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Johnny Duke watching the St. Lawrence vs Holy Cross
match on 28 May via live-stream. Randy Melloy Photo
Laurentians thump Holy Cross 4-0
I've been around the sport of soccer a long time and there is no doubt the greatest rivalry in the history of the sport is the rivalry between the St. Lawrence Laurentians and the Holy Cross Crusaders. Both teams have dominated provincially. The Laurentians have won 25 Challenge Cup Championships out of a possible 50. Holy Cross have captured 17 Provincial Challenge Cup titles. In the Laurentians 25 appearances at the Nationals, the Laurentians have won 3 Silver & 2 Bronze. In Holy Cross's National appearances, the red and gold have captured one each of Gold, Silver and Bronze. It's only fair to say Holy Cross have dominated provincially the past eight years under the direction of Head Coach Jake Stanford , winning six Provincial Titles.
Holy Cross Currently Struggling
While I wouldn't entirely write off Holy Cross in 2017 , to say that they are struggling thus far is an understatement. So far this season, Cross are winless after three contests 0W - 1T - 2L. This is a record that this club is not exactly accustomed to plus Holy Cross's losing their opening game in 2017 to CBS shocked the soccer fraternity. I sort of feel for Holy Cross's new coach Jeremy Babstock. On the surface it somewhat appears as if several of Cross's former players have jumped ship. Others are asking, did Holy Cross's loss in the 2016 playoffs in St. Lawrence on Labour Day weekend destroy this provincial powerhouse? Holy Cross had gone to St. Lawrence needing only one win to advance to the 2016 National Championships which were being hosted in St. John's. While in the mining town the near impossible happened. Holy Cross loss their opening match to Mount Pearl in the 1 vs 2 contest. This loss was followed by a dramatic second loss in the semi-finals, this time to the Laurentians , who went on to win the Challenge Cup. Furthermore, adding insult to injury, because Holy Cross had accumulated two losses, this knocked them out of the 2016 Nationals.
On Sunday, what was built to be another provincial soccer thriller, became anti-climatic before the game ended. The new look Holy Cross team were dominated by the Laurentians from the opening whistle. The Laurentians opened with two first half goals by Stefan Slaney and Adam Kelly and looked far superior to their arch-rivals . Holy Cross's frustration became very apparent before the first half ended, with Chris Pope and Tyler Kirby getting ejected . The Laurentians captain, Marc Pittman was also sent off for an early shower. In the second half with the Laurentians playing 10 against nine, Laurentians scored another brace. This time it was Sean Drew and Jordi Slaney denting the twine. The Laurentians new 2017 additions, who consisted of George Lawton, Mack Brefo and Devon Ryan all performed admirable. Patrick Slaney made an outstanding save on Sean Henderson to record the Laurtentian's shut-out.
The beauty of this game was the stream-line on social media. In less than 24 hours it has over 4000 viewers , 28 shares, 200+ comments and umpteen likes. It went all over North America and even reached Phil Greene in Egypt. Folks, technology is here , it is a growing trend and if we don't adapt we will get run over.