(Notre Dame, Ind.) The Holy Cross Men's Lacrosse team captured their third straight division championship and fourth straight automatic bid to the Great Lakes Lacrosse League National Championships with a pair of victories over the weekend.
In dominating fashion, the Saints rolled past the Spartans of Michigan State with a 13 - 3 victory securing their third straight division title and first in the newly formed East Division. Holy Cross previously competed in the South Division winning it in 2010 and 2011.
"I thought we did an excellent job of executing our game plan against Michigan State," said Head Coach Michael Hodge. "We controlled the tempo of the game and played an all around good game."
Game two proved to be more challenging for the Saints against the University of Michigan. Holy Cross jumped out to a quick two goal lead, but the Wolverines battled back and tied the game at 2 before the end of the first quarter.
After trading goals in the second quarter the game was knotted up at 4. Michigan took an early 5 - 4 lead in the third, but the Saints battled back and secured their eighth victory of the season 10 - 8.
This was the second time in a week the Saints beat the Wolverines. Holy Cross won 9 - 3 last weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
"In game two we struggled to keep the ball out of our defensive end," said Coach Hodge. "However, we were able to get a goal when we needed it most and closed out the game."
The weekend sweep marked the second time in program history that Holy Cross finished the regular season with a perfect record. The last time was in 2010 when they won the GLLL National Championship.
The 2012 season marks the first time in program history that Holy Cross started and finished the year ranked 1st
in the Great Lakes Lacrosse League polls. The official poll is kept through laxpower.com and rated on the team's power ranking. The Saints finished with a 76.90 power ranking. For a complete explanation on the formula used click HERE
Holy Cross will open the weekend against MCLC (Milwaukee), on Saturday, April 28th, at 11:15am. This year's tournament is being held by the University of Wisconsin Madison. The eight team National Championship tournament includes; Holy Cross College, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, University of Michigan, Mad Cow Lacrosse Club, Northern Illinois University, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, University of North Dakota, and the University of Wisconsin.
If the Saints win their quarterfinal match-up, they will either play the University of Michigan for the third time this year or the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. Holy Cross is 3 - 1 all time against the Wolverines.
Last year, UW La Crosse knocked Holy Cross out of the tournament in the quarterfinals, 11 - 9. In their only other match-up the Saints beat the Eagles in 2009 during the quarterfinals of the National Championships 8 - 3.
For a complete look at the 2012 tournament bracket click HERE