Belmont Abbey senior forward Ananda Gebreyesus scored twice in the first half, and freshman Sarah Silapaxay added another shortly before halftime as the Crusaders earned a key Conference Carolinas victory with a 3-0 win over Limestone this afternoon at Alumni Field. The win ups the Abbey's record to 10-3-1 overall and 5-1-1 in Conference Carolinas, while the Saints drop to 4-7-3 overall and 2-4-0 in league play.
After Limestone controlled possession for the first five minutes, Gebreyesus put the Crusaders ahead in the ninth minute as her left footed shot from the right corner of the box beat Mariette Martinez for the goal.
Four short minutes later, Gebreyesus struck again. Meghan Philp sent a long pass to the center of the box to Cassidy Couthino, who sent a one-touch to the foot of Gebreyesus. The senior dribbled past a defender and fired a shot past Martinez into the right corner of the net for the score.
Shortly before the half, the lead grew to 3-0 as Silapaxay ran down a loose ball and slammed home a shot to the far post for her third goal of the year.
The Crusaders outshot Limestone 11-5 in the first half and both teams attempted a pair of corner kicks.
In the second half the Abbey outshot Limestone 9-0 as Gebreyesus nearly had a chance for a hat trick with 25 minutes to go, but her header fell wide.
Limestone increased the pressure, but the Crusaders back line cancelled any scoring chance the Saints might have had as Belmont Abbey posted its fifth clean sheet of the season.
The Crusaders outshot Limestone 20-5 and held a 5-2 edge in corner kicks.