The Belmont Abbey men's soccer season came to a close tonight as the sixth-seeded Crusaders fell 2-0 at the third-seeded Barton Bulldogs this evening in the quarterfinal round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament. Barton advances to the semifinal round with a record of 9-7-1, while the Crusaders end their season with a record of 6-10.
Barton outshot the Abbey 21-8 as the Bulldogs scored the only goal they would need in the 27th minute, as Dante DeLuca converted a penalty kick after an Abbey foul in the box.
Belmont Abbey kept the match a 1-0 deficit and had its best chance to get even in the 65th minute. Mark Wallace beat goalkeeper Vasily Yakimkin with a nifty move and was left with an open net, but he took an extra dribble, allowing Drew Williams to track back and scissor-kick the ball away to keep the Bulldogs lead intact.
Eight minutes later, the Bulldogs capitalized on an opportunity to move their lead to 2-0. DeLuca sent a through ball from the right to the center of the box, right to the awaiting foot of Erik Pajunk, whose ensuing shot beat Kyle Searles for the winner.
Searles, in his final collegiate match, stopped nine shots. Conor Wells, also in his final collegiate match, attempted two shots. Lucas Campoy and Manolo Garcia's careers also came to an end this evening.