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HCC men’s soccer drops to Stritch; women’s finish out-of-conference undefeated

The Holy Cross College men’s soccer team lost to Lourdes University 0-1 Wednesday, finishing its out-of-conference play 2-2. The team then turned its attention to Cardinal Stritch University on Saturday. 

Stritch earned the first goal of the match in the 22nd minute. The Saints were able to match it in the second half courtesy at 72’ of an Axel Valenzuela goal assisted by Marcos Hernandez. The tie was short-lived, however, as Stritch was able to score just four minutes later. The goal would prove to be the game winner, with Stritch winning the match 2-0.

Despite Holy Cross outshooting Stritch 13-10, the Wolves were simply able to put more shots on net, leading the Saints by a margin of 6-3. Claudio Fuentealbe was able to keep the game close by making four saves during his 90 minutes in net.

Historically, the men’s team has struggled against the Wolves, with a record of 3-14, and the Saints have now lost the last five of the team’s matchups. With the loss, the Saints fall to 2-3 and 0-1 in conference play.

The men’s team will have a few days rest before turning its attention to the next game against conference foe Judson University Sept. 13 at Saints Field. The Eagles are 0-3-2, with a 0-0-1 conference record.

On the other hand, while the Holy Cross College women’s soccer team would have liked a better start to their season than 1-0-4, there was one particular silver lining. By drawing 1-1 against Lourdes Sept. 7, the Saints finished non-conference play undefeated.

With a historical achievement out of the way, the Saints now turned their attention towards conference play, with an opening matchup against the Cardinal Stritch Wolves. 

Coming into the match, the Stritch Women’s team was 2-2, starting off the season with a 0-6 loss to Scad-Savannah and 0-2 to Morningside College before defeating Mount Vernon and University of Rio Grande (Ohio) a combined 8-1. 

Stritch earned the first goal in the 27th minute off a penalty kick. The next goal of the game came in the 75th minute, giving Stritch a commanding 2-0 lead. The Saints were ultimately able to cut the lead to 2-1, thanks to an Abby Craig goal (unassisted), but fell short of mounting a comeback. 

Taylor Primack was an absolute star in net for the Saints. She got the start, and played all 90 minutes, racking up a whopping 10 saves on the 12 shots she faced. 

Primack absolutely kept the Saints in the game Saturday; Holy Cross was out shot 11-1 in the first half alone. By the time the game had finished, Stritch had shot the ball 25 times to Holy Cross’s 6. Stritch was fairly accurate, putting 12 of their 25 on net. Holy Cross only put one on net, but they made it count.

Much like the men’s team, the women’s team has struggled against Stritch, with a record of 0-13-1, with a twelve-game losing streak that spanned from 2009-2021, before the Saints were able to snag a tie. The Saints now fall to 0-14-1 against Stritch, and 1-1-4 on the season (0-1 in conference). The Saints next conference match will also be against the Judson Eagles on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. The Eagles are 2-2, with a conference record of 1-0.

Contact Tom Zwiller at tzwiller@hcc-nd.edu.

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