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Strong First Half Propels Lafayette in Patriot League Home Opener

Sept. 29, 2012

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(2-7-0, 1-1-0)
  1 2 F
Holy Cross 0 1 1
Lafayette 2 0 2
 Box Score (PDF) | Box Score |  Photo Gallery

(4-5-1, 1-1-0)
 Scoring Summary
 Player  Assist Time
 LC - Fraser-Pauls (1) Fink  7:26
 LC - Golini (5) Peckham 20:00
 HC - Cintas Uttaro 48:00
 Player Mins GA S
 HC - Wright 90:00 2 6
 LC - McDonald 90:00 1 1

EASTON, Pa. A dominating first half led Lafayette to a 2-1 victory over Holy Cross in its Patriot League home opener on Saturday afternoon at Oaks Stadium. Chandler Fraser-Pauls and Alec Golini provided the offense for Lafayette as the Leopards improved to 4-5-1 overall and 1-1-0 in Patriot League play. 

Lafayette put pressure on Holy Cross 12 seconds into the match when the Leopards took the kickoff and moved the ball ahead to Blake Fink who was in behind the Crusaders' defense. Fink took a touch and ripped a shot from just inside the 18, but Holy Cross goalie Kevin Wright was up to the challenge. 

The pressure continued offensively for the Maroon and White and the home side struck first in the eighth minute on a Fraser-Pauls header. Fink set up the goal with a cross from the far end line that connected with the sophomore's run to the near post. Fraser-Pauls' flick beat Wright to his right for his first career tally. 

Thirteen minutes later, senior captain Sean Peckham put a bouncing ball past two defenders and chased it down on the Holy Cross goal line where he sent it toward the penalty spot. Crashing into the area was Golini who put his right foot on the service and blasted a shot past Wright to put Lafayette ahead 2-0. The marker was Golini's Patriot League-leading fifth of the season and proved to be the game winner. 

Later in the half Lafayette had a chance to make it 3-0 when Ryan Dodds hit Tom McCutcheon in the air, but McCutcheon's header struck the woodwork on the far side and the lead remained 2-0. The Leopards took that advantage into the locker room after registering seven shots on goal in the first 45 minutes and limited the Crusaders to one on Lafayette goaltender Nathan McDonald

Three minutes after intermission Holy Cross capitalized on an offensive chance and cut the deficit in half. Josh Cintas buried a point-blank opportunity off a pass from Tommy Uttaro after Uttaro slipped a pass between two Lafayette defenders in close quarters at the top of the Leopards' penalty area. The goal swung the momentum toward Holy Cross momentarily, but the Leopards clamped down defensively throughout the remainder of the half and didn't allow another shot on goal. 

Peter Adubato had a header off Peckham's corner kick in the 72nd minute, but Wright made one of his six saves to keep the score at 2-1. Wright kept Holy Cross in the game on a couple different occasions and made his best stop on Peckham’s free kick attempt in the first half by diving to his left and knocking the ball away from the top corner of the goal.

The statistics heavily favored Lafayette in the match as the Leopards outshot Holy Cross 12-2 and had a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks. McDonald finished with one save in the game and improved to 4-3-0 on the year. 

Next up for the Leopards is a trip to Lawrenceville, N.J. on Oct. 2 for a non-conference match with Rider. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Game Notes:

The 1987 Lafayette men's soccer team was honored prior to the game as the team celebrated the 25th anniversary of its East Coast Conference Championship

Lafayette improves to 22-4-5 all-time against Holy Cross and is now 9-0-3 in its last 12 games against the Crusaders

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