WORCESTER, Mass. – With the Crusaders trailing, 8-5, with 10:46 left in the fourth quarter, they then scored four straight goals including the game-winner by freshman Clay Haarmann (Mendham, N.J.) with just 30 seconds remaining as the Holy Cross men's lacrosse team defeated Vermont, 9-8, on Tuesday night at Holy Cross Field. With the win, the Crusaders advance to 4-3 overall, while the Catamounts fall to 0-6 overall. Junior captain James Kennedy (Summit, N.J.) scored four goals and had two assists while Haarmann had a season-best three goals. The Crusaders' 4-3 record is their best after the first seven games of a season since they were 5-2 in 1985.
Senior captain A.J. Guarente (Gaithersburg, Md.) and sophomore Matt Smith (North Bethesda, Md.) each added a goal to aid in the Crusader victory. Sophomore Kyle Kadlick (West Roxbury, Mass.) led the team with seven groundballs. Guarente was outstanding as he won 15 of 21 face-offs. Senior Greg Peterson (West Hartford, Conn.) led the team with three caused turnovers.
The Catamounts were led by Drew Philie who recorded four goals and Geoff Worley who had one goal and three assists. Vermont also saw goals from Connor McNamara, A.J. Masson and Thomas Galvin.
The first quarter started with two Vermont goals before Holy Cross' Guarente picked up the face-off to sprint down the field for a goal. The second period then saw four Vermont goals before Haarmann scored his first goal of the game off an assist from Kennedy to end the half, 6-2 in favor of the Catamounts.
Kennedy started his strong second half with an unassisted goal at the 7:08 mark. Kennedy scored again off a quick pass from behind the net from Holy Cross' sophomore John Daugherty (Stafford, Va.), to make it a 6-4 game in favor of Vermont. Vermont's Worley scored again to end the third quarter.
Kennedy opened up the fourth quarter with a goal at the 11:50 mark for his eighth career hat-trick. Vermont then answered with a goal from Philie before Holy Cross had four unanswered goals to win the game. With 9:47 left to play in the fourth quarter Crusader Smith found the back of the net for his sixth career goal. Kennedy scored his fourth goal of the game to narrow the Vermont lead, 8-7, with 5:14 left to play. Haarmann then scored to tie up the game off an assist from Kennedy. Then with 30 seconds left to play Haarmann found the back of the net for the 9-8 Holy Cross victory.
Sophomore goalie Kenny O'Connor (Latham, N.Y.) tallied the win as he played all 60 minutes in net for the Crusaders and had eight saves. Vermont keeper Alex Plavner also played all 60 minutes and recorded seven saves with the loss. Holy Cross picked up 35 groundballs to Vermont's 30 while Holy Cross outshot Vermont 32-27. The Catamounts went 3-5 on man-up opportunities, while the Crusaders went 0-2.
The Crusaders return to action on Saturday, March 17, when they travel to Annapolis, Md., to meet Patriot League opponent Navy at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 1:30 p.m.