Late Goal Sends Holy Cross Past Men's Soccer
Oct. 12, 2013
WORCESTER, Mass. - Lafayette had a number of chances, but couldn't find the back of the net as the Leopards fell to Holy Cross in a 1-0 decision on Saturday night at Smith Soccer Stadium. Monty Sanders registered the game-winner in the 78th minute to lift Holy Cross to victory.
Early on Lafayette's Erik Cannon made a run into the Holy Cross (5-5-1, 3-1-0) defensive third that resulted in a left-footed strike from just beyond the Crusaders' penalty area. The back's shot made its way on target, but Kevin Wright was there to slide to his right to secure the save.
In the 18th minute Alec Golini had a tremendous opportunity to break the ice after taking a header from Jeff McLaughlin on a run through the middle. The header dropped in behind the Holy Cross center back for Golini, but his shot went straight to Wright, who made sure there was no rebound.
Nearly seven minutes later Ryan Egan sent a pass down the left flank for Greg Biggiani, who carried the ball inside the Holy Cross defensive third. With the ball on his right foot and approaching the corner of the six-yard box, Wright came out to challenge and Biggiani's shot sailed just high and wide of the far corner.
The Leopards (3-2-6, 1-2-0) continued to knock on the door and nearly found the first goal in the 27th minute. Cannon was fouled on a run through the midfield to set up a free kick a little more than 30 yards from goal. Nate Arronson unleashed a left-footed shot that rang off the bottom of the crossbar before Holy Cross cleared the danger to keep the game scoreless.
The period ended with Lafayette holding an 8-5 advantage in shots as the two sides went into the locker room in a scoreless tie. Wright and Leopards' goalie Nathan McDonald each were credited with three saves.
Nine minutes after intermission, Biggiani sent a cross to the other side of the penalty area for McLaughlin and the senior tried a volley with his right foot, but the shot missed to the outside of the near post. A couple minutes later Holy Cross was able to earn two corner kicks, but both were successfully defended by the Leopards.
From there each side had chances to take the lead. Holy Cross had a free kick that Egan knocked away on the service into the box and then Golini had a shot skip just wide of goal and the game entered the final half hour of regulation still deadlocked at 0-0.
The defense of three corners and a pair of routine saves by McDonald sent the game into the final fifteen minutes before Holy Cross netted the game winner in the 78th minute. After collecting a loose ball inside the Lafayette box, Gavin Millay sent a pass back to the top of the 18 for Sanders, who sidestepped a man and fired a shot past McDonald to make it 1-0.
The Maroon and White had a chance to tie the score with a little more than a minute to go, but Biggiani missed the target wide. With less than ten seconds to go, Lafayette's corner kick went in to a volley for Biggiani but it sailed high and Holy Cross held on for the win.
Lafayette had a 15-14 shots advantage, but the Crusaders held a 6-3 edge in corner kicks. McDonald made six saves in all, while Wright totaled five.
Lafayette is back in action on Wednesday night when the Leopards host Navy at Oaks Stadium. Kickoff against the Midshipmen is slated for 7 p.m.
McDonald matched a season high with six saves in goal for Lafayette.
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