November 7, 2009

Men's Soccer Outlasts Army, 2-1

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Holy Cross men's soccer team combined for a season-high 21 shots to complete the regular season with a three-game win streak, topping Army 2-1 at Clinton Field Saturday. The Crusaders finish with a 6-10 overall record (4-3 Patriot League) while Army wraps up with a 1-14-1 overall record (0-7 Patriot League). Holy Cross finished in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Patriot League with Colgate and Lafayette, but the Leopards won the tie breaker to earn the fourth and final spot in the conference tournament.

Junior Kyle Miller (Woodbury, N.J.) led Holy Cross' first half offensive outburst, scoring the game's first goal at 23:52 after taking advantage of an Army turnover. The team had taken 10 shots, six from Miller, before he tallied his third goal of the season. The Crusaders finished the half with 12 shots while the Black Knights compiled six, three coming from senior Bryan Connolly.    

Holy Cross kept the offensive pressure coming, collecting five shots in the first five minutes of the second half. Army's Michael Kim made his second shot of the game count however, knotting the score at 1-1 at 56:35 on a high-rising shot from 25 yards out. The tie didn't last long as junior Jon Werth (University, Park, Md.) notched his third goal of the season at 65:02 on a fast break opportunity. The goal was also his second game-winner of the season, lifting the team to the final 2-1 victory.

In the game, Holy Cross out shot Army 21-12 and also took the 6-2 corner kicks advantage. Miller led the team with seven shots while senior goalkeeper Thomas Booth (Patchogue, N.Y.) completed his regular season finale with a win and one save.

"We certainly knew what was at stake tonight, and we came to get three points," said head coach Ted Priestly. "Our boys were ready to play from the start and I was very pleased with how well we attacked. When Army equalized, our team responded correctly- we didn't panic. We got back to doing what we do best, we played at a higher tempo and Werth's goal eventually sealed it for us. With the end of this season, our preparations for next season have just begun, and we fully intend on doing the work that will bring us back to the postseason."

With today's final, the Holy Cross men's soccer team ends the 2009 season.