BELMONT, N.C. - The Belmont Abbey men's soccer team competed in the Quarterfinals of the Conference Carolinas Men's Soccer Tournament but did not achieve their desired result, as Mount Olive defeated the Crusaders 4-3. The third-seeded Crusaders were led by junior James Delaney's two goals.
Belmont Abbey took the early lead in the 13th minute as Steven Pate found Mark Trompeter for his fifth goal of the season. Mount Olive responded in the 16th minute when Sebastian Loibl capitalized on a penalty kick to tie the game at one.
The Trojans took the lead in the 18th minute when Tyler Hall connected with Trevor Knight with a crossfield pass and finish. Mount Olive added to their lead in the 31st minute when Knight stuck for his second goal of the contest. Right before the half, in the 35th minute, Delaney serviced an exceptional pass from George Espina, finding the back of the net to cut the deficit to just one at the intermission.
The second frame saw a lot of physical play as both offensives kept on the attack. Mount Olive's Baptiste Tajan added a goal in the 74th minute, taking a lead pass from Sam Murphy.
The Abbey was not done, however, when Patrick Kibler launched a free kick into the box and Delaney headed in his second goal of the game. Time ran out on the Crusaders as they were not able to put another shot on frame before time expired.
The Abbey outshot the Trojans 25-16 and Crusader keeper Wes Holifield collected three saves on the afternoon.
After completing the 2016 season 6-8-2 and not making the conference tournament, the Crusaders were picked to finish eighth in the 2017 pre-season poll. Belmont Abbey surpassed all expectations this year collecting a 9-6-1 record and finishing third in the conference.