Pfeiffer's Matt Michaeli scored the winning goal with four seconds left to break a 6-6 tie as the 13th-ranked Falcons earned a 7-6 victory this afternoon at Alumni Field in a Conference Carolinas men's lacrosse matchup. The Falcons improve to 8-2 overall and 3-0 in league play, while the Crusaders fall to 6-3 overall and 0-2 in league play.
Belmont Abbey led 2-0 at the half as both goals came in the first quarter. Riley Quinlan scored the first of his three goals at the 11:52 mark, followed by Callum Tanner's unassisted tally with 4:30 to play.
The second quarter was scoreless as the Crusaders carried a 2-0 lead into the break.
Both teams offenses came alive in the second half, as Pfeiffer opened the third quarter with four unanswered goals to burst ahead 4-2. The Falcons scored the first three in the opening 4:31, and added another with 8:22 to go. Connor Sellars broke the string with a winner at the 7:04 mark to pull the Crusaders to within one at 4-3.
The final quarter was a whirlwind, as each team scored six goals. Eddie Renaud opened the scoring at the 7:00 minute mark to stretch the Falcons lead to 5-3, but Quinlan had an answer exactly two minutes later.
The Falcons added another with 3:52 left, but the Abbey fired back with two unanswered goals, starting with Tanner's second winner of the game with 1:56 to play to cut the deficit to one. Then, with 30 seconds left, Quinlan found the back of the net for the third time, this one tying the game at six to set up a photo finish.
Devin Cruz won the ensuing face-off and scooped up the ground ball, but he turned the ball over in his own zone with 17 seconds left.
After a Pfeiffer timeout, the Falcons worked the clock, and with four seconds left, Michaeli beat Harley Whitham for the winning goal.
Pfeiffer outshot Belmont Abbey 39-24 and won the ground ball battle 25-20. Whitham stopped 15 shots, eight in the first half and six in the fourth quarter alone.
Quinlan scored three goals on four shots and also had two assists. Sellars added a goal and an assist.