The Belmont Abbey men's lacrosse team clinched its berth in the Conference Carolinas Tournament with an 18-8 win at North Greenville this afternoon. Belmont Abbey moves to 10-4 overall and finishes the Conference Carolinas schedule with a ledger of 3-3, while North Greenville, a first year program, falls to 1-13 overall and 1-4 in Conference Carolinas.
Belmont Abbey will next play in the Conference Carolinas Tournament against the top-seeded Limestone Saints Friday, April 24 in Gaffney, South Carolina.
Junior Devin Cruz netted a career-high four goals on four shots, while causing five turnovers and collecting six ground balls. Connor Sellars added four goals and Liam Kircher netted three. Riley Quinlan scored twice. Jason Hollister, David Salter, James Gillman, Joey McGinley and Brendan McGovern all had one.
Belmont Abbey led 3-1 after the opening quarter but followed with a five goal outburst in the second period to carry an 8-2 lead at halftime. The Crusaders finished with 31 first half shots, including 21 in the second quarter.
The two teams combined for seven third period goals as the Crusaders netted four of those, coming from Hollister, Cruz, Sellars and Salter.
In the fourth, the Abbey scored six goals on 17 shots as Kircher scored two of his three in the last period, including a man up goal.
Cruz closed the scoring with his fourth goal on his fourth shot with 1:58 left.
Belmont Abbey outshot North Greenville 61-18 and won 19 of 30 face offs as Billy Huss won 16 of 26. Huss led all players with seven ground balls.
Harley Whitham made four saves in the cage, while two North Greenville netminders combined for 27 saves.