Belmont Abbey junior Kevin Dougherty scored his first career goal on a header in the 29th minute and sophomore Clay Dimick added two more, the first on a penalty kick, as the Crusaders men's soccer team gained a crucial 3-1 win over North Greenville this afternoon at Alumni Field.
Belmont Abbey improves to 3-6-3 overall and 2-4-1 in the league, while North Greenville falls to 0-11-0 overall and 0-7-0 in Conference Carolinas.
The last 20 minutes of the contest was played in monsoon like conditions with a drenching rain falling sideways and sustained winds of 20-30 mph with gusts upward of 30 mph and more.
The Crusaders surged ahead 1-0 in the 29th minute as Dougherty recorded his first career goal, heading home a Jordan Gardner corner kick. Dougherty, stationed at the right corner of the box, leapt over the North Greenville defense and headed Gardner's attempt to the far post past goalkeeper Zacc Romano for his first career goal.
That was all of the scoring until the 53rd minute when Dimick extended the lead to 2-0 as he buried a penalty kick past Romano after Nick Fuller was dragged down from behind at the six yard box.
Seven minutes later Dimick struck again to up the lead to 3-0. After a North Greenville foul at the left corner of the box, Fuller led Declan McQuillan with a pass directed to the top of the box. McQuillan's one time attempt was blocked, but it bounced right to Fuller at the left post. After eluding a defender, Fuller sent a low cross to the far post, where Dimick raced ahead unmarked and tapped in the easy goal, his second of the day and the third of the year.
North Greenville pulled one back in the 79th minute as Asa Wolfe caught Mickey Raine off his line and fired a wind-aided shot from 45 yards out that sailed just inside the right post for the goal.
Belmont Abbey outshot North Greenville 15-8 and attempted six corner kicks to just one for North Greenville.
The Crusaders are back on the pitch Saturday at 3:00 when they host Lees-McRae.