Belmont Abbey junior attackman Connor Sellars ripped home the winning goal just 11 seconds into the third overtime to give the nationally 13th-ranked Crusaders a thrilling 11-10 win over the visiting Rollins College Tars this afternoon at Alumni Field. Belmont Abbey remains unbeaten at 4-0, while the Tars drop to 3-4.
Rollins led 3-2 after one but the Abbey scored twice in the second half and held Rollins to one winner in the second quarter to send the two teams into the break tied at four. The two teams combined for seven goals in the third, as Rollins entered the fourth quarter leading 8-7, but Belmont Abbey forced overtime with a 3-2 advantage in the fourth quarter.
Sellars, who finished with four goals, started the game the way he ended it, netting his first winner just nine seconds into the game as Billy Huss won the face-off, scooped up the ground ball and raced downfield. He passed off to Sellars, stationed at the left post, and his shot found the back of the net.
The Tars opened the second quarter by scoring its fourth-straight goal to move ahead 4-2, but that would be all they would get in the quarter as Riley Quinlan, who matched Sellars's game total with four goals, recorded his first to trim the Tars lead to 4-3. Quinlan then set up the equalizer four minutes later as he found McGinley for the tying goal.
Rollins surged ahead 7-4 as it scored the first three goals of the third quarter, but the Crusaders fired right back with three unanswered, starting with goals from Sellars and McQuinlan, and capped off by a Billy Moore man up strike off of a Quinlan pass to knot the game at seven. Rollins closed the quarter with a goal at the 1:30 mark to give the Tars an 8-7 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Crusaders powered ahead 9-8 as they opened the scoring in the quarter, on markers from Sellars and Quinlan, both coming in the first five minutes.
Rollins quickly surged back in front 10-9 as it scored two quick winners, the last with 6:55 to play, but the Crusaders weren't finished, as Quinlan and Sellars connected on the tying goal, as Sellars found Quinlan on the right wing, and his underhanded shot sailed into the net for the tenth goal with 4:36 to play.
Neither team scored in the final minutes of regulation, sending the game into a four minute, sudden victory period.
The second overtime nearly ended after just 36 seconds, as the Tars Carson Buell's shot banged off the crossbar. Belmont Abbey then successfully fought off a 30 second man down penalty but neither team recorded a shot after Buell's efforts.
The third overtime lasted exactly 11 seconds. Cruz dominated the face off, swatting the ball upfield and ran unmarked until he reached the Tars zone, passing off to McGinley. McGinley quickly moved the ball to Sellars on the left flank, where, hounded by two defenders, he zipped the Crusaders 44th and final shot past Thomas Troiano for the winner, touching off an Abbey celebration.
Sellars scored four goals on 11 shots while his fellow countryman and provincial mate Quinlan netted four on 12 shots. McGinley, McGovern and Moore all totaled one. McGinley, Quinlan and Will Chastain each had two assists.
Defensively, Sellars and Cruz had two caused turnovers. Whitham made eight saves, three coming in the extra periods.