Oct. 20, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. - Holy Cross field hockey has broken school records, topped Patriot League categories and grabbed national recognition this season and continues to push forward in anticipation of going on to the Patriot League Tournament for the 10th straight season.
Led by veteran head coach Meg Galligan, who is the winningest coach in the history of the Holy Cross field hockey program, the Crusaders have gone to great heights this season and have no intentions of stopping. Galligan has guided Holy Cross to six appearances in the Patriot League Championship game in the past nine years taking three championships and two regular season titles.
With four regular-season games left, the Crusaders already topped their total wins from last season (10) and broke the school record for the longest winning streak after winning their ninth straight game in a shutout against conference contender Lehigh last week.
"I am proud of our program's tradition of excellence and history of consistent success," said Galligan. "I believe our success this year is primarily due to the chemistry of the team. I think what sets this group apart from other years is that all of the players are on the same page with our philosophy, goals and embracing the important characteristics needed to achieve a high level of success."
In the competitive Patriot League, Holy Cross is undefeated at 3-0 and ranked first along with American who the Crusaders will face Oct. 28. They are at the top of nine statistical categories and second in four others. To name a few, the team is leading the conference in goals scored (43), assists (32) and goals allowed (1.07).
The Crusaders are nationally ranked in seven categories and have five individuals ranked in seven categories. The team is ranked 26th nationally on FieldHockeyCorner.com by Average Computer Rating.
Nationally, Holy Cross is ranked sixth in goals against average at 1.06, tied ninth with a 0.786 won-lost-tied percentage and ranked 10th with a 1.97 scoring margin. The Crusaders are also ranked 15th in goals scored per game (3.07), 16th in scoring average (3.03) and 17th in assists (2.29).
Junior Sara O'Coin (Worcester, Mass.) is nationally ranked in three different categories. She is 18th with 0.64 assists per game, 21st with 2.07 points per game and 33rd with 0.71 goals per game. With her last assist against Lehigh, O'Coin broke into Holy Cross' top five list for season-high assists with nine. She is also on her way up the top 10 list of career-high assists at Holy Cross (16). O'Coin leads the team with 29 points (10 goals and nine assists).
On the national level, senior Tara Welch (New Boston, N.H.) is ranked 23rd with a 0.86 goals per game and 30th with 1.93 points per game. At Holy Cross, Welch topped the previous record for career goals on Sept. 24 when she scored two in the game against Fairfield to total 49 career goals. She now has 52 career goals tallying 73 career points in 72 games. Welch leads the team in goals with 12 and is second with 27 points.
Sophomore goalkeeper Erin Singleton (Amesbury, Mass.) has come from starting one game as a freshman to starting every game in goal for Holy Cross and has made huge strides at the league and national level with consistent play throughout the season. She is ranked fifth nationally with a 1.01 goals against average and seventh with a 0.806 save percentage. Singleton has owned the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week award for the past five weeks. She has five shutouts this season for the Crusaders.
Senior defender Susie Whelan (Acton, Mass.) has been the leader in the backfield and has come through when needed on penalty shots. She is ranked fifth with two penalty strokes and Kristin Schultz (Fairfield, Conn.) follows with one. Whelan has three goals and six assists this season while Schultz has two goals and three assists.
The Crusaders have two regular season home games remaining. They face conference contender Bucknell Saturday at 12:00 p.m. and Wednesday the Holy Cross seniors will be recognized at their senior day before they take on Brown at 4:00 p.m.
If Holy Cross and American both win this weekend they will go head-to-head for the title of regular season champions and rights to host the tournament when they play Saturday, Oct. 28 in Washington D.C. at 12:00 p.m.
"We are winning games because we are playing so well as a team," Galligan said. "I am proud of my players for being such a collectively strong unit and for maintaining it throughout the season thus far. It makes my job a lot easier and certainly very enjoyable."