(Notre Dame, Ind.) The Holy Cross Saints men's soccer team played with heavy hearts on Tuesday evening in their conference matchup with the Tigers of Olivet Nazarene University. The Saints honored the loss of Alberto Berruezo, the uncle of sophomore Eduardo Berruezo (Madrid, Spain). After a hard fought game with action from both teams, the Saints and Tigers finished the match with a 1-1 tie after no one could get the game winner in either of the two overtimes.
The first half of play provided a number of chances for both teams. Victor Navarro (South Bend, Ind.), fresh off of his Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) defensive player of the week award, seemed to pick up where he left off. Navarro finished the first half of play with 3 big saves that kept the game scoreless.
As the second half began, it only took the Saints 90 seconds to get back in their groove they've had at home all season. In the 46th minute of action, Luis Delgado (Lexington, Ky.) tallied his 5th goal of the season off a great pass from Eduardo Berruezo to give the Saints an early 1-0 lead.
The Tigers, however, found their way back in it off a goal from Michael Da Silva in the 68th minute that tied the game at 1-1.
Holy Cross had their opportunities down the stretch of the final 10 minutes in regulation, but couldn't find the back of the net. After the first 90 minutes were completed, the match went to overtime.
As the first 10 minutes of overtime took place, both teams struggled to find good lucks at the net. Olivet was able to get off 2 shots, both of which were wide of the net. The first overtime ended with no real chances for either team, and they headed to the deciding period of play.
With only 10 minutes remaining of achieving their 5th straight conference win, the Saints offense looked to gather their final boost of energy to get the game winning goal.
The Saints were able to get off 3 shots in the final 10 minutes (two being on net), but the goalie for the Tigers was able to save them both. Victor Navarro also came up with a big save of his own to help keep the Saints home unbeaten streak alive.
The game ended in a 1-1 tie, with the Saints picking up a big point in the conference standings.
"It was a tough game for the boys today as I am sure that they wanted to get the win rather than the tie," said Saints head coach Omar Gallo. "As a coach, you play to win the game, but at this point in the season the point earned is still very valuable to us."
The tie makes it 5 straight conference games that the Saints pick up at least 1 point in the conference standings.
"We were in a position today where we took a couple of knocks on the field and lost a couple of starters," continued coach Gallo. "Today really showed the kind of depth that we have on this team, and the guys who came in off the bench continued to battle for our team and kept the result. I'm certainly glad and honored to have a freshman goalkeeper like Victor, and I'm so proud of him becoming the first Holy Cross College men's soccer player to receive player of the week. Today he showed why he earned those honors with a number of big saves."
The tie for the Saints gives them a program high 13 conference points, and puts them in a tie for 2nd place only two points behind the conference leaders. Their season record stands at 7-4-1 (4-1-1 CCAC).
The Saints will continue CCAC play on Saturday, October 13th in Chicago, Illinois as they take on the 23rd ranked Cougars of Saint Xavier University.
The next home match for the Saints will take place on Wednesday, October 17th against Cardinal Stritch University at 4:30pm EST.