(Notre Dame, IN) The women's soccer team played stellar defense and made some great plays en route to their first victory of the young season.
Backed by a solid performance in goal by senior captain Ashleigh Lemp (South Bend, IN), and with the support of a large crowd, the Saints were able to bombard the opposing Andrews University Cardinals with 5 goals.
The fun started early when the Saints got on the board in the 4th minute after a throw-in deep in the Cardinal zone, followed by some nice dribbling off the feet of sophomore Karen Liddell (Granger, IN), who assisted fellow sophomore Haley Craig (Granger, IN) with her first goal of the season.
The dynamic sophomore pair were not done yet, when in the 28th minute, Liddell fed Craig again for her second goal of the game.
Just a few moments later, in the 34th minute, another sophomore, Cassandra Juarez (South Bend, IN) helped out the Saints' cause by assisting yet another goal for Haley Craig. Haley Craig's three first half goals became the first hat trick in Holy Cross women's soccer history.
Head coach Carlos Reynolds after the game: "It was good to see that we started as we planned; we wanted to put pressure on and score early in the game. Haley Craig was able to do that in a very focused and determined way. She did a terrific offensive job today scoring three goals in her first game...that was fantastic. She complemented well with Karen Liddell and Cassie Juarez on the attack."
After a sloppy few minutes after halftime, the Saints regained their composure and controlled the game for most of the second half. In the 82nd minute, Cassandra Juarez scored unassisted off a breakaway, which silenced any effort for a comeback from the Cardinals.
Just a few minutes later, in the 87th minute, senior Valerie Patout scored off a free kick from near midfield to extend the Holy Cross lead to five, which capped off an amazing offensive barrage from the Saints.
Reynolds added: "Our defense had almost a flawless game and the few times the Cardinals were able to pass them, Ashleigh Lemp was able to 'stop the fire'."
The Saints defense proved to be a major factor in the game, with goalkeeper Ashleigh Lemp pitching a shut out complete with seven saves and the Saints defense collectively creating fast breaks and quality scoring chances from the Cardinals turnovers and miscues.
"It was an important win for us...the first one in the season is always important", said Reynolds.
The Saints improve to (1-3) recording their first shutout of the season, and take momentum into their next game which is at Jackson Community College September 15th, 2011 at 5:30 PM.