(South Bend, Indiana) The Saints faced more than just the eleven opposing players Wednesday afternoon at the Indiana Invaders Complex.
The contest was held in pouring rain, wind, and temperatures in the low 40s that felt like the mid- 30s. The Saints regained some injured players for this contest, and were able to play with the allowed eleven players.
The Crimson Wave (3-12) and the Saints (1-11-1) battled all night and had to make adjustments to overcome the slippery field conditions and gusting wind. Sophomores Haley Craig (Granger, Indiana) and Taylor Paoulos (Buffalo Grove, Illinois) returned to the field for the Saints.
The scoring in the game started in the 2nd minute when Calumet's Maritza Salas scored off an assist from Patty Diaz to take an early 1-0 lead. The Saints were not flustered, and played smart for the next thirty minutes before answering with a marker of their own at the 31st minute with a goal from Cassie Juarez (South Bend, Indiana). Juarez rifled home a loose ball off a corner kick to equal the score 1-1.
In the 55th minute, the Crimson Wave went ahead again off a bending corner kick from Sandy Thur. Both teams were having chances in their respective offensive zones, and the Wave finally put a shot past goalkeeper Lindsey Swaim (Elkhart, Indiana) after managing just four in the first half.
The Saints were not about to be denied, and returned fire in the 74th minute when sophomore Karen Liddell (Granger, Indiana) dribbled past a defender and fed a great lead ball to Juarez who again found the back of the net for her 4th goal of the season and her 2nd of the game. The game was tied with just over 15 minutes remaining.
With the score tied and time winding down, both teams pushed the ball as deep as they could as often as possible. The Wave became very aggressive, tallying 10 offside's calls in the game. The play of the Wave did make the difference in the outcome, however, as in the 80th minute, Patty Diaz scored an unassisted goal off a turnover when she scored on a high shot over Swaim to give the Wave a 3-2 lead with 9 minutes remaining.
The Saints launched a furious rally, as forwards Haley Craig, Karen Liddell, Cassie Juarez, and Sally Allgier (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) combined for numerous chances but could not net the equalizer. The Saints took the loss 3-2.
The outcome could have just as easily been 3-2 Holy Cross, but it was some of the intangibles - gusting winds or a slippery ball skipping just a bit too far - that seemed to doom the Saints. The effort from the women undoubtedly pleased head coach Carlos Reynolds, who witnessed his team come back from a deficit twice; and almost a third time.
The Saints return to the field at Judson University this Saturday, October 22nd at noon.