STORRS, Conn. - The Holy Cross field hockey team fell by a score of 4-1 in its season-opener, dropping the decision to the No. 5-ranked Connecticut Huskies on the road at Storrs, Conn. Senior captain Courtney Callahan (Acton, Mass.) notched the lone goal for the Crusaders unassisted.
The Crusaders got down early when Connecticut's Ali Blankmeyer scored at the 7:55 mark of the first half when she tipped a long shot by Jestine Angelini. Blankmeyer scored again in the eighth minute, giving the Huskies a quick 2-0 advantage. Holy Cross' senior goalkeeper Kelly Casey (New Egypt, N.J.) recorded nine saves in the top half.
Connecticut's Lauren Sherer notched two follow-up goals in the game, also recorded in the first half. At halftime the Crusaders were down by a score of 4-0. Defense was key in the second half as the team saw 20 shots on goal but no scores. At 25:21 Callahan earned her first goal of the season, which came unassisted.
"Despite the score, we are very happy with our performance tonight," said head coach Alicia Hawk. "We really stepped it up second half, not allowing them to score. More than anything the players enjoyed the level of competition. I wish we could have converted the few scoring opportunites we had, but there's a lot that we can build on from tonight's game."
At the end of the game, the Crusaders totaled 17 saves against 39 shots. Defense was a key component for the team as they registered three defensive saves, coming from sophomore Jamie Caniglia (Wayne, Pa.), senior Katie Aylward (Watertown, Mass.) and senior team captain Kaitlyn Barnes (Honesdale, Pa.).
Holy Cross looks to even the season record when it hosts Harvard in the home-opener. The game will be played at the Hart Turf Field on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 1:00 p.m.