Sports

HC Men’s Soccer Knocking On Playoff Door

Colin Healy ‘25
Staff Writer

The College of the Holy Cross Men’s Soccer team has turned a lot of heads so far this season. Picked to finish eighth out of ten in the Patriot League preseason poll, the Crusaders sit on top of the conference standings. With two games to go to round out their in-conference schedule, the Crusaders have posted a 5-2 record so far against Patriot League opponents. They are poised for their best record in the Patriot League since 2013 and are on the cusp of a berth into the Patriot League Tournament.

The first five games of the season saw the Crusaders go unbeaten, posting a 3-0-2 record against non-conference opponents. The hot start rolled into Patriot League play with victories against American, Loyola Maryland, and Colgate. The 1-0 victory over Loyola Maryland while on the road gave the Crusaders a huge boost of momentum and confidence—not that they lacked any. The Greyhounds finished first in preseason polling, proving that the Crusaders could hang around with the best of the conference. Loyola is tied with HC at the top of the standings, but the Crusaders hold the tie-breaker as a result of their Sept. 25 victory. 

Photo courtesy of Mark Seliger for the College of the Holy Cross

Freshman forward Evan Jones has been a breakout force for HC on offense. Jones leads the team with seven goals and 20 points. The newcomer’s performance this season has vaulted HC into first place and helped the Crusaders prove the pollsters wrong. In goal, junior Jimmy Joyce has anchored HC in seven of their eight overall victories. Joyce has posted four clean sheets in those games. 

Jones, Joyce, and the Crusaders are looking to capture HC’s second-ever Patriot League Tournament Championship and first since 2002. The title has eluded the Crusaders for 19 years, having finished runner-up three times. In his ten seasons as head coach, Marco Koolman has been at the helm for two of those runner-up finishes. There is no doubt Koolman would love to add a Patriot League Championship to his resume.

The road to the playoffs leaves only Lafayette and Boston University in the way. A win in either of those games will clinch a postseason berth for HC. Both of those squads are still on the hunt for a playoff appearance, so nothing is going to be handed to the Crusaders. HC is coming off two losses in a row to Harvard and Army. A bounce back win gets the Crusaders into the postseason and back to form. 

Saturday, Oct. 30 is Senior Day at Linda Johnson Smith Stadium. Lafayette will come into town with a 3-3-1 record in Patriot League play. HC will look to give its four seniors a victory on their special day and shore up their spot in the postseason, with home-field advantage still up for grabs as well. Make sure to show your support for the Crusaders in their regular season home finale!

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