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Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024
The Observer

Saints split soccer matchups with Saint Ambrose

Last week when a dominant Calvin College team earned a 3-1 win against the Holy Cross men’s soccer team, head coach Omar Gallo was adamant that his squad would maintain the momentum they had built in conference play.

Gallo’s squad proved him right by beating Saint Ambrose 3-1 on the road.

The Saints got off to a quick start, with senior Axel Valenzuela scoring an unassisted goal right at the nine-minute mark. Despite the quick scoring start, neither squad would score again until the second half.

The next goal would be scored by Saint Ambrose, with Ambrose’s Ethan Holke assisting Joseph Gaither Jr. to score a left-footed strike from outside the 18’.

Holy Cross was unphased by the goal, however, as sophomore Juan Perez assisted senior Erick Zelaya on an HCC goal in the 76th minute. The Saints followed up their second goal with a third, scored by senior Elmin Ejup in the 87th minute.

The goal would stand, and the Saints would pick up a 3-1 CCAC win.

The win propels Holy Cross to a 4-1-1 record in conference, and at 13 points, the Saints are tied for first with Olivet Nazarene. Olivet does hold a tiebreaker as they have played one fewer game.

With an overall record of 6-4-1, the Saints will continue their conference road trip, journeying to Palos Heights, Illinois, where they will take on the Trinity Christian College Trolls.

The Trolls currently sit at 1-5-1 in conference play and are on a five-game losing streak on the season. The Saints are 8-5 against Trinity, dating back to 2009. In the last five matchups between the two squads, Holy Cross is 4-1, with a goal differential of 10 (12-2).

The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 8.

Unlike the men’s game, the Holy Cross women’s soccer team did not get off to a quick start against Saint Ambrose. In fact, neither team got off to a quick start, with the two teams combining for just 12 shots total in the first half, with only four being on net.

Instead, the first goal would come in the 48th minute, with senior Nicole Cook scoring courtesy of a pass from freshman Ashlyn Craig.

Making up for lost time, the Ambrose Fighting Bees would score the following two goals within five minutes of each other to take a 2-1 lead. The Ambrose goals were scored by Kaitlyn Brunson in the 51st minute and the 56th minute by Taylor DeSplinter.

In the 74th minute, Kendall Wendt would increase the Ambrose lead off of a pass by Adriane Latham.

Wendt’s goal would prove crucial as Saints freshman Hannah Lemieux would score with just seven minutes left to make it a 2-3 game. However, Ambrose was able to close it out and hand Holy Cross its first road loss of the season.

The loss sends Holy Cross to 2-3-2 in conference play, putting the Saints in ninth place in the conference. On the season, Holy Cross is 3-3-6.

The women’s team also turns their attention to Trinity Christian. Their game will kick off at 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 8 in Palos Heights, Illinois.

The women’s team does not have the same historical success against Trinity as the men’s. Instead, the Saints are 0-13-1 dating back to 2009. In the last five matchups, the Saints are 0-4-1 against the Trolls. The Saints are 11 goals behind the Trolls in that span, with the combined score sitting at 4-15.

Contact Tom Zwiller at