BETHLEHEM, Pa. – With the game tied at 1-1 in the second half, sophomore Luke Melody (Mansfield, Conn.) scored the game-winner as the Holy Cross men's soccer team defeated Lehigh, 2-1, in Patriot League action on Saturday evening. With the win, the Crusaders conclude the regular season with an 8-8-1 overall record (6-3-0 PL), while the Mountain Hawks fall to 2-14-1 overall (1-8-0 PL). The Crusaders will be the No. 3 seed in the six-team Patriot League Tournament and will host No. 6 seed Colgate (4-13-2 overall, 3-5-1 PL) in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium at 7:00 p.m. The winner will move onto the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 15 in Annapolis, Md. Holy Cross defeated the Raiders, 3-2 in overtime in Hamilton, N.Y., earlier this season on Oct. 19. The Crusaders' eight overall wins are their most since going 9-5-5 in 2008, while their six Patriot League victories tie their most ever as the 2001 team went 6-0-1.
"This was a very important win," said Holy Cross head coach Marco Koolman. "We wanted to enter the Patriot League Tournament on a victory and we wanted to clinch the No. 3 seed. This was our best offensive game of the season as we created a variety of scoring opportunities especially in the second half. This was a great win as we prepare for the quarterfinal game on Tuesday."
The Crusaders took the first two shots on goal of the game as senior Josh Cintas (San Diego, Calif.) and senior captain Monty Sanders (Temecula, Calif.) each took shots that were saved by Lehigh goalie Jacob Gottwald. Ben Wysocki posted the first shot on goal by the Mountain Hawks as he had his attempt saved by sophomore goalie Kevin Wright (McKinney, Texas). The Crusaders took a 1-0 lead at 35:15, when senior captain Dane Kenny (Williston Park, N.Y.) sent a shot to the lower left side of the net for his second goal of the season. Sanders tallied an assist on the goal giving him a team-leading five assists and 13 points. His five assists are tied for fourth all-time for a season in program history. At 43:15, the Mountain Hawks tied the contest at 1-1 with a goal by Jamie Luchini.
Luchini took the first shot on goal of the second half in the 49th minute as Wright made the save. Melody scored his first career game-winner and his first goal of the season at 64:30 as he blasted a shot to the left corner of the net. Freshman Joey DeVivo (Ridgefield, Conn.) posted an assist on the goal. In the last 10 minutes of the game, Wright made three saves to keep Lehigh from scoring the equalizer for the 2-1 final score.
Wright made six saves to earn the win and improve to 8-6-1 on the season, while Gottwald tallied seven saves. Holy Cross outshot Lehigh, 20-19, while the Crusaders took nine shots on goal and the Mountain Hawks posted eight. The Crusaders took six corner kicks and the Mountain Hawks tallied two.
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