(La Crosse, Wis.) The 2011 lacrosse season came to an end for the Saints in the quarterfinals of the Great Lakes Lacrosse League Championships with an 11-9 loss to the host University of Wisconsin La Crosse.
For the second straight year the Saints were crowned South Division champions after a flawless regular season record. The quarterfinal match-up with the Eagles was the second between the two schools in program history.
The Saints jumped out to an early 1 - 0 lead just seconds into the game, but it was short lived as the Eagles tied it less than a minute later. Both teams traded goals throughout the first 3 quarters. Trailing by three goals in the fourth the Saints managed to pull within one, but a late goal with 20 seconds left in the game sealed the win for the Eagles.
"We didn't play a complete game," said Head Coach Mike Hodge. "We struggled to find a defensive stop throughout the game."
The loss dropped the Saints out of contention for a second league championship. The Eagles would lose to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the semifinals. The Panthers eventually went on to beat Platteville 12 - 5 for their first league title.
The Saints played two final games losing to the Wolverines of Michigan 7 - 8 and winning their final game against Wisconsin-Stout 9 - 3. Holy Cross finished the year with a 9 - 3 overall record.
"It was a disappointing end to the year but I know our guys will come out ready to play next fall and work hard towards getting back to the league championships," Coach Hodge said.
The Saints will only lose four seniors next year including two time Great Lakes Lacrosse League MVP Jeff Byers. "All of our seniors have put in a lot of time and dedication to this program," said Coach Hodge. "I am thankful for the opportunity to have them on our team and wish them nothing but the best in the future."