(Joliet, Illinois) The men's soccer team took on the Fighting Saints of the University of St. Francis under the lights at Joliet Memorial Stadium last night.
St. Francis brought in a 4-3-1 (0-1 CCAC) record into the game, and took control early. St. Francis recorded two shots and a corner kick in the first six minutes. Holy Cross only mustered one shot in the first twenty minutes, coming from sophomore Niko Jelicic (Sucuraj, Croatia).
USF got on the board first in the 21st minute by Andres Stecher, who was playing his first game ever for the Fighting Saints.
St. Francis kept the pressure on after the goal, and Holy Cross only added one more shot by Jelicic until USF tallied another goal in the 32rd minute by Michael Kowal.
Still not done, USF padded their lead on their third goal of the first half, this time from Victor Trujillo, assisted by Andres Stecher.
Looking at a 3-0 defecit early into the game did not sit well with the Holy Cross coaches and players, and they rallied for a comeback. "I told my guys to get their heads in the game and start a rally", head coach Rhett Zych said after the game, "I wanted to head into halftime with some momentum."
Holy Cross responded with some sustained pressure around the 37th minute with a corner kick by Luis Delgado (Lexington, Kentucky) and a corner kick and shot on goal by Alex Clarke (Liverpool, England).
Holy Cross started chipping away at the defecit in the 42nd minute when junior Robert Campos (La Ceiba, Honduras) found the back of the net with a feed from Clarke.
Unfortunately, this would be as close as Holy Cross would come. USF would add goals in the 57th and 88th minutes, including another by Stecher, who collected three points for USF.
Holy Cross finished with nine shots and three corner kicks. Damian Marciniak (Michigan City, Indiana) added five saves.
The loss puts Holy Cross at 3-3-1 on the year.
The Saints are back in action October 2nd at Lindenwood University at 2:00 PM.