Billy Fitzpatrick ’20
With winter sports season in full swing, let’s take a look around campus to see how Crusader sports teams have been starting their seasons, and how fall sports teams like volleyball have been closing out their seasons!
Note: All stats and records updated as of Tuesday, Nov. 19.
The Holy Cross women’s basketball team (1-1) has made a statement in its first two games of the season against Power Five conference opponents. The Crusaders opened up their season on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the University of Illinois. Behind senior forward Lauren Manis, HC nearly pulled off the road upset, falling 78-75 in overtime. Manis posted 22 points and a career-high 21 rebounds (a single-game school record) en route to her 39th career double-double. Holy Cross held a nine-point lead at halftime, but the Illini used a high-pressure defense in the 3rd period to get back in the game. HC would fight back in the final quarter and force overtime. In the extra period, senior point guard and captain Madalyn Smith had a chance to tie the game as time expired, but her three-point attempt rimmed out.
In the Crusaders’ home opener, Holy Cross managed to close the deal against a big-name opponent this time, topping in-state rivals Boston College, 80-71. A balanced attack propelled HC to its first victory over a Power Five program since 2014, with senior center Megan Swords leading the way with a career-high 21 points and 14 rebounds. Junior guard Jenay Faulkner also notched a career-high in scoring with 16, to go along with five rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.
The Crusaders led wire-to-wire in this dominant performance over their ACC opponents. HC was in control throughout the first half, but a late BC run in the final minute of the second period cut the Crusader lead to 33-29 going into halftime. HC came out strong in the second half, opening up an 11-point lead before withstanding a few other runs from the Eagles. Holy Cross held a double-digit lead for most of the final period, hitting free throws and making BC work for every bucket on the offensive end, giving the Eagles little hope for a comeback.
Women’s Ice Hockey
After going winless in the team’s first 13 games, the Holy Cross women’s ice hockey team (2-10-3 overall, 2-7 Hockey East) finds itself riding a two-game winning streak. On Thursday, Nov. 14, the Crusaders notched their first win of the season with a 2-1 home victory over Merrimack, which also marks Katie Lachapelle’s first career win as a head coach. Sophomore goaltender Jada Brenon kept the Crusaders in the game with 33 saves. First-year forward Mary Edmonds opened the scoring in the first period with her third goal of the season, but Merrimack responded five minutes later to even the score. Senior forward Rachel Moore notched her second goal of the season with the game-winner midway through the final period.
The Crusaders completed the series sweep when they edged Merrimack on the road, 4-3, last Friday, Nov. 15. The hosts got out to a 1-0 lead in the first period 12 minutes into the game, but Holy Cross followed that up with four unanswered goals, two in the first period and two in the second. The goalscorers were sophomore forward Carlie Magier, junior forward Katie Maccuaig, junior defender Allison Attea, and junior defender Antonia Matzka. Merrimack got one back late in the second on a power play, and then pulled within one goal with over 11 minutes remaining. However, HC, led by 44 saves from Brenon, held on for the important win. The Crusaders now take two weeks off before their next tilt, a road game at Northeastern on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
After starting the season great with a road win over #6 Providence, the men’s ice hockey team (2-5-2 overall, 1-4-0-1-1 Atlantic Hockey) finds itself in the midst of a three-game losing streak. The Crusaders’ last win came on Thursday, Nov. 7, at Sacred Heart, where HC walked away with a 2-1 win thanks to two goals from first-year forward Alex Peterson. The next day, Holy Cross dropped a home game to Sacred Heart, before getting swept by Army last weekend.
The volleyball team (5-25 overall, 2-14 Patriot League) wrapped up its season last weekend with two conference losses. On Friday, Nov. 15, the Crusaders traveled to Washington, D.C., to take on American, who prevailed 3-1. HC then had to travel back to Worcester for a Sunday matchup with Lehigh. Junior libero Sophie VanSeveren finished the season with 484 digs, good for third most in program history, while the Crusaders finished the season with the second-most assists and third-most kills in program history.
Men’s and women’s cross country both competed in a hectic NCAA Northeast Regional meet Friday, Nov. 15, in Amherst, NY. The men finished 31st out of 37 teams, led by sophomore Joseph Leland. All seven Crusaders ran personal bests on the road course, as the original grass was too muddy to race on. The women placed 19th out of 37, led by senior Jenna Gasparrini in 47th place.