In a match played in a steady rain and featuring a combined 54 fouls, eight yellow cards and a disallowed goal, the Belmont Abbey men's soccer team battled the visiting Emmanuel Lions to a 1-1 draw this afternoon on a wet Alumni Field pitch. The Crusaders are now 1-5-1 overall and 0-2-1 in Conference Carolinas, while Emmanuel moves to 3-3-1 overall and 2-2-1 in league play.
Both of the goals came in the first half while the second half and overtime featured several scoring opportunities that came up empty.
The Crusaders outshot the Lions 21-11 and held a 5-4 edge in corner kicks, but the contest was a physical one, as the Abbey was called for 32 fouls while the Lions were whistled 22 times.
Emmanuel opened the scoring in the tenth minute, as Blair Springhall used a fantastic individual effort to put the visitors ahead 1-0. Running down a long pass along the right sideline, Springhall one timed a shot from a very tough angle and fired on net, beating Luke Whelan. The ball never reached the net, but the referee assistant ruled that the ball crossed the line, no more than two beats before Clay Dimick cleared it away.
The visitors appeared to add to its lead three minutes after scoring the first goal, as Martin Mitreski looped in a beautiful, high arcing shot over the head of Whelan, dropping the effort just under the crossbar and skimming the back of the net, but the referee assistant raised his flag for an offsides call. Mitreski's ensuing protestations garnered a caution, one of eight on the afternoon in the referee book.
Those turned out to be the only scoring plays of the match, but there were several opportunities for both teams in the second half and in overtime.
After Emmanuel's Jordan Davis hit the post in the 65th minute, the Lions next biggest chance came 20 minutes later. Nick Miller raced unmarked through the center of the Abbey's defense and was left one one one with Whelan. Whelan raced off his line towards Miller and smothered his effort, keeping the match deadlocked.
Belmont Abbey had its best chance in the 102nd minute. Nick Fuller beat a defender down the left sideline, dribbled towards the goal and from 13 yards out cracked a shot far post that sailed past the right post by no more than six inches. Fuller had hit the post earlier in the match, coming in the 70th minute.
Whelan made four saves on the afternoon, while counterpart Sebastian Jones stopped one shot.
The Crusaders are back in action Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 as they host King.