By Frank Mastrandrea ’88
The 2000 Holy Cross field hockey team capped off an impressive
season with its third Patriot League Championship and third
NCAA Tournament Play-In appearance in the last four years.
After winning their first-ever regular season Patriot League
title with a perfect 6-0 record, the Crusaders hosted the
league tournament for the first time in school history
on their way to a 14-7 overall mark.
The Crusaders opened the season with two shutout
wins against Vermont, 5-0, and Radford, 2-0. After losing
its first game of the season to Hofstra, 2-0, Holy
Cross defeated two league opponents, Fairfield and Bucknell, to take a sole
position of first place in the league standings. The team
then lost to Providence in overtime,
before winning eight of their next nine games, including four Patriot League
games. The only loss came against Boston College. The Crusaders dropped their
final three games of the season to Big East power Villanova, Northeastern and
Dartmouth to end their regular season with a 12-6 record.
In her 16 seasons as head coach of the field hockey team, Meg Galligan was
named Patriot League Coach of the Year for the third time.
With just three juniors on the team, this had the makings of a rebuilding year
for Coach Comrie and the Crusaders. However, the team finished the season with
an 8-10 record and Holy Cross’ sixth Patriot League Tournament appearance
in the last seven years. Matt Ney ’03 (McLean, Va.) had a stellar season,
tying three school records, tying one Patriot League record, breaking one Patriot
League record, and moving into fifth place on the all-time Crusader scoring list.
The 2000 women’s soccer season began rather slowly,
but the Crusaders came on strong at the end to post one of
the most memorable seasons in school history. Holy Cross
(10-11-1), which started the season with a 2-8 month of September,
entered the Patriot League Championship Tournament as the
second seed for the first time in school history. After knocking
off Bucknell in the semi-final round, 1-0, Holy Cross made
its first Tournament finals appearance, as they took on the
top-seed and host Colgate. The Crusaders defeated the Red
Raiders for the first time in nine years, 1-0, to capture
the tournament crown.
By virtue of winning the title, the Crusaders made their first-ever NCAA Tournament
appearance, hosting Boston University on Nov. 8. The game would mark the first
NCAA Tournament game held on campus since March 17, 1991, when the women’s
basketball team dropped a second-round match-up to Auburn University. Unfortunately
for Holy Cross, its season ended when the Terriers took home a 1-0 victory,
scoring the game-winner late in the second half.
The Holy Cross football team posted its highest win total
since the 1991 season finishing the year with a record
of 7-4. The seven victories are a four-win improvement
upon last season and mark the third largest turnaround
in Crusader history.
Under head coach Dan Allen, the 2000 Crusaders were very well-balanced, ranking
fourth in rushing offense (151.0 yards per game) and fourth in total offense
(348.7 yards per game). The team also ranked second in passing defense (164.0
yards per game) and third in rushing defense (162.2 yards per game). The Crusaders
ranked second in third down conversions (41.8 percent) and first in time of
Holy Cross defeated two nationally ranked teams (Towson, 18th, and Bucknell,
20th) and was ranked 10th in the Lambert Poll at the end of the season.
After a 4-23 overall record and 2-10 league record in 1999,
six starters returned for the 2000 season to turn the program
around. The Crusaders finished the season 12-16 overall,
and 6-6 in the Patriot league, the program’s best
record in the last 10 years.
Men’s and Women’s Golf
The Holy Cross women’s golf team kicked off its inaugural
season on the links this fall, compiling a 1-4-1 record along
the way. On Oct. 15, the Crusaders defeated Williams College
by a 416-452 count, and on Oct. 18, they tied the Eagles
of Boston College at 145 strokes apiece.
The men’s golf team won its fourth consecutive Worcester City Championships
trophy at Wachusett Country Club in Boylston, Mass. Furthermore, they finished
in third-place at the ECAC South Qualifier Tournament, finishing only behind
the University of Hartford and Bryant College.
Men’s and Women’s Tennis
The men’s tennis team had a productive fall season,
picking up two wins and raising its level of competition
by participating in the Connecticut Invitational. Although
the team compiled a 2-5 overall record, it finished strong,
winning its last two matches by scores of 6-1 over Springfield
College and 7-0 over Clark University. In between those two
wins was the Connecticut Invitational, where the Crusaders
had a strong showing. Holy Cross athletes made the semi-finals
in all four consolation flights.
The women’s tennis team had one of its best fall seasons ever, compiling
a stellar 10-3 record and defeating Division I mainstays University of Rhode
Island and Central Connecticut State. The season was highlighted by a fourth-place
finish at the New England Women’s Tennis Championships.
Men’s and Women’s Crew
The men’s and women’s crew teams both excelled
in the fall portion of their schedules this season. In the
Head of the Connecticut race on Oct. 8, the men’s intermediate
eight boat placed ninth out of 21 boats that competed in
the race. The men also rowed a lightweight eight boat that
placed third out of eight boats that competed. The women’s
intermediate eight boat also had a top day, placing sixth
out of 35 boats which entered the race.
The Crusaders carried that momentum into the prestigious Head of the Charles
race. Holy Cross’ men’s club eight placed 16th out of 68 teams
that entered, while the women’s club eight boat placed 17th out of 70
teams that competed.
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
The men’s and women’s cross country teams had
very productive seasons, with stellar team and individual
performances on both sides.
The men’s team, led by All-Patriot League performer Sean McCarthy ’03
(Chelmsford, Mass.), finished eighth out of 26 teams at the National Catholic
Cross Country Meet. McCarthy’s time of 25:55 for 13th place gave him
the fourth best place and 10th best time by a Holy Cross runner in the 20 years
the Crusaders have been competing in this prestigious meet. McCarthy followed
up that performance with a time of 24:51.1 at the Murray Keatinge Invitational,
the best time ever for a Holy Cross runner at this meet. McCarthy was honored
as Patriot League Cross Country Athlete of the Week on Oct. 17. His seventh-place
finish at the Patriot League Championships garnered him All-League status.
The women’s team had outstanding performances of its own, culminating
in a fourth place finish at the Patriot League Championships. At the National
Catholics Meet, the women’s team finished fifth out of 25 teams, which
was one of their best finishes ever at this meet. Combined with the men’s
finish, the Crusaders posted their best overall finish ever at this meet. Headlining
for the women all season was Ashley Boyle ’04 (Portland, Ore.). Her 12th
place time of 18:47 at the Murray Keatinge Invitational was the second best
time and best finish ever for a Holy Cross woman at this meet.