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The Saints opened up 2013 on a positive note despite the 3-2 OT loss to Mount Mercy
Women's Soccer - Thu, Aug. 22, 2013

John Brodbeck

Sports Information Director

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The Holy Cross Saints women's soccer program opened up the 2013 season under first year head coach Geriann Druyos in dramatic fashion against the Mustangs of Mount Mercy University (Iowa). With the score tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation, the game headed to overtime. The Mustangs struck quickly in the extra time scoring the game winner within the first two minutes to drop the Saints to 0-1 on the season.

"I felt tonight was very positive for our team," stated coach Druyos. "We played this team last season and lost 5-0. To come out with the energy and intensity we played with, and to put enough pressure on them to take the lead at the half was very important for the development of our team.

"At the same time, however, it's still tough to accept a loss," continued coach Druyos. "This game was the definition of good soccer, and I'm glad our girls continued to fight."

Mount Mercy got the scoring started in the first minute of the game after Kristin Thom finished off the pass from Ashli O'Shea.

The Saints, however, did not lose their composure.

"The way things started with the early goal felt a lot like last year," Druyos stated. "The girls didn't let it get them down though and continued to put on the pressure and look for their opportunities."

Mayte Carillo Benavides (Chicago, Ill.) answered the Mustangs 1-0 lead with her first career goal after a cross from Stacy Rubio (Northlake, Ill.) to knot the score up at 1-1 in the 20th minute.

After the equalizer, the Saints really controlled the tempo of the game for the remaining of the first half. Just minutes after subbing in, Leah Trattles (Holland, Mich.) buried a pass from Haleigh Vander Vinne (Chesterton, Ind.) to give the Saints a 2-1 lead in the 41st minute. The assist for Vander Vinne was her first career point after missing all of last season recovering from a knee injury.

The lead would hold strong through the first half, as the Saints took a 2-1 lead to the break.

With the second half underway, the Mustangs came out the aggressors and netted the game tying goal in the 50th minute after Danielle Herdliska put away the rebound.

The intensity of the game continued to pick up with both goalkeepers making timely saves over the final minutes of the half.

After ninety minutes of action, the score was knotted at 2-2 and overtime was on the horizon.

Before the Saints could get their opportunity in extra time, the Mustangs got a breakaway goal from Herdliska to end the game. The goal happened just two minutes into overtime.

Senior goalkeeper Aileen Clouse (Beavercreek, Ohio) finished the game with four saves.

"Although it was hard to accept this outcome, I'm really pleased with the energy we had," continued Druyos. "The first game is always difficult to gauge how the team will play. After seeing what we were able to do today we now know where we're at and can make adjustments accordingly. We've already come a long way from where we were a year ago and I think things will only get better from here."

The Saints return to the field on Wednesday, August 28th in Berrien Springs, Mich. to take on the Andrews University Cardinals. The game is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. EST.