SALISBURY, NC - The Belmont Abbey men's lacrosse team earned a 17-5 victory at Catawba College this afternoon to kick off the 2017 season. The Abbey is 1-0 to start the year while the Indians are 1-1.
It took less than a minute for the Crusader offense to get in gear as midfielder Brendan McGovern found the net just 48 seconds into the contest. Less than a minute after that, midfielder Bryan DePass put the Abbey up 2-0. Later in the quarter, attacker Adam Wiedemann scored a goal and assisted Kyle McGinley on another to gove the Crusaders a 4-1 advantage. Liam Osborne put a ball in goal at the 2:46 mark, and Belmont Abbey owned a 5-1 lead at the end of the quarter. McGinley put two more balls in goal in the second to make it an 8-2 Abbey lead at halftime. The tough Crusader defense only gave up four Catawba shots and one goal in the second period.
That defense was just as impressive in the third, forcing the Indians into taking a lot of tough shots, as well as junior goalie Harley Whitham making multiple saves early. At the 10:25 mark of the period, Wiedemann scored his second goal, making it a 9-2 Abbey lead. In the final minutes of the quarter, midfielders Billy Huss and MJ Miller each found the net to give Belmont Abbey a commanding 12-3 lead going into the final period. The defensive unit only surrendered one third-quarter goal.
The fourth quarter was all Abbey. McGinley and Huss each scored in the period's opening minute. Catawba had trouble getting good looks at the goal. McGovern scored a man-up goal to make it 15-3 before the Indians scored their first goal of the period. The Crusaders walked off with the 17-5 win.
On the day, McGinley scored four goals and handed out an assist to lead the Abbey's offensive efforts. McGovern tallied three scores, while Wiedemann chipped in two and an assist. Huss picked up a game-high 15 ground balls. He also won 17 of his 21 faceoffs. Sophomores Anthony Cesario and Jack Diebolt led the Crusaders' impressive defense, with two caused turnovers each. Whitham made 13 saves in goal. As a unit, Belmont Abbey won 21 of the game's 25 faceoffs.
Head Coach Chris Barrett offered some positive thoughts on the game, stating "I am really proud of the way the guys came out and played tonight. We played hard and got a lot of guys involved tonight. Winning Faceoffs the way we did was key in taking pressure off our defense and keeping the ball in the hands of the offense. That is a credit to the players and to the work of Faceoff Coach Marshall for leading them in the right direction."
Belmont Abbey will next take the field next Saturday, February 18, when it welcomes Mercyhurst in its first home game of 2017.