The Crusaders have become Lafayette’s nemesis for the past three years. In each of those years, the two have met in games that were significant in terms of who gets to go the league playoffs. Only the top four teams get to go, and head to head competition is considered in the tie braking procedures. Last year, a win was needed by Lafayette but Holy Cross arrived using their fast breaking style and got off to a 3-0 lead, never to give it up. The Crusaders prevailed in the two years before as well. Head Coach Lindsay Jackson has never lost to a Lafayette team.
This is Coach Lindsay Jackson’s fourth season as Holy Cross’ head coach. She is the fifth head coach for the program and came from division two Limestone College where she was the head coach for six seasons. Limestone had a winless program when she arrived and improved every year she was there and was named the Division two coach of the year. She began her career as a high school coach. She attended Mercyhurst College where she played field hockey and lacrosse
Coach Jackson seems to find solutions where there seems to be none. Several years ago she needed a goal keeper and discovered one, Marcia LaPlante on the ice hockey team. She has had an outstanding career on the turf. LaPante has a 74 pct save percentage and is considered one of the best in league. Marcia returns this year for her junior season backed up by two goal keepers. Holy Cross’ challenge will be to replace their outstanding scorer Maurren Conolly. Conolly scored 19 of Holy Cross’ 40 goals last season. She scored the goals by hitting on 24 pct of her shots. If you think the goals were concentrated on corner opportunities, you would be wrong, as the Crusaders had only 67 corners all year.
Emily Loprete is a returning senior, who will be counted on to step up. She was the second leading scorer with a not too shabby nine goals in her junior season. Holy Cross makes their shots count as they took 192 shots while giving up 353 shots and 56 goals. LaPlante made 167 saves last year. Senior Suzanne Noone was the third leading scorer with 4 goals to her credit.
The Crusaders will take the field with 5 freshman, 7 sophs, 7 juniors and 4 seniors. This is still a very young squad coming off a 7-11 record with a 3-3 record in the league. However, it is a well motivated squad, that can make a lot of noise in the league standings. Their schedule will be a challenge, with out of conference games that include Maine, Northeastern, Harvard and Albany. But they are always ready for the Patriot League season. The first Patriot League game will be at home with American, followed later by Colgate, Lehigh, and then Lafayette, a stretch that will most likely decide a Patriot League berth. There is a week between the Oct 7th game with LaSalle and a Worcester meet with the Leopards on Oct 13th at 11:05. Lot’s of time to break down film by each head coach.
That Worcester game is one I have circled.