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Holy Cross drops soccer match 3-1 to Calvin

The Calvin College Knights are a formidable soccer team. Under head coach Ryan Souders, the team is a combined 185-25-10 and has an in-conference record of 105-4-2. 

Souders was first hired in 2012, when he went 16-4-1 and 12-1-1 in MIAA play, finishing in the NCAA playoffs. It would serve as a tone setter for Souders’ tenure at Calvin given that Calvin has finished first in MIAA play for ten consecutive seasons since 2012. Calvin has boasted numerous NCAA tournament runs, including a finals run in 2016. 

As of Sept. 27, Calvin was ranked 11th in the DIII rankings. So, when Calvin called Holy Cross College men’s head soccer coach Omar Gallo looking for a potential match, it would be understandable if Gallo declined. Instead, he eagerly took on the challenge. 

“When they called us looking for a game, we could have turned it down… We looked at this game we had on the schedule as an opportunity that if we were on a winning streak, can we continue to play well and if we were on a losing streak, potentially a game where we can bounce back,” Gallo said.  

The game started fairly even, with the Saints playing in the wind. Calvin, however, gained an advantage because of its disciplined passing attack and scored in the 16th minute. The goal came off a corner kick, which crossed to the far side of the field, centered at the top of the 18. Senior midfielder Chris Schau, who received the kick, put the ball up in the air and crossed it to the far side once again, where senior defender Colin Iverson scored a header. 

The goal was allowed by freshman goalie Isaias Rubio, who got the start over sophomore Claudio Fuentealba. Benching Fuentealba was a tactical decision, according to Gallo.

“We felt like it was a game where we had to give some guys a rest, and you never know when your other goalkeeper is going to get called upon,” he said.  

Rubio struggled to communicate with the backline which helped Calvin to generate some of its chances. It is something he will need to continue to work on in the future, as Gallo plans to continue to play Rubio. 

“[You] just got to understand regardless of if you are a freshman, we want you speaking up as that last line of defense there,” Gallo said. 

The second Calvin chance came off a throw-in late in the 26th minute, with junior midfielder Zach Flowerday receiving a through ball from freshman midfielder Jacob Ryu.

Holy Cross was not without its opportunities, however, as in the 37th minute, Holy Cross earned a corner that was kicked short. The ball was then crossed, with Calvin clearing it out of the 18, where it fell to freshman forward Gabe Nyenka, who just missed on a bending shot. 

Just a few minutes later, in the 42nd minute, Calvin scored off a corner, with freshman TJ McVey crossing the ball to Aguma Muhumuza, who used his head to guide the ball to the back of the net. 

With Holy Cross trailing 0-3, Claudio Fuentealba would come into the net for Holy Cross. Fuentealba would earn the clean sheet with two shots and two saves.

On a routine goal kick in the 55th minute, Calvin sophomore goalkeeper Kaelen Matascastillo passed the ball forward to Muhumuza. The defender lazily caught the pass, and Axel Valenzuela would steal the ball, poking it forward where he beat Matascastillo one-on-one.

The goal would make it 3-1, which would be the final score for the Saints. 

While the loss snaps the three-game win streak the Saints were riding, the loss should not negatively impact the team’s mentality when they resume conference play,

“What we said to the guys: there is nothing to be disappointed about… We made three mental errors, and overall we played very well… if anything, it is going to continue to give us confidence,” Gallo said.

The loss drops the Saints to an overall record of 5-4-1, but their conference record of 2-1-1 will remain the same. 

The Saints will resume action Saturday when they face off against St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST. 

Contact Tom Zwiller at tzwiller@hcc-nd.edu

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‘Disciplined’ Saints scrap out 1-0 win over St. Francis

The Holy Cross men’s soccer team completed a road trip sweep Wednesday night, defeating St. Francis 1-0, days after a 2-1 triumph at Governors State. The Saints are now 2-1-0 in conference action and 4-2-1 overall since a season-opening blowout loss to Bethel. With the victory, Holy Cross now carries seven points to place 4th in the CCAC standings. The Saints started 0-3-2 within the conference last year, so head coach Omar Gallo is pleased with the early success in 2022.

“It’s always important to start strong, and anytime you get wins on the road, it allows you to have more confidence for your home matches,” Gallo said. “Anytime you can get the results on the road — especially a W — it takes a lot of weight off your shoulders as you continue to move forward.”

The match began unfavorably for Holy Cross, as the Saints were pitted against a strong wind in the first half. St. Francis outshot Holy Cross 11-6, but sophomore goalkeeper Claudio Fuentealba recorded four saves to take a scoreless tie into halftime.

As the second half began, Gallo directed several key changes that opened up the offense. Senior midfielder Marcos Hernandez and sophomore midfielder Archimed Sabu were moved toward the middle of the field. The Saints also focused on feeding the attack through the center and attacking midfielders along with the striker. When it all came together, Holy Cross turned the tables and outshot St. Francis 12-9 in the second frame.

In the 67th minute, Holy Cross struck for the game’s only marker. Sophomore forward Kevin Vidana found the back of the net for his first collegiate goal. Though the official assist was attributed to freshman midfielder Tristan Alfaro, Gallo cited sophomore defender Martin Von Thun and his throw-in as the spark plug. 

“This year, we haven’t been able to capitalize off [Von Thun’s long throws]. Sure enough, the goal came off a long throw from Martin,” Gallo said. “What impressed us the most was Kevin’s discipline to be in the right position at the right time. The ball came out to where he wanted him to be, and he took an unbelievable strike.”

Both teams played with a high sense of urgency and intensity on a chilly evening in Joliet. By the time the Saints wrapped up their 1-0 victory, the stat sheet included 36 total fouls and 7 combined yellow cards. Four of the previous six Holy Cross-St. Francis matchups had ended in draws, so the Saints’ frontman expected and embraced the physical nature of the contest.

“I don’t think there’s any problem with having our guys play at a level that involves a bit more intensity than usual, as long as we’re disciplined and doing what we need to do to get the result in a professional way,” Gallo said. “That’s what you want from your players — to rise to the occasion. The physical component is one of the pillars of the game, and we’re able to compete at that level this year, so it’s not a problem for me.”

Just like the women’s team, the Holy Cross men will return to South Bend on Saturday for an Alumni Day battle with St. Xavier. The Cougars are scuffling early in CCAC play with just one goal scored in three conference games. They were also beaten 11-0 by Rio Grande back on August 25. The Saints will then wrap up September and the homestand with a non-conference date with Calvin College on Tuesday.

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Holy Cross women earn draw with St. Francis

The Holy Cross women’s soccer team wrapped up a two-game visit to the Chicago area by tying the University of St. Francis, 0-0.

Tuesday night’s result marked the Saints’ fifth draw of the year, but this one was especially crucial in the context of conference play. Holy Cross dropped its first two CCAC matches at home, but has now secured four points in two road games after a Saturday win at Governors State. 

St. Francis entered the contest on an offensive power surge, having netted eight goals in its previous two outings to obtain a record of 6-1. However, Holy Cross was up to the challenge, holding the Fighting Saints to less than two goals for just the second time this season and outshooting the opponent 25-16. For Saints head coach Omar Gallo, Tuesday’s defensive statement was all about adjustments.

“The game plan was to defend in a mid-block, but what I appreciate the most about this women’s team is their ability to improvise and adapt with the flow of the game,” Gallo said. “St Francis’ front six is unbelievable in the attack, and, with them putting three in the back, our girls identified that immediately. We had to change our style defensively and went into a high-pressing mode, eliminating their buildup from there.”

Though little squeaked through the Saints’ cohesive back end, whatever did was managed well by sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Primack. The Illinois native made six saves en route to her fourth shutout of the season and second consecutive clean sheet. As Holy Cross prepares to enter the heart of conference play, the netminder is on her game.

“The best way to describe [Primack] is consistent,” Gallo said. “The goalkeeping position is all about confidence, and right now she’s riding the wave of her confidence. When she was called upon in these last couple games, she stepped up and made some key saves.”

Further up the pitch, the Holy Cross offense pressured St. Francis with a season-high 25 shots attempted. In the Saints’ first two CCAC losses, they were outshot 54-27 by Cardinal Stritch and Judson. Since that troubling start, they have outdone Governors State and St. Francis by a margin of 44-33 in the shot department. Senior midfielder Lauren Cernak has spearheaded the turnaround, posting a team-best nine shots on Tuesday. She also scored and assisted twice in the week leading up to the St. Francis match. Coach Gallo set a six-shot goal for her on Tuesday, and Cernak exceeded expectations.

“The conference knows who [Cernak] is, so she’ll be manmarked at all times,” Gallo said. “It’s our job as a coaching staff to find ways to be creative and put her in situations where she’s had success in the past. She’s been able to buy into that over the last couple games, and setting a target for her really paid off.”

Holy Cross now carries an overall record of 2-2-5 and a conference mark of 1-2-1. The Saints currently sit in 9th place among the CCAC’s 14 teams, but the remaining nine conference matches yield ample opportunity to climb. With September nearing its close, the Holy Cross women are poised to emerge from the pack.

“What I enjoyed about my team is that they were frustrated after the game because they wanted to win,” Gallo said. “It shows me that I have a group who’s hungry right now.”

Looking ahead, the Saints return to South Bend to host CCAC foes in St. Xavier (Saturday) and Indiana University-South Bend (Wednesday). St. Xavier, much like St. Francis, carries a dynamic offense into the contest after a 5-2 victory over Governors State. The Cougars have been vulnerable on the back end, though, allowing multiple goals in three of their last four games. Meanwhile, IU-South Bend is off to a brutal start, allowing 50 goals and scoring none in an 0-7-0 opening.

“We have to build off the momentum of our defensive work that we’ve had the last two games,” Gallo said. “If we do well defensively, we should put ourselves in position to get a W. Though the results have been great on the road, there is a sense of urgency to get three points on Saturday.”

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Primack, Nyenka take on leadership roles for Holy Cross soccer

Like most athletes, Holy Cross sophomore goaltender Taylor Primack has role models who inspired her to play her chosen sport. For Primack, those players are Hope Solo and Carli Lloyd, both of whom played on the 2015 US Women’s World Cup team. 

Unlike most collegiate athletes, however, Primack waited until the 4th grade to begin playing soccer competitively. The love of the game came almost instantly, with Primack going all in after the women’s team won the World Cup in 2015.  

Primack has been a goaltender almost her entire athletic career, realizing that she loved the position from her first game in net.

“I just love flying through the air … I love getting the rush of taking a girl 1-on-1, throwing myself in front of the ball and being able to guide my back line,” she said.

Primack is just a sophomore, but she has been starting in net for both years for Holy Cross, recording 24 starts in 24 games. While some might be nervous to start as a freshman, Primack was ready.

“I kind of knew going into it that what it was going to be, but for me, it didn’t change anything,” she said. “I’m never going to sit here and be like, oh it’s good enough just because I am starting, just because I’m playing”.

Though there were some adjustments to the college game (Primack says her biggest adjustment was the change in intensity and speed), Primack recorded an strong first year in net. In her 16 starts, she faced 124 shots, allowing just 14 goals for a save percentage of 88.7%. She recorded eight total shutouts (a school record) and had a record of 8-4-2. 

The performance was good enough to get her onto the CCAC All-Conference Second Team.

Primack has maintained a good save percentage this season, allowing 11 goals on 58 shots (81%), and has recorded three shutouts. 

Primack attributes the difference in performance to a combination of things, injury being among them. Nevertheless, she is not letting it stop her or her team.

“The biggest key with that right now is just to let that go because we can’t change it,” she said. “It’s gone, we’re in conference play.”

The season has not been going the way the Saints would have liked.

“We have been a little frustrated,” she said. “We know how good of a team we are; that is not a question, the talent on the team … that’s not questionable.”

Primack believes that the squad is capable of solid play and can make a turnaround on the season.

“I expect us to make the tournament, I fully do,” she said. “I think we are fully capable of it, I expect nothing less.” 

With a 2-0 win against Governors State last Saturday, a game in which Primack recorded a shutout, that turnaround might have just begun. 

Also boasting a win over Governors State is the HCC men’s junior forward Gabe Nyenka. Unlike Primack, Nyenka has been playing soccer from a young age.

“I was born in Liberia. Back home kids used to play soccer, just kicking it around, as soon as you can walk,” he said.

Even from a young age soccer has always been Nyenka’s passion. As child, Nyenka played soccer year-round, mostly casually with friends and family. 

Upon arriving at Park Center Senior High School, Nyenka tried out for his high school soccer team as a sophomore and made the varsity team.

“When I first joined people thought I wasn’t going to make the team, I ended up starting,” he said.  

Playing in Minnesota, Nyenka met a Holy Cross alum on a Sunday league team and connected him to Coach Gallo. Once Nyenka met Gallo on a recruiting trip in November, he knew where he wanted to play.

“When you talk to other coaches, you can feel the difference when it is just about soccer and when it’s about the person,” Nyenka said. “When I talked to Coach, it was more about him seeing me as his son.”

Starting for the entirety of his career in high school was a trend that Nyenka brought with him to Holy Cross. In the past two seasons, he has started in 23 games of a possible 23. In that time, Nyenka has recorded 11 goals (the 10 he scored in the year prior led the team) and 8 assists. 

Though Nyenka is a consistent starter, that is not what matters most.

“If I’m starting, I’m helping the team, if I’m not starting then the person trained better than me that weekend, so that person is the better person for the team,” he said. “I know me playing is going to help the team win so I work hard to be in the starting lineup.”

Despite the team starting 2-2, Nyenka feels that the team is poised to perform better in conference play (where they are 1-1-1) mainly because the team is connected, like a family.

“We are more connected, because of Coach Omar, and our captains me and [senior Kamoy Creary]. 

This season’s emphasis has been off-the-field bonding, which was not as strong in years prior, according to Nyenka.

“Get to know the person first before soccer so you guys are able to bond,” he said. “When you are on the field, you play harder you work harder for that person, because now that person is like a brother to you.”

Nyenka, a business major, stated he has ambitious plans after graduating from Holy Cross.

“I really want to open a business back in Liberia,” he said. “I’m thinking more like on the sports side as well, creating a school for kids to come to school and play sports, but focus on academics as well. The hope of that is to bring kids over to the United States to play in college so they can earn a college degree.”

Contact Tom at tzwiller@hcc-nd.edu

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Saints sweep Jaguars, look ahead to St. Francis

It is no secret that both the Holy Cross College men’s and women’s soccer teams needed to earn points in conference play.  

The men’s team’s last win was against Goshen back in August. Since then, they had lost to Lourdes University, Cardinal Stritch and Judson. The team had played two great conference matchups but earned just one point, thanks to the Judson draw. 

It was with this in mind that Holy Cross went to University Park, Illinois, to face Governors State. 

Early on, the game appeared to be headed much the same way the game against Judson ended — a draw. However, in the 53rd minute, senior midfielder Axel Valenzuela passed the ball to senior midfielder Elmin Ejup, who was able to score from 15 yards out, putting the Saints up 1-0. 

However, a Governors State penalty kick by Diego Camarena would tie the game up with just 23 minutes left. 

Holy Cross would score again in the 75th minute, with sophomore forward Isaac Filippo scoring from close range, assisted by junior defender Victor Sellu. The goal would hold for Holy Cross, giving the Saints their first win in conference play this season. 

Freshman Isaias Rubio got the start in net over sophomore Claudio Fuentealba — an adjustment that may become the norm for the Saints. Rubio did allow the penalty kick but recorded five saves in his 90-minute outing. 

A trend worth noting in the men’s team is through three games in conference play, Holy Cross has out-fouled its opponents in every game. Against Cardinal Stritch, Holy Cross out-fouled the Wolves 20-19, and against Judson, the Saints out-fouled the Eagles 20-17. The trend continued against Governers State, as Holy Cross out fouled the Jaguars by eight, 26-18.

The win moves Holy Cross to 3-3-1 on the season with a 1-1-1 record in conference play. The Saints continue their road trip on the Wednesday when they take on Saint Francis in Joliet, Illinois.

Historically Holy Cross has found success against the Fighting Saints, with the College recording a record of 8-2-4. The Saints had a winning streak of five games against Saint Francis from 2012 to 2016, but from 2017 the two teams have been relatively even, with a record of 1-1-3.

Similar to the men’s team, the women’s team had not won since August against Goshen, though the women tied Lourdes and lost to Cardinal Stritch and Judson. 

Unlike the men’s team, the Saints scored early against Governors State, with senior midfielder Olivia Shaw scoring from 15 yards out, with an assist from senior midfielder Lauren Cernak. The goal would stand through the half, with the Saints adding to their lead in the 69th minute. This time it would still be Cernak with the assist, but junior forward Taelyn Hendrickson would score with a shot from 17 yards out. 

The Saints are now 2-2-4 overall, with an in-conference record of 1-2. Governors State, meanwhile, fell to 0-4 with a conference record of 0-3. 

Sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Primack has earned two shutouts on the season, with one against Governors State and Indiana University East.

The Saints will continue their conference play with a trip to Joliet, Illinois, on Tuesday. The women’s game will kick off against the Fighting Saints at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 8 p.m.

The women’s team boasts a poor record against Saint Francis. They are 3-10 dating back to 2009. In their last three matches, however, the Holy Cross is undefeated, winning the three games by a combined margin of 7-2. 

Contact Tom Zwiller at tzwiller@hcc-nd.edu

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Holy Cross ties Judson on a rainy pitch

Wearing gray warmup uniforms that matched the South Bend skyline, the Holy Cross men’s soccer team prepared to play their second conference game of the season, facing the Judson University Eagles. 

Saints Field was not particularly chilly, but the pitch was damp, with the clouds overhead threatening to add more rain during the match. However, associate head coach Duma Magagula said that the Saints were not worried about the adverse conditions.

“We tried to maintain [our game plan], and I thought the guys did a good job today,” Magagula said. “Our main focus was how can we defend [these] guy’s height; these guys did a good job with that.”

The two teams were evenly matched throughout the affair, but the Saints found an edge early. 

In the 18th minute, senior midfielder Axel Valenzuela had an excellent counter. Despite the slippery ball and pitch, Valenzuela controlled the ball and beat defenders before being fouled inside the 18.  The foul resulted in a penalty kick, which senior midfielder Elmin Ejup took. Ejup’s shot went to the lower right corner, beating the Judson keeper Mateo Ojesto, to put the Saints up 1-0.  

That result held through the rest of the half as both teams briefly retreated from the rain. 

At the half, the Saints led in shots and shots on goal, with seven shots, four of which were on target. Holy Cross’ keeper, sophomore Claudio Fuentealba, faced four attempts, but none were on net. 

The game was still incredibly even to start the second half, with both teams visibly fatigued, though both teams were still highly physical. 

In the 73rd minute, Judson put a shot on net, their first legitimate scoring opportunity. Fuentealba went up, looking to catch the ball, but was impeded and unable to grab it. Instead, the ball found its way into the back of the net, tying the game 1-1. 

The goal, scored by Judson’s Pedro Botello and assisted by Christian Horstmann, reminded Coach Magagula of the goal against Cardinal Stritch last Saturday.

“This is stuff we practice at practice,” Magagula said. “If the goalkeeper is coming in traffic, there are going to be obstacles in there, so you’re not sure if you are going to get a clean catch or not, so why don’t you play it safe by punching the ball out of there.”

The game became incredibly physical down the stretch; there were nine cautions in the second half alone, five for Judson (including an ejection) and four for Holy Cross.

Between the close loss against Stritch, and now the tie to Judson, Holy Cross has earned just one point in conference play through its first two games. However, according to Coach Magagula, there is no reason for concern. 

“Out of these two games, we got one point, which we’ll take, but looking at how the way we played,” he said.” I think that is the most disappointing part, we could have had this game. But I don’t think it’s a panic button [situation] yet”.

Instead, Coach Magagula sees the result against Stritch as a reason for optimism about the team’s growth.

“I’ll say it was a disappointing loss … but considering what we had done against Stritch in the years before, it was a great improvement for us. We couldn’t get the result, but definitely, we thought we’re getting in the right direction.”

With the tie, the Saints now sit seventh in conference play, with a conference record of 0-1-1 and an overall record of 2-3-1. 

The next game for the Saints will be against conference foe Governors State University, with the Saints making the journey to University Park, Illinois on Saturday. The match will kick off a 9:30 p.m. EST.

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HCC beats Goshen with freshman goalkeeper

As the 3 p.m. kickoff at Saints field neared, two very different goalkeepers stood opposite each other.

Representing the Holy Cross men’s soccer team stood freshman netminder Isaias Rubio who was making his first start of his collegiate career. Rubio, sporting the number 0, had logged just 4:31 in the previous game against IU East, in which he was substituted for an injured sophomore Claudio Fuentealba.

His opponent was Goshen’s Matias da Fonseca, a fifth-year student who last year alone had 17 starts and logged just over 1,600 minutes in net. He averaged 1.46 goals against, boasted 65 saves (a save % of .714) and recorded three clean sheets.

Given the disparity in resumes between the two players, some coaches might be worried about starting a freshman keep. The Saints’ head coach, Omar Gallo, however, was not.

“Isais is a great goalkeeper. A young guy, a lot of improvements to work on, but at the same time, we have a tremendous amount of confidence in him. He is a quality goalkeeper who could probably start anywhere else in the conference.”

The Saints came out hot to start the game, with sophomore midfielder David Ross earning an unassisted goal halfway past the eight-minute mark.

The Saints followed it up eight minutes later, with freshman midfielder Tristan Alfaro netting a second goal at 16:42, assisted by junior forward Gabe Nyenka.

Despite the quick offensive start, the Saints were not without their mistakes. A defensive lapse, and a misreading of the play by Rubio, allowed for Goshen’s Luiz Matteus Pontes to score at the 24-minute mark, with a halftime score of 2-1.

Just before the half, Rubio was fouled and injured by a Maple Leaf attacker. The injury was enough for the Saints to pull him, instead sending in Claudio Fuentealba to finish out the match.

According to Gallo, the decision was unplanned due to the injury.

“Unfortunately, we had to pull Isaias, but if he wasn’t injured, we would have left him in for the full ninety; he was very deserving.”

Holy Cross began the second half the same way it started the first. At the 64’ minute mark HCC got a corner kick, with Nyenka giving a pass to senior defense Erick Zelaya, who put the ball in on a very tight window.

The Saints followed it up five minutes later with senior midfielder Jeffrey Harper getting past the Leaf’s keeper and scoring an unassisted goal.

With twenty minutes remaining in the game, the Maple Leafs had plenty of time to close the lead, and they certainly made an effort.
At 77:32, Goshen’s Eli Simones headed the ball towards the goal. Fuentealba tipped it, but Simones’ shot hit a post and bounced in. Lucas Bontreger assisted the goal.

Despite some late pushes by Goshen, the Saints held onto a 4-2 win.
In their last two games, the Saints scored seven goals and combined 37 shots, with 25 against Goshen. The offensive success has one source according to Gallo.

“Our depth. We have six guys that can start. The leadership and buy-in with those six guys. They all understand, one game one may start, one game the other one may not start they bought into playing half a game…and we do not skip a beat when we make a sub,” Gallo said.

The men’s team will finish out of conference play on Sept. 7 when they travel to take on Lourdes University, where they hope to improve to 3-1 before facing Cardinal Stritch University on Sept. 10.

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Saints soccer teams seek to gain momentum

With both squads’ seasons in full swing, the Holy Cross College men’s and women’s soccer programs seek to use recent success to gain momentum against upcoming road opponents.

Holy Cross Women’s Soccer 

After three games this season, the Holy Cross College women’s soccer team is still searching for their first victory. The Saints, now 0-0-3, drew Bethel University 3-3 and IU Kokomo 2-2 earlier in the season before playing the Indiana University East Red Wolves on Saturday. 

The Red Wolves contest ended in a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes, despite the best efforts of the Saints’ offense, who were able to outshoot the Red Wolves 16-8. The Red Wolves, however, were able to put more shots on goal, leading the Saints 7-6. Saints freshman goalkeeper Taylor Primack got the start and saved all seven shots on goal to keep the score level.

The Saints will continue to look for the team’s first win when they face the Goshen College Maple Leafs at home on Tuesday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leafs currently are 1-1, boasting a 4-1 win against Brescia University. The two squads have played six times, with the Saints losing all six. The two teams last played in 2018 when Goshen got the home victory, 2-0.

After playing Goshen, the Saints will hit the road, heading to Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio before beginning conference play.

Holy Cross Men’s Soccer

After falling 1-6 to Bethel University (No. 21 in the NAIA Preseason Coaches’ Top 25) the Holy Cross men’s soccer team picked up its first win against the IU East Red Wolves. The Saints scored early, with junior Gabe Nyenka scoring at the 10-minute mark, assisted by junior Victor Sellu.

Around the 30 minute mark, Dailen Troutman of IU East earned a yellow card, setting up a Saints free kick. The kick allowed sophomore Martin von Thun to convert a header, which was assisted by sophomore Isaac Filippo, putting the Saints up by two. 

After the half-time break, the Saints picked up where they left off, adding to their lead in minute 60 with a goal by senior Axel Valenzuela, with an assist from sophomore Juan Perez. 

The Saints outshot the Red Wolves 12-8, with the Saints putting nine shots on target to the Wolves’ two. Sophomore goalie Claudio Fuentealba saved both Red Wolves’ attempts. 

With their first win of the season secured, the men’s team looks to continue their winning streak against Goshen College at home this Wednesday at 3 p.m. In the series history, the Saints are 2-1-1. The last time the two teams faced off was in 2021, when the Saints won the neutral site match 4-0.  The Goshen Maple Leaves are currently 0-1-1.

Once the Saints play Goshen, they will travel to Sylvania, Ohio, where they will play the Gray Wolves of Lourdes University on September 7 at 4 p.m.

Observer Sports Staff


Contact sports@ndsmcobserver.com.