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Saints start fast, hang on late for sweep of Governors State

| Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The Holy Cross Saints soccer teams each picked up their first conference win of 2023 on Saturday afternoon against Governors State. Both games came down to a one-goal difference, as the women’s team topped the Jaguars 4-3 before the men triumphed 2-1. With the season’s midway point approaching, the Holy Cross teams hold respective records of 3-4-0 and 3-4-1. 

Entering Saturday, neither Saints team had won in September. Having lost three consecutive games, the women’s side quickly went to work on a turnaround victory. Exactly one minute into the match, senior midfielder Nicole Cook scored her first of two goals on the afternoon. Just five minutes later, senior defender Ashley McDonald potted her first collegiate goal in her 41st career game.

After Cook deposited her second goal in the 24th minute to extend the Saints’ lead to 3-0, Governors State drew within one before halftime. Bruna Krushewsky put the Jaguars on the board in the 28th minute, while Morgan Bean added another from the penalty spot in the 33rd. But junior goalkeeper Taylor Primack made four saves within the half’s final 22 minutes to uphold the Saints’ slim lead.

Though Holy Cross ratcheted up the pressure with 13 second-half shots, Governors State scored a third consecutive goal. It came in the 68th minute on another penalty kick from Bean, leveling the score at three.

With under seven minutes remaining, the Saints regained the lead for good. Junior forward Jennifer Requeno tallied the winner, her first goal of the season, on senior midfielder Olivia Shaw’s second assist of the match.

In terms of gameplay, the men’s victory unfolded in the opposite fashion. A fairly even first half gave way to a Jaguar-dominated final 45 as the Saints played a man down for 27 minutes to end the match.

Junior forward Isaac Filippo struck twice for Holy Cross in the first half. His first two goals of the season came in the 16th and 37th minutes, propelling the Saints to a 2-0 lead at the break.

After the Jaguars’ Simon Blaesdahl halved the deficit in the 51st minute, Holy Cross lost a man. Junior midfielder Isa Sayeed received a red card, opening up Governors State for a game-ending onslaught. Despite firing 19 shots in the second half, the Jaguars failed to equalize. Saints junior goalkeeper Armin Mahmutovic made five saves overall, including three after halftime.

Up next, both Holy Cross sides will host St. Francis (IL) at Saints Field. At 4 p.m. Tuesday, the women will face a winless Fighting Saints team. At the same time on Wednesday, the men’s team will battle a St. Francis group that has won four consecutive games.

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About Tyler Reidy

Tyler is a sophomore who serves as an Associate Sports Editor at The Observer. Hailing from Omaha, Nebraska, and Keough Hall, he enjoys road trips, all things collegiate athletics and Kansas City barbecue. Reach out here or @TylerJReidy on Twitter!

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