Women's Soccer Ready to Open 2019 Season
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross women’s soccer team is set to begin its 2019 campaign this Thursday, Aug. 22 at California Baptist University. After a 2018 season that saw the Crusaders win their most conference games since 2002, but miss out on the Patriot League tournament by just one point, head coach Casey Brown’s squad is hungry to take that next step.
“I am really excited to get this season going,” Brown said. “It has been a productive and fun preseason and we are ready to learn more about ourselves in the upcoming stretch of games. Our group is extremely motivated and hungry to take a step as a program, and we feel that is something attainable for us.”
Holy Cross finished last season in a four-way tie for fifth place in the Patriot League. With only six teams making the playoffs, the Crusaders ended up drawing the short straw based on tiebreakers as Lehigh and Army claimed the fifth and sixth seeds. It would have been the program’s first postseason appearance since Holy Cross won the Patriot League tournament back in 2000.
With that experience under their belts, and the addition of a talented freshman class, this group is ready for what 2019 has in store.
Players to Watch:
- With the graduation of four full-time starters from last season, there will be some holes to fill. A likely candidate to step up is senior captain Kelly Crowley. She played in 15 games last season, starting seven, and scored one goal and added an assist. The goal was the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over Loyola.
- Completing the Crusaders’ trio of captains are seniors Carly Flahive and Samantha Peters. Flahive led the team with four goals last season and was second with nine points. Peters was a mainstay in Coach Brown’s defensive back line and will look to reprise her role this year. She collected an assist as well.
- Junior Sydney Fisher, who had one goal last season, will look to be a force in the midfield with her work both on and off the ball.
- Sophomores Lexi Ansaldi, Olivia Ferrara, and Caroline Harkins as well as junior Jenna Barnes, all showed promise last year as some of the younger players on the roster and will all be back, another year older and more experienced. Barnes led that group with two goals and two assists.
- Coach Brown has a couple of viable options in goal with both of the last two seasons’ starters still on the roster. Senior Caroline Cashion started all 17 games during her sophomore season in 2017 before missing last year. In her absence, then-sophomore Sophia Lettieri stepped in, starting all 17 games in 2018, and performing admirably.
- The eight freshmen, in addition to junior transfer Avery Gardner, will all have chances to leave their mark as well.
Mark your Calendars:
- The season begins on Aug. 22 at California Baptist and will be Coach Brown’s squad’s first live action, outside of scrimmages, on the year.
- The Crusaders first home game will be Aug. 29 against Sacred Heart. The last meeting between the two was back in 2007 in a 2-1 Holy Cross victory.
- The squad will open Patriot League play at home on Sept. 22 when Army comes to Worcester. The game will also serve as the team’s Senior Day. Last season in West Point, the Crusaders prevailed, 1-0, in double overtime.
- The Turnpike Trophy will be held on Oct. 23 at Boston University.
- The regular season wraps up with two home games in a row with Lafayette on Oct. 27 and Bucknell on Nov. 1.
Holy Cross (5-12 in 2018)
vs. California Baptist (12-5-1 in 2018)
|Date||Aug. 22, 2018|
|Lancer Soccer Field|
|Watch||WAC Digital Network|
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Things to know about California Baptist (12-5-1 in 2018):
- The Lancers, who will be starting just their second season in Division I, made a strong statement with their 12 wins last season as a first-year DI team. The game against the Crusaders will also be their season-opener.
- Their top goal-scorer from last season graduated, so the Lancers will look to juniors Rebecca Romero and Jordan Dow, who were second and third on the team in points, to fill that void.
- Junior Romy Salvador split time in net last year with a player who has since graduated, so the Crusaders can expect to see her in goal.
- The Lancers averaged 1.67 goals per game last season, while allowing just .83.
- This will be the first meeting in program history between California Baptist and Holy Cross.