The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Men’s soccer notches third consecutive win with Holy Cross shutout

The Leopards focused on defense in their shutout over Holy Cross. (Photo by Hannah Ally for GoLeopards)

The men’s soccer team (6-3-2 overall, 3-1 Patriot League) continued its run of good fortune with a 1-0 victory over Holy Cross (3-6-2 overall, 1-2-1 Patriot League) in Worcester, Massachusetts last Sunday. The win saw the Leopards extend their streak to three, with three clean sheets in the process. 

The victory propelled the team to third place in the Patriot League, just two points behind joint-leaders Boston University (6-2-2 overall, 3-0-1 Patriot League) and Loyola Maryland (3-1-6 overall, 3-0-1 Patriot League). 

The team was without junior forward and key starter Lawrence Aydlett, who was serving a suspension for the two second-half yellow cards he received in last week’s match against Army. Despite this setback, freshman midfielder Beaux Lizewski was confident in the team’s ability to fill that void.

“It’s that ‘next man up’ mentality,” Lizewski said. “When one person goes down, someone else will step up. Even though [Aydlett] was a big miss, we knew we could get the job done.”

The first half saw the Leopards dominate, with the team’s control of the midfield yielding several early goalscoring opportunities. 

“Winning the midfield is key to winning a game,” Lizewski said. “So much play happens in the middle third that it really has a huge impact.”

In the final minute of the first half, following an important save from junior goalkeeper Griffin Huff to keep the score even at 0-0, senior forward Hale Lombard found the bottom corner from a free kick to give the Leopards the lead.

Lombard caught Holy Cross’ junior goalkeeper by surprise, choosing to aim for the goalkeeper’s side rather than curling the shot around the wall. It was an idea that Lombard attributes to junior defenseman Connor Dawson.

“[Dawson] pointed it out before I even noticed,” Lombard said. “But once he said it, you could see that he was cheating to the side behind the wall.”

Lombard is the leading goal scorer in the Patriot League this season and is hoping to keep his goalscoring confidence going forward with the help of his teammates.

“I’m never satisfied with my performance unless I get a goal, so [being the leading scorer] really makes me happy and allows me to play with more freedom going into games,” Lombard said. “But I don’t know how many goals I would score if my team didn’t set them up.”

In the second half, the team was able to ride its strong midfield and defensive play to frustrate and neutralize the Holy Cross attack, only surrendering two shots on goal. Lizewski noted head coach Dennis Bohn’s emphasis on defense as one of the keys to their success.

“In the Patriot League, there’s not a ton of goals. When you get one, it sets you up to win,” Lizewski said. “Our defense has been super stout and solid at the back, but that’s also just the mindset of the team as a whole.” 

Both Huff and Lombard received Patriot League weekly accolades for their efforts, with Huff winning goalkeeper of the week and Lombard winning offensive player of the week.

The Leopards now enter a three-game homestand at Gummeson Grounds, culminating in a match against Patriot League leader Boston University. However, Lizewski says that the team is not letting the weight of that game cloud its focus.

“We can’t be looking forward to [Boston University],” Lizewski said. “With this homestand, we really need to win all three games and take it one game at a time.”

The team will take the field again tomorrow against American University (2-3-3 overall, 0-1-2 Patriot League), where Lombard is hoping the home support can drive the team to success.

“All Patriot League games are big games if we want to get a playoff bye or home game,” Lombard said. “We love having fans out there supporting us.”

Assistant Sports Editor Eric Ponieman ’24 is a member of the men’s soccer team. He did not contribute writing or reporting.

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Martin Familetti
Martin Familetti, Staff Sports Writer
Come On You Spurs.

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