Blue Devils Battle Hard, but Fall to Crusaders

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It didn't take long for the Drury boys' soccer team to get its offense going against St. Joe's on Saturday. Senior captain Ryan Ouimet scored on a breakaway just 16 seconds into the game, giving the host Blue Devils a quick 1-0 lead in an early-morning game that started at 9:30.

Perhaps the Crusaders were sleeping on the bus ride down to John J. DelNegro Field. St. Joe's eventually woke up, however, and got the better end of play the rest of the game to earn a hard-fought 4-3 win on the road. 

The Crusaders (4-5) caught a break in the eighth minute, when Chi Lee was able to convert a penalty kick to even the game up at one goal apiece. Matt Begrowicz then finished off a cross from Mike Peplowski five minutes later to put the visitors on top, but Drury (0-6-1) came right back four minutes after that when eighth-grader Connor Meehan was able to put in a rebound off of a hard shot by Ouimet. 

The score remained tied for most of the first half until Charlie Crall scored the game's most important goal just two minutes before halftime. Crall floated a shot just over the reach of Blue Devils' keeper Joseph Liporace (six saves) to give St. Joe's a 3-2 lead at the break. 

"Wow, this was a battle," Drury head coach Greg Caproni said. "We came out fast, very fast, scoring in the first 16 seconds. But St. Joe's battled back and took control of the game for a while. This was a back-and-forth game. We had our chances and we made our mistakes throughout the game. We are looking forward to battling them again at the end of the season."

The two teams traded goals in the second half, with Jongmon Hong scoring for the Crusaders in the 69th minute and Jacob Groves nailing a penalty kick for the Devils four minutes later. Despite a 5-3 edge in corner kicks in the second half, Drury was unable to come up with the equalizer.
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