BELMONT, NC - The Belmont Abbey women's lacrosse team won its first game of 2017 today, with a 23-0 shutout over the Barton Bulldogs. The Abbey is 1-0 in both its overall and conference records. Barton moves to 0-2 on the season, with an identical conference record.
Belmont Abbey scored early and often. Senior midfielder Jordan Hofmeister scored just 1:02 into the game on a pass from junior Rebecca Luca. Just 32 seconds later, junior midfielder Rebecca Stromberg found the net off a pass by junior Caitlin Cook. Another 36 seconds and senior Katelin Glass found freshman Marin Felsoci to give the Abbey an early 3-0 lead. Luca tallied to more goals before freshman attacker Allison Cline earned her first career goal at the 19:00 mark for a 8-0 lead. At the 9:16 mark, Cook recorded her first goal of the season. By halftime, the Crusaders own a 13-0 lead. At that point, the Abbey had outshot the Bulldogs 16-0, showing strength on the defensive end as well as the offensive end.
The second half started out much like the first, as Luca and Glass each scored in the opening minutes. A Hofmeister goal with 20:47 to play made it a 16-0 game. Later in the half, senior attacker Erin Kunkel scored two Abbey goals in a row to notch her first two scores of the season. With 6:05 to play, freshman Jenna Niedzwiedzki found the back of the net for her first career point. Cooke and Luca finished off the scoring and the Abbey took a 23-0 win.
On the day, Luca led the Crusaders' offensive attack with five goals and two assists. Stromberg and Glass each scored four goals, with Glass adding an assist. Cook and Hofmeister each scored twice while handing out three assists. Belmont Abbey won 22 draw controls to Barton's three, led by Felsoci's six, followed by Stromberg's five. Freshman defender Amber Eakins caused four Bulldog turnovers, while reigning Conference Carolinas Defensive Player of the Year Kassie Easter caused two.
Head Coach Jenn Flaherty offered some thought on the game, stating "I'd like to welcome Barton to the conference and best of luck with the rest of the season. We had some beautiful weather for our home opener and the team played extremely well. It was a good team effort from the opening draw, and that's all I can ask for. We had some great leaders on and off the field and I'm excited to see what this talented group does next."
Belmont Abbey will next take the field on Thursday, February 16 when it welcomes Lees-McRae for a 3:30pm matchup.