Southern Wesleyan scored a goal in each half and held off a late Belmont Abbey charge as Zach Melvin scored his first career goal in the 80th minute as the Warriors defeated the Crusaders men's soccer team 2-1 this evening at Childs Field.
Melvin's goal snapped a three match shutout streak for the Crusaders, who fall to 1-9-2 overall and 0-5-2 in Conference Carolinas. Southern Wesleyan improves to 8-3-1 overall and 3-2-1 in Conference Carolinas.
The Crusaders outshot the Warriors 22-12 but it was Southern Wesleyan that moved ahead 2-0 as it scored the first goal of the game in the 25th minute as Christian Taylor scored off of a Michel Herszenhout pass for a 1-0 lead, which remained the score through the first half. Belmont Abbey outshot the Warriors 13-5 in the period, but Warriors goalkeeper Ruben Rodriguez made 11 saves on the 13 shots.
Southern Wesleyan added its second goal in the 52nd minute as this time it was Herszenhout who added to his assist with a goal, heading home an Ivan Malagon cross to boost the lead to 2-0.
Belmont Abbey scored its first goal since September 30 as Melvin netted his first career goal at the 75:45 mark, taking advantage of an errant Warriors back pass to Rodriguez, who was out of his goal. Melvin capitalized and scored to cut the lead in half, but the Crusaders could not net the equalizer as the hosts earned the 2-1 victory. The Crusaders outshot Southern Wesleyan 9-7 in the second half, 22-12 for the match and attempted nine corner kicks to just three for the Warriors.
Rodriguez finished with 13 saves, and the team was credited with one as the Abbey had a shot saved by a defender at the goal line. Luke Whelan stopped five shots in the first 76 minutes before giving way to Wes Holifield, who made a pair of saves in the final 14 minutes.
Belmont Abbey returns to the pitch Tuesday when it hosts Chowan at 3:00 p.m.