WORCESTER, Mass. – Alex Evans scored the game-winning overtime goal for the Midshipmen as the Holy Cross men's soccer team fell to Navy, 1-0, in Patriot League action on Saturday evening at the Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium on Senior Night. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 6-6-1 overall (4-2-0 PL), while the Midshipmen have won nine straight games and improve to 10-3-1 overall (6-0-0 PL). With the win, Navy clinched a spot in the six-team Patriot League Tournament along with Army who is also 6-0-0 in the league. The Crusaders are currently in third place.
Neither team was able to get a shot on goal during the first half. The Crusaders had a scoring opportunity at 14:58 when Tommy Uttaro (Staten Island, N.Y.) sent a header just wide of the net. In the 28th minute, freshman Ty Goncalves (Norwood, Mass.) blasted a shot that hit the crossbar just missing giving the Crusaders a 1-0 lead.
Senior captain Monty Sanders (Temecula, Calif.) took the first shot on goal of the contest when his attempt was saved by Navy goalie Gavin Snyder in the 49th minute. Sophomore goalie Kevin Wright (McKinney, Texas) then made a save on a shot by Jamie Dubyoski in the 51st minute. Wright deflected the shot as the ball then hit the post. In the 58th minute, Snyder made a diving save on a shot by Uttaro as freshman Joey DeVivo (Ridgefield, Conn.) then sent the rebound just wide of the net. With just 25 seconds left in regulation, Wright made another big save off a shot by Dubyoski from 18 yards out to keep the game tied at 0-0.
The Mids earned their ninth straight victory when Martin Sanchez chipped a pass to the box that was secured by Evans, who then sent a shot to the upper middle of the net for the overtime game-winner in the 96th minute.
"In close games like this when you get chances to score you have to finish them and we were not able to do that tonight," said Holy Cross head coach Marco Koolman. "We had the ball for a lot of the game but needed to create even more opportunities than we did. Navy is a very good team and we can take out of this game that we competed very well. There were a lot of positives from tonight's game and we need to build on them."
Wright made four saves for the Crusaders, while Snyder posted five to earn the win and improve to 9-0-0 on the season. Holy Cross outshot Navy, 14-8, while each team took five shots on goal. Navy took seven corner kicks, while the Crusaders had four.
The Crusaders return to action on Wednesday, Oct. 30, when they host Patriot League opponent Army at the Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium at 7:00 p.m.
The senior class of Josh Cintas (San Diego, Calif.), Taylor Esper (Slingerlands, N.Y.), captain Dane Kenny (Williston Park, N.Y.), Max Pettinelli (Scituate, Mass.), Sanders and Uttaro were honored before the game. Also at halftime the Luke Dunivant Award was presented. The award was established in memory of former Holy Cross men's soccer player Luke Dunivant, Class of 1997, who passed away in 2008 after a courageous battle with leukemia. The award is presented annually to a member of the men's soccer team who, like Luke, has inspired others by displaying outstanding courage, commitment to the team and sportsmanship during his career. The award went to Sanders. View a photo gallery of the ceremonies.
Cintas has played in 46 career games with 40 starts. Over his collegiate career, he has totaled nine goals and seven assists for a combined 25 career points. Last year in 2012, Cintas earned both first team All-Patriot League and third team All-Mid Atlantic honors. He has also developed his skills as a leader through his involvement in the Holy Cross Leadership Academy.
Esper has played in 21 career games and started in 15 of them. As a sophomore and key defensive player, Esper played in 14 games and started in 12 of them. Though missing most of his career due to injury, Esper has been a big part of the men's soccer team.
Kenny has played in 33 career games that include 27 starts. A key part of the Crusader defense, Kenny has also scored a goal and tallied an assist for a total of three points. On defense he's help the team shut out five different opponents. Kenny has also developed his strong leadership skills as a member of the Holy Cross Leadership Academy.
Pettinelli has played 28 career games. He tallied one assist in a Crusader victory for one point in his career. As a defender, Pettinelli has contributed to shut outs of seven different teams during his four years. He is also a big part of the team off the field as its' representative in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Additionally, Pettinelli has been named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll twice.
Sanders has played in 64 games and started in every one of them, which is the most starts of any current member on the team. Also the most on the team, Sanders has a total 26 career points from a combined 10 goals and six assists. Last year he earned first-team All-Patriot League honors and he has been named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll twice. Sanders is also a leader off the field and is in his third year with the Holy Cross Leadership Academy.
Uttaro has made an enormous impact on the field for the Crusaders in 64 career games that include 57 starts, which is tied for the most games played by any current member of the team. In his career, Uttaro has tallied eight goals and eight assists totaling 24 points. Four of his eight goals have been game winners. Uttaro also has one appearance on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll.