Laurentians seeing red

John
John Browne
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St. Lawrence swept at home by first-place Holy Cross

Holy Cross Kirby Group Crusaders showed during the weekend in St. Lawrence they are the team to beat again this season in the Molson Challenge Cup Soccer League.

The defending champions beat St. Lawrence Labatt Laurentians 2-0 Saturday and 2-1 Sunday at Centennial Field.

Crusaders' coach Jake Stanford said he can't remember the last time a Holy Cross team won back-to-back games in St. Lawrence.

Colin Power, middle, of Feildian/Ernst & Young Orenda goes up against Rugged Edge Western United FC defenders Colin Lynch, left, and Greg Keats in Challenge Cup soccer Sunday at the Wellington Street Sports Complex in Corner Brook. Photo by Geraldine Bro

Holy Cross Kirby Group Crusaders showed during the weekend in St. Lawrence they are the team to beat again this season in the Molson Challenge Cup Soccer League.

The defending champions beat St. Lawrence Labatt Laurentians 2-0 Saturday and 2-1 Sunday at Centennial Field.

Crusaders' coach Jake Stanford said he can't remember the last time a Holy Cross team won back-to-back games in St. Lawrence.

While he was happy with the two wins, Stanford said he wasn't pleased with the way his team played in the first half of both matches.

"I didn't like our first halfs. We were slow off the mark ... a bit nonchalant ... not aggressive enough, but we there were some positives for sure," said Stanford.

Stanford said although the team hasn't been attacking very well at times, his team's defensive line has been pretty consistent over the past three games.

The Holy Cross mentor also tempered the results by noting St. Lawrence played the games without standouts Mike Howlett and Clinton Edwards.

"In fairness to St. Lawrence," noted Stanford, "they were missing a couple of key players, but it is what it is and we got the six points which is what counts."

The pair of wins jumped Holy Cross into sole possession of first place in the standings with 16 points on a 5-0-1 record, six more points than St. Lawrence (3-2-1).

A pair of second-half goals by Zach Wade was the difference in Sunday's match. Boyd Roul had a second-half marker for the Laurentians.

"I challenged the players to step up their game because you never know what you are going to get in St. Lawrence, but you'd better be ready," said Stanford, who believes the key to his team's success is its deep bench.

"I think we have the strongest bench in the league and that's a luxury most coaches don't have.

"The starters know that if they are not performing well, I won't hesitate to go to the bench. Everyone knows they have to work hard for their playing time."

Stanford said the difference during the weekend was his team's strong bench compared to the Laurentians' subs.

"Our younger guys' energy off the bench was pretty impressive," said Stanford. "Guys like Scott Woodfine, Jake Warren and Matthew Breen played really well.

"Zach Wade was pretty awesome and (keeper) Scott Edwards was his usual consistent self which was another positive."

Stanford also felt Laurentians' goalkeeper John Douglas kept his team in both games.

"He made some great saves."

The league's next game is 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when Mount Pearl/That Pro Look/Molson takes on CB Auto Strikers at Sgt. Ned Nugent Field.

In other games:

Sunday

Feildians 4 at Western United 0

GS: Feildians - David Webb (3), Chris Burry

SO: Justin Black

Saturday

Holy Cross 2 at St. Lawrence 0

GS: Holy Cross - Scott Woodfine, Jake Warren

SO: Scott Edwards

Mount Pearl 4 at CB Auto Strikers 0

GS: Mount Pearl - Taedy O'Rourke, Matthew Hamlyn, Sean Drew, Justin Pickford

SO: Tyler Putt

Feildians 5 at Western United 1

GS: Feildians Ernst & Young Orenda - Matthew Wilkins (3), Colin Power, Zack Hynes

Western United FC Rugged Edge - Colin Lynch

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Molson, Cross Kirby Group Crusaders, Western United 1

Geographic location: Mount Pearl

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