Colin Healy ‘25
After a shaky start, HC Men’s soccer is finding their groove at the right time. Winless in their first three matches, the Crusaders have won three out of their last four contests and possess a record of 3-4-0 as of Sept. 20. The hot streak comes right as Patriot League play begins, so the team will look to continue their winning ways against their in-league rivals.
To open the season, HC hit the road against Manhattan, UCONN, and Sacred Heart. They suffered identical 2-0 losses in all three of those matches. Not only had the team been kept out of the win column, but they had yet to find the back of the net three games into the season. Due for a breakout, the squad went up against UMass-Lowell on Sept. 6, and breakout they did. Led by an Evan Jones hat trick, the Crusaders notched their first win of the season in a 5-4 victory. Scoring five goals in one game after being shutout in three straight games was only fitting.
Jones is no stranger to goal scoring. The sophomore led the team in goals last season and was voted Patriot League Rookie of the Year. Coming into this year, he was the lone Crusader voted onto the All-Patriot League preseason team. It’s clear that Jones is picking up right where he left off, as he is again tied for the team lead in goals and points. With the team in need of a spark, he delivered against UMass-Lowell.
This first win of the season became the first of three consecutive victories. After going down a goal early in the game, the team came back to defeat Iona on September 10, thanks to a two goal game by Jack Ostrosky. Then, in a mid-week matchup against Hartford, the team evened their season record at 3-3-0 by way of a 4-2 victory against the Hawks. The team wreaked havoc in the offensive zone, outshooting Hartford 32 to 3 in total shots and 10 to 2 in shots on goal. Four different Crusaders found the back of the net: Jon Klein, Jack Ostrosky, Matt McGonigle, and Ethan Gill.
Although the Crusaders have since dropped their first Patriot League matchup against Lafayette, there is no doubt that they are heading in the right direction. The team came in fourth place in preseason polling, and they are beginning to show signs of a team that can contend for the League title. Head coach Marco Koolman is currently in his 11th year as head coach of the squad, but has yet to capture a Patriot League championship. With such a talented roster at hand this year, Koolman will be looking to capitalize.
Eight of the remaining ten games on the schedule are against League opponents. Holy Cross will go up against the top two preseason favorites back to back in Loyola Maryland and American on Oct. 8 and Oct. 15, respectively. Then, after a non-conference match against Harvard, HC will finish the regular season with three straight games against League opponents, including Senior Day, scheduled for October 22, and the final game of the season, a home clash against rival Boston University. This stretch will likely have big implications for postseason seeding as well as home field advantage.
Until then, Holy Cross will look to take the season one game at a time, starting on Saturday, Sept. 24, against Army, who upset Holy Cross in the first round of the playoffs last year. The home game is scheduled for 1:00 PM at Linda Johnson Smith Stadium. Be sure to show out in support of the team!