Lafayette nets second Patriot League win over Holy Cross

The+Leopards+womens+soccer+team+dominated+the+contest+against+Holy+Cross+on+Saturday%2C+striking+early+and+solidifying+their+defense+to+clench+their+second+Patriot+League+win.+%28Photo+Courtesy+of+GoLeopards.com%29

The Leopards women’s soccer team dominated the contest against Holy Cross on Saturday, striking early and solidifying their defense to clench their second Patriot League win. (Photo Courtesy of GoLeopards.com)

Craig Barbaro, Sports Editor

The Lafayette women’s soccer team beat Holy Cross 2-0 this past Saturday, notching its second Patriot League win of the season. The Leopards (4-9) are on a two-game winning streak after consecutive Patriot League wins over Army and the Crusaders.

The Leopards scored both of their goals in the first half of against Holy Cross and then finished the game out. Senior midfielder Riley Dowd cashed in on an opportunity in the 29th minute to put the Leopards up 1-0.

“The team performed beautifully in our match against Holy Cross,” Dowd said. “We were able to connect with each other really well, allowing us to generate numerous offensive chances, two of which we capitalized on in the first half. Our defense and goalkeepers kept us in the game with a clean sheet, stopping every single chance Holy Cross had.”

Less than 10 minutes later, freshman midfielder Michaela Salvati scored her first collegiate goal to put the Leopards up by two.

“It felt great to score my first collegiate goal,” Salvati said. “It was really exciting and the pass by Gretchen was amazing to set me up. It was great to be able to contribute to the team and pick up another Patriot League win. I thought as a team we have a lot of energy and we came out strong, and being able to come onto the field and then contribute was really exciting.”

Salvati has played in 10 games this season and is fifth in minutes played on the team.

“There was definitely a big adjustment because high school level is a lot different,” Salvati said. “In high school players are from locally versus players playing at the Division One who are from all over. The level, physicality, mental aspect and speed make it a totally different game.”

The Leopards finished the first half outshooting the Crusaders 6-2.

The second half proved to be a closer contest, though neither team produced a goal. The Leopards and Crusaders each totaled five shots and Lafayette junior goalkeeper Natalie Neumann made one save.

Prior to the wins over Army and Holy Cross, the Leopards were 0-5 in Patriot League play. The team has kept each game close, losing by just one goal in four of the games.

“Despite the results of many of our Patriot League games, our team has continued to uphold a level of play that we are extremely proud of,” Dowd said. “We’ve stuck to our plan and our principles of play, allowing us to generate chances and making the matches we’ve played extremely close.”

“Having this momentum is huge for our confidence going into Colgate this Saturday,” Dowd said. “We know our best is good enough to beat any team in the Patriot League and we feel confident and prepared to take on Colgate.”

Overall the Leopards dominated the contest, out shooting Holy Cross 11-7 and putting up nine shots on goal. The Leopards’ next contest is against Colgate Saturday, Oct. 23, at 2:00 p.m. The Leopards will be celebrating senior day.