The Belmont Abbey men's lacrosse team won its final game of the regular season 18-10 at Pfeiffer this afternoon. The victory gives the Crusaders a 12-3 2016 record with a 4-2 record in the conference. Pfeiffer finished at 8-6 and 3-3 against conference opponents.
Pfeiffer scored two early goals, but Adam Wiedemann also scored twice early as he evened the score at two with a goal at the 9:01 mark. Wiedemann and Kyle McGinley scored the next two goals as the Abbey took a 4-2 lead at the 6:11 mark. Two Pfeiffer goals notched the score at 4, but Wiedemann scored his third goal of the period off a pass from Callum Tanner as time expired to give the Crusaders a 3-2 lead going into the second quarter.
After Belmont Abbey won the opening faceoff of the second, Connor Sellars gave the Abbey a 6-4 lead less than two minutes into the period. Later, Devin Cruz forced a Pfeiffer turnover, and the Abbey capitalized as McGinley scored on the ensuing possession, and the Abbey owned a 7-4 lead. Pfeiffer scored the next couple of goals until Connor Sellars set up Tanner for a score at the 4:33 point. Cruz forced another Pfeiffer turnover, and Wiedemann scored on the ensuing possession, as the Crusaders took a 9-6 lead. Belmont Abbey led 9-8 at halftime.
The opening minutes of the third went back and forth, as both teams played tough defense, forced turnovers, and limited shots. Bryan DePass broke the drought at the 9:22 mark to give the Abbey a two-goal lead. Another few scoreless minutes went by until Tanner scored a man-up goal with 4:02 to play in the period. Less than a minute later, Wiedemann found the net to make it a 12-8 Abbey lead. At the 2:06 mark, Pfeiffer scored its only goal of the period as the Crusaders possessed a 12-9 lead going into the final quarter.
It only took McGinley 45 seconds to find the net after Cody Agrella won the quarter's opening faceoff. Then at the 11:53 point, DePass scored his second goal of the day off a feed from Wiedemann to make it a 14-9 Crusader lead. The Crusaders capitalized on another Falcon turnover, as Tanner scored a goal with 8:08 to play. With 5:53 to play, Wiedemann found the net on a man-up opportunity off a pass from Sellars. Just 1:09 later, Cruz gave the Crusaders a 17-9 advantage. Pfeiffer scored with just under four minutes to play to make it 17-10. It was the last goal the Falcons would score in the game. Wiedemann set up MJ Miller for a goal at the 1:31 mark, which sealed Crusaders' 18-10 victory.
On the day, Wiedemann's seven goals led the Crusaders' strong offensive attack. He also handed out two assists, while Sellars handed out three. Cruz, in his final regular season game at the Abbey, led the defense with nine ground balls and seven caused turnovers, both game-highs. Goalie Harley Whitham made seven saves.
Belmont Abbey will face Mt. Olive at Limestone in Gaffney, SC on Friday, April 29 in a Conference Carolinas semifinal match.