints their second straight South Division title.