It’s been an up-and-down season for the Holy Cross men’s lacrosse team, but a win this weekend would help flip the narrative.
The Crusaders (0-3 in Patriot League play, 3-5 overall) snapped a three-game losing streak last week when they beat Brown in double overtime. And they’ll look to make it two in a row Saturday when they host conference rival Navy (2-2 in conference, 4-4 overall) at Kuzniewski Field.
One game before beating Brown, Holy Cross suffered a 7-6 home loss to No. 18 Army — one of the best teams in the country. Although it was a tough loss, the game offered proof that the Crusaders are better than their record indicates, something the victory over Brown reinforced.
“They’ve been playing extremely well,” Peter Burke, in the midst of his first season as Holy Cross’ interim head coach, said of his team during an interview with NESN.com on Wednesday. “They’ve been working really hard. We got out to a bit of a slow start … but since then, it’s been really tight contests. … Really seeing the guys emerge, develop that chemistry, and they’re really playing well right now.”
Holy Cross currently sits in eighth place in the Patriot League, and that’s a problem because only six teams make the conference tournament. But sixth-place Colgate and seventh-place Bucknell each only have one in-conference victory, so the Crusaders still have a realistic shot at making the postseason — provided they continue to smooth out the rough edges of their game.
“All the little things between the lines — being efficient, clearing, riding,” Burke said when asked to identify what areas he wants to see his team improve in. “Continuing to generate great shots, be aggressive and physical on defense.
” … We’ve just got to continue to improve and progress throughout this final five-game stretch.”
As for this weekend’s matchup against Navy, perennially one of the best programs in Division I, Burke knows his team has to bring its A-game.
“Navy’s an unbelievable program, just the history of it,” Burke said. “They’ve been very successful for a long time now. … We really expect them to come out firing this weekend.
“For us, we’ve just got to focus on ourselves. Play our game, execute what our gameplan is and go out there, fly around and play as fast as we possibly can.”
Check out the college lacrosse weekend schedule for NESNplus below. To find NESNplus on your channel guide, click here.
Saturday, March 30
Noon — Patriot League men’s lacrosse: Navy at Holy Cross (NESNplus)
2 p.m. — Ivy League women’s lacrosse: Harvard at Dartmouth (NESNplus)
5 p.m. — Women’s college lacrosse: Sacred Heart at Brown (NESNplus)
Sunday, March 31
Noon — Women’s college lacrosse: Fresno State at Brown (NESNplus)