BELMONT, NC - The Belmont Abbey men's lacrosse team won a 14-6 decision over Queens (NC) this afternoon on Alumni Field. The win puts the Crusaders at 3-1 in 2017. The Royals dipped to 2-2.
The Abbey scored two early goals, as junior Kyle McGinley put a shot in the net off a pass from Brendan McGovern. All faceoff specialist Billy Huss needed was 15 seconds to win the ensuing faceoff, bolt downfield, and score. Queens went on to tie the score at the 3:07 mark, but the Crusaders took back the lead just 20 seconds later on a score by freshman Collin Grippo. Just 14 seconds after that goal, sophomore Liam Osborne gave the Abbey a 4-2 lead. Then with 1:04 to play, Adam Wiedemann put a shot in the net with the help of McGovern, and Belmont Abbey owned a 5-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Freshman Sean Hanrahan struck first in the second quarter, as he put the Crusaders up 6-2. It would take until the 8:00 mark before the Abbey's defensive unit gave up a Queens goal in the quarter. McGovern and midfielder Callum Tanner each scored in the closing minutes of the period. Belmont Abbey led 8-3 at halftime.
Less than a minute into the second half Osborne tallied another score for the Abbey, this time off a Wiedemann pass. After a Royals goal, it only took the Crusaders a minute to regain the six-goal advantage as McGinley scored his second goal of the day. At the 6:56 mark, Wiedemann helped MJ Miller find the back of the net, before scoring a goal of his own just a few minutes later. This gave Belmont Abbey a 12-4 lead heading into the final quarter. The Abbey defense only gave up one goal in the third.
The Abbey did not let up. Freshman Vinny Vultaggio scored on a pass from Sean Hanrahan for a 13-5 lead. Queens scored a goal not long after, but the defense continued to swarm the Royal attackers, while the offense had long possessions. The Crusaders won the contest 14-6.
On the day, Wiedemann led the Abbey's offensive performance with three goals and three assists. He also picked up three ground balls. McGinley earned two goals and an assist. McGovern recorded a goal and two assists. Ten Crusaders scored at least one goal. Grippo picked up a game-high six ground balls. Huss won 10 faceoffs. The Abbey defense forced four Queens turnovers. Junior Harley Whitham made 13 impressive saves in goal.
Head Coach Chris Barrett offered the following thoughts on the game today: "The guys played well and together today. Sharing the ball, communicating, and they really stuck to the game plan for sixty minutes and we got the result we wanted. I am really proud of our efforts, but we have a quick turnaround to Saturday and need to be ready to open conference play."
Belmont Abbey will next face off against Pfeiffer Saturday. The game will begin at 3:30pm on Alumni Field.