Last-second goal pushes Saints to 3-2 win against Indiana East
Matthew Crow | Tuesday, August 29, 2023
On Saturday afternoon, Holy Cross women’s soccer picked up its second victory of the season, coming from behind to defeat Indiana East 3-2 on the road. After a scoreless first half, the Saints exploded for a trio of goals after the break to seal a thrilling win against the Red Wolves. The match was not decided until the final seconds. With the victory, Holy Cross got back on track after a 4-1 loss to Bethel on Wednesday and improved to 2-1 on the year.
Neither offense could find much of a rhythm in the game’s early stages. The teams combined for just six shots in the first half. Midway through the period, Saints senior midfielder Olivia Shaw put the game’s first shot on goal. But after a save by the Red Wolves keeper, it was IU East who would strike first soon after.
In the 25th minute, IU East’s Amyah Thacker executed a crisp give-and-go move with Denise Davalos. Firing a shot into the upper right corner of the net, Thacker gave the Red Wolves an early 1-0 advantage. That proved to be the only score before halftime, as both defenses continued buckling down. Saints freshman goalkeeper Payton Ladson made two key saves late in the half to keep Holy Cross within striking distance.
The Saints came out of the break as the aggressors in what was a high-octane second half. Less than five minutes into the half, Shaw leveled the score at 1-1 with a high-arching shot from long range that slipped just past the goalie’s outstretched hand. The goal was the second in as many games for Shaw, who was Holy Cross’s lone scorer against Bethel.
Neither side could break the deadlock for the next 30 minutes, setting up a tense final stretch of play. With Holy Cross on the attack on the right side of the field, junior defender Katherine West sent forward a long pass that cut through the Red Wolves defense and connected with freshman forward Miriam Iturriaga-Sanchez in stride. Staring down a clear path to the goal, Iturriaga-Sanchez made no mistakes. She notched her second goal of the season, putting the Saints ahead for the first time in the 83rd minute.
Holy Cross’s lead proved short lived, though, as IU East responded just 51 seconds later. After forcing a turnover deep in the Saints’ territory, the Red Wolves’ Thacker made a short pass to Maggie Bischoff, who used a shot fake to create space before evening the score at 2-2.
Despite the game seemingly headed toward a draw, the Saints were not done yet. Holy Cross earned a 90th minute corner kick, and Shaw launched the ball to the middle of the field. Freshman defender Abigail Fouts scored the game-winner from close range, sending the Saints into celebration with her first career goal.
The come-from-behind victory came as a result of Holy Cross taking full control of the game in the second half. After attempting just two first-half shots, the Saints outshot the Red Wolves 13-6 after the break. Nine of those shots were on goal, in comparison to just two for IU East.
Moving forward, the Saints will look to maintain that offensive aggression and utilize the momentum given to them by the last-second win as they continue to approach conference play. Holy Cross will return to action on Wednesday for a third consecutive road game against Goshen at 6 pm.