Aug. 25, 2005
Worcester, Mass. - The Holy Cross women's soccer team will kick off the regular season when they host the Northeastern Huskies on August 26, at 4:00 p.m., at the Hart Soccer Field. The Crusaders are coming off a 3-13-0 campaign a year ago, while the Huskies finished 12-7-2. Holy Cross leads the all-time series between the two teams with a 5-2-2 record. The Crusaders are looking to avenge last season's 3-2 overtime loss at Northeastern.
Holy Cross is returning 16 letterwinners and seven starters from a year ago, including four of the team's top five scorers. Junior forward Meredith Davis (Worcester, Mass.) led the team in goals with five and points with 12, while junior midfielder Lauren Pereira (Ludlow, Mass.) finished the season second on the team with six points. Also expected to contribute to the offense is sophomore forward Alison Peters (Bolton, Mass.) and senior midfielder Allison Hayes (Baldwin, N.Y.) who finished fourth and fifth in scoring respectively.
Junior Natalie Gebo (Ludlow, Mass.) and sophomore Meighan Kelly (Colts Neck, N.J.) return to help solidify the defense. Last season Gebo played in all 16 games with 14 starts, while Kelly started in all 16 games.
Second year head coach Deb Flaherty enters her fifth season as a collegiate head coach with a career coaching record of 34-33-7, including three seasons at West Chester University where she went 31-20-7.
Crusader captains Hayes, junior Lisa DeMari (Plymouth, Mass.), Gebo and Pereira are expected to bring solid leadership to the team. "All four captains add something different that make great leaders as a whole," said Flaherty. Gebo was just recently named the fourth captain because of her strong effort in preseason. "She came back and matured a lot over the summer and was really vocal out on the field during preseason."
Last season the Crusaders lost five games decided by one goal including two in overtime and Flaherty believes now with a more veteran team that they can win some of those close games. "The experience of last year of having so many close games and knowing how to find that way to win will be the difference," said Flaherty. "We had the skill to win the games but we never did because we didn't have that finding the way to win attitude and I think we have that this year."
Flaherty sees that the team chemistry is very strong. "The personality of this team and how they fight for each other on the field is the biggest strength for this team."