A Historic Season
By Katherine Turner
Special to GoHolyCross.com
It was a season of firsts for the 2017 Holy Cross men's lacrosse team. Check out the highlights of this historic season!
MAKING PROGRAM HISTORY
The Crusaders set a school record with four Patriot League regular season wins. Holy Cross qualified for the Patriot League Tournament for the second consecutive year and for the second time in program history. In the quarterfinals, the Crusaders earned their first-ever Patriot League Tournament victory with the 11-7 win at Navy on April 25.
Head Coach Judd Lattimore: “This season shows that we can definitely compete and win in the Patriot League as we earned our most ever wins. The win against Navy in the Patriot League Tournament demonstrates our team's confidence and it shows that if we work hard that we can accomplish our goals of a Patriot League Championship and a National Championship.”
WATCH HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SEASON
CRUSADERS QUALIFY FOR TOURNAMENT WITH KEY WINS
The Crusaders kicked off the Patriot League season in style by earning their first-ever win against Lehigh with a 14-8 victory on Feb 25, as the Mountain Hawks had won the previous 26 meetings. Senior Jon Vogel led the Crusaders with a career-best six goals.
The Crusaders' second Patriot League win of the season against Bucknell was also a first-time victory as they defeated the Bison 10-8 on March 11. Senior Marc Buermann led the Crusaders with a hat trick.
As Holy Cross went into the matchup against Lafayette with a record of 2-3 in the Patriot League, the Crusaders responded with a critical 10-5 victory. Senior Sean Kirkpatrick netted four goals, while senior Kevin Lux tallied his 100th career point.
With a Patriot League Tournament bid on the line, the Crusaders followed through by defeating Colgate 12-11. Senior Jack Ortlieb found the back of the net with 3:05 left for the victory for his second career game-winning goal. The win gave the Crusaders their second-ever bid into the Patriot League Tournament. Ortlieb posted both goals to clinch the bids as he also scored the game-winner versus Boston University to earn the team's first-ever bid to the tournament in 2016.
FIRST-EVER PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT VICTORY
On Tuesday, April 25, the Crusaders made history as they defeated Navy in the quarterfinals to continue their ride in the Patriot League Tournament and post its first-ever tournament victory. The Crusaders had lost to the Mids by an 11-4 score earlier in the season. This was the Crusaders' only second-ever win against the Midshipmen. Kirkpatrick posted four goals, while Lux had four assists.
KIRKPATRICK AND MCGOVERN FIRST-EVER CRUSADERS TO BE NAMED TO THE ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT TEAM
Seniors Sean Kirkpatrick and Jack McGovern were both named to the All-Patriot League Tournament team for the first-ever selections for the program. Kirkpatrick had four goals and one assist for five points at Navy, while he posted one goal as the Crusaders fell to No. 17 Loyola Maryland in the semifinals. He had a career season with a team-best 31 goals, while he was second with 12 assists and 43 points.
McGovern tallied three ground balls and caused one turnover on defense in the victory against Navy. He then posted one ground ball and one caused turnover at Loyola. McGovern started in every game throughout his career with 58 starts as he totaled 49 ground balls and 36 caused turnovers.
LUX CONCLUDES STELLAR CAREER
Senior Kevin Lux had an incredible season as he led the team with 44 points and 27 assists, while he was third with 17 goals. He earned second team All-Patriot League and All-New England accolades. Lux posted 117 career points with 66 goals and 51 assists, and is the 23rd Crusader in program history to record 100 points.
LEGACY OF THE SENIORS
The senior class made a tremendous impact on the program in their time at Holy Cross. With 11 victories, they led the team to their most Patriot League wins within a four-year period in the program's history. As sophomores, they helped to get their first two wins against top 10 nationally ranked teams including No. 8 Loyola Maryland and No. 9 Army West Point. Holy Cross was also ranked No. 19 in the country receiving its first-ever national ranking. As juniors, the team qualified for the Patriot League Tournament for the first time. And as seniors, the Crusaders recorded their most ever Patriot League wins, qualified for the tournament for the second year in a row and won their first-ever Patriot League Tournament game.
Head Coach Judd Lattimore: “This senior class has moved the program in a positive direction. They've defeated every team in the Patriot League over their four years, which has never been done before here. Their biggest legacy will be that they've helped the underclassmen gain confidence. The success that they've had as a senior class is definitely going to help the team in the next couple of years. Their commitment to serving the community is another aspect of their time here that our younger guys recognize and want to achieve.”
LILLY NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE
Junior Henry Lilly was named to the 2017 Academic All-Patriot League team. He is one of only 12 men's lacrosse student-athletes from around the league to receive this recognition. This is Henry's first time being honored to the Academic All-Patriot League team.
Holy Cross finished its season ranked 10th in the nation and second in the Patriot League with 8.73 caused turnovers per game.
Head Coach Judd Lattimore: “Defense is the backbone of our team. We've gone up every year over the last three years defensively in terms of our ranking amongst Division I defenses. It's the key to what we do and it's the glue that keeps everything together. We've been working extremely hard on that over the past three years and it's what allows us to be in a position to win games. I think we're starting to hit our stride defensively which is very exciting.”
DRISCOLL WINS PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL AWARD
Senior Liam Driscoll has shown what it means to be a part of the community by exemplifying his exceptional service throughout his years as a Crusader. He was nationally recognized as he won the Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award for this past season. The award is presented to one male and female lacrosse student-athlete who exemplifies positive leadership and represents their team by more than what they do on the field.
The One Love Foundation makes a donation to a charity of the student-athlete's choice. Driscoll worked closely with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program over his years at Holy Cross, and selected the program to be the recipient of the donation.
CRUSADERS FEATURED ON THE CBS SPORTS NETWORK
Seniors Liam Driscoll and Parker Greiwe were featured on national tv on the CBS Sports Network on Saturday, May 6 at halftime of the Notre Dame versus Army West Point men's lacrosse game. Driscoll and Greiwe have dedicated themselves to serving the community throughout their time as Crusaders.
SIXTEEN YEARS SERVING WITH BIG BROTHERS/BIG SISTERS
The dedication to service that the team has demonstrated throughout the years is inspiring. One example is the connection they have with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization for the past 16 years. The team started John's Brothers 16 years ago in honor of its teammate John Price. In 2000, Price died suddenly, leaving his team and the Holy Cross Community too soon. Shortly before his death, Price was named a captain after his junior season. A religious studies major, Price dedicated much of his time to community service and planned on working as a lawyer in the field of human rights. In his honor, the lacrosse team started John's Brothers, which serves each week at the Canterbury School. The men's lacrosse program has exemplified what it means to serve for and with others.
Head Coach Judd Lattimore: “What we do with Big Brothers/Big Sisters is unlike anything that I've ever seen. The impact that it has on us as people is tremendous. John's legacy is still alive and what he did is still inspiring Holy Cross men's lacrosse players today. That's a tribute to him and what it does for our guys, I don't think you can measure it. It helps us in ways that are hard to quantify because its impact is so large.”
For the 2018 season, Holy Cross will look to continue to take the next step and reach its goal of winning the program's first-ever Patriot League championship.
Head Coach Judd Lattimore: “There is a determination and a focus in the underclassmen that I haven't seen since I've been here. I have high expectations for next year's team and I think our experience this year stoked the fire in terms of showing the team what they are capable of and helping them to reach their potential. If we play at our potential, then we can do things that we've never done at this school. That's exciting.”
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