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HCC Men's Soccer

Saints lose veteran players after back and forth season

| Friday, May 17, 2019

The Holy Cross men’s soccer team faced a difficult 2018 season filled with ups and downs. The team never reached .500 over the course of the season and finished with an overall record of 6-13. While the team struggled against non-conference opponents, finishing 1-6, they were competitive in conference play, going 5-7 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).

The Saints opened the season with a 4-0 loss to Lawrence Technological University and proceeded to lose the next four to begin their season 0-5 against non-conference opponents.

“We obviously didn’t get off to the start we wanted to … and faced a lot of good competition … but we were able to respond and keep putting in the work in practice and stick together as a team,” head coach Omar Gallo said.

The Saints gained their first win in a 3-0 victory over St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. The victory began a 10-game stretch of alternating wins and losses as the team began conference play, leading to a 4-4 conference record filled with three one-point losses, two of which were in overtime. While the Saints were unable to win on their Senior Day — falling to University of St. Francis 2-1 — they won their last regular season game 4-1 against Calumet College of St. Joseph in a crucial victory.

The team finished 5-6 in the regular season of the conference, giving them a spot in the CCAC tournament as the seventh seed. They faced the No. 2 seed, Olivet Nazarene University, in the first round, eventually losing to them 2-0.

“We were competitive with them, but we made some mistakes,” Gallo said. “It was a tough way to go out.”

Six Saints are seniors who will be graduating this year: Callum Beaver, Peter Fonseca, Leon Gopal, Noah Kemp, Bruno Souza and Alex Yanes. Gopal represented the team as a member of the CCAC All-Conference Second Team this season. Kemp had eight saves on the season and Beaver scored four goals. While the team will be losing key contributors, there is plenty of young talent on the team, and seven starters will be returning for the 2019 season.

“We’re really excited for next year and think there is a lot of potential for a great season,” Gallo said.

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