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HOLY CROSS CRUSADERS

August 26, 2016
RARE OPENER
Holy Cross men hold on to defeat Hartford Hawks


WORCESTER, Mass. -- Matt Villano scored in the 84th minute to give the Holy Cross men’s team a 2-1 win over Hartford, the Crusaders’ first season-opening win since 2008, at the Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium Friday night.

The Crusaders last started the season with a win with a 1-0 victory over No. 13 UMass Aug. 29, 2008. The Crusaders’ last win over the Hawks by a 1-0 score Oct. 22, 2002.

The Crusaders earned the first opportunity, senior Joseph Metzger firing a 25-yard free kick just went wide of the right post. Junior Arno Rupp posted the first shot on goal, 20-yarder in the 35th minute, saved by David MacKinnon.

In the 39th minute, the Hawks took a 1-0 lead as Bastian Stech sent an eight-yarder into the lower right corner of the net.

In the 51st minute, Metzger hit the post.

In the 57th minute, the Crusaders tied the score as when junior Nicholas Cestaro headed into the lower left side of the net off a long pass from Villano, sophomore Owen Azrak also earning an assist.

Crusader sophomore Henry Stutz made a save in the 81st minute, knocking a shot by Kelechi Akujobi over the crossbar.

Villano then fired in a one-timer off a pass from Tyler Bell to the lower left corner of the net, Metzger also credited with an assist.

Stutz made two late saves. Holy Cross outshot the Hawks, 15-11. Crusaders had a 5-4 edge in shots on goal.

"I am happy with our performance tonight and it is great to get a win in the first game of the season," Holy Cross coach Marco Koolman said. "We excelled in building out of the back and we earned a lot of scoring opportunities. After going down 1-0 we responded very well by scoring two goals to earn the victory."

   
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