Jackie Hart ’19
On Saturday, February 16, the Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse teams went 1-1 with a 9-7 loss at Vermont for the men and a 20-3 at home victory for the women against Central Connecticut State. Junior midfielder Dan O’Connell was named the Patriot League Faceoff Specialist of the Week, going 15-17 from the X, recording a personal-best .882 winning percentage. For the women, senior attacker Keely Connors led the Crusaders with five goals and one assist for a career-high six points, while also nabbing six draw controls.
The men’s contest was all about the comeback for the Crusaders. After going down 4-0 in the first quarter, junior captain Sean Mullaney put his team on the board with an assist from first-year attacker Will Spangenberg. Spangenberg cradled the ball from behind the net before finding Mullaney cutting through the middle who scored easily. With 10:21 remaining in the first half, Spangenberg snagged a Vermont pass in midair, faked a pass and nailed the goal for his first score of the day.
The Crusaders scored five times in the second half, beginning midway through the third quarter when junior attacker Justin Lynskey snuck his way through a crowd of defenders to get on the board. Spangenberg ended the quarter with a crease roll goal for his second. Mullaney capitalized on fantastic Crusader passing for his second goal, followed a minute later by a sidearm shot and score from senior attacker Drew Babiak. With 2:01 to go in the contest, Mullaney made a pass to junior midfielder Connor Waldron who ripped a goal from outside the circle. While Holy Cross made a tremendous effort and a near comeback victory, it was not enough to take down Vermont. The Crusaders out-performed the Catamounts 18-16 in ground balls and outshot them 36-33. Junior goalie Jonathan Tesoro made 13 saves and senior defenseman Matt Farrell caused two turnovers. “It wasn’t the result we wanted but there were a lot positives we can take away from it and learning points that will help us grow,” said Babiak. “We’re moving in the right direction and just have to take it one game at a time.”
The women’s side was a Crusader domination the entire way through with five straight goals in the first ten minutes. Junior midfielder Audrey Mandaro opened up the scoring with 2:35 minutes gone in the first, followed by two goals from Connors, another Mandaro mark and a first collegiate goal from sophomore midfielder Sydney Brant. After the Blue Devils got on the board twice, it was all Crusaders through the rest of the first with goals from junior midfielder Bryn Carroll, first-year attacker Jordyn Arakelian (her first collegiate goal), first-year midfielder Jolie Creo and sophomore midfielder Catherine Guanci. Connors opened up the second half with a score that led to eight straight Crusader tallies. In addition to Connors’ five goals, sophomore midfielder Izzy Grant ended the day with a hat trick, while Creo, Carroll, Arakelian and Mandaro all recorded two. The Crusaders 20-goal game was their first since a 20-10 victory over Lafayette on March 9, 2013. In addition to their scoring prowess, Holy Cross outshot Central Connecticut 47-10 and recorded 34/50 ground balls. On the game, Connors said, “Saturday was a great opportunity for us to come together for a huge win and continue to build our team chemistry.”