BELMONT, NC - The Belmont Abbey men's lacrosse team won an 11-9 game this afternoon over #9-ranked Tampa. The victory improves the Crusaders' record to 5-1 in 2017. Tampa is now 5-3.
Sophomore attack Liam Osborne put the Crusaders on the board first. Tampa tied the game at one at the 9:38 mark, but all Collin Grippo need was five after the faceoff to put the Crusaders back in front. He then made it a 3-1 Abbey lead just 16 seconds later. In the closing minutes of the quarter, the Spartans scored a goal and the Crusaders led 3-2 when the quarter expired.
Belmont Abbey began the second with a man-up opportunity. The team got some offense running, though not enough for a score. The Spartans scored two goals in the next few minutes to take a 4-3 lead. Then faceoff specialist Billy Huss won the faceoff, dashed downfield and scored to tie the game at four. With 10:50 in the half, attack MJ Miller scored off a pass from Jacob Clark to put the Abbey in front 5-4. The next Crusader goal came at the 5:50, when midfielder Kyle McGinley set up Jason Hollister for a score and a 6-5 Crusader advantage. The game was tied at six at halftime.
Just four seconds into the second half, Belmont Abbey was again in a man-up situation. It did not score during the man advantage, but stayed on offense, keeping the ball on its side of the field. It took over six minutes into the half for Tampa to score on the tough Crusader defense. Then it only took the Abbey 19 seconds to tie the game at seven when Osborne found the back of the net off a pass from Miller. The Crusaders continued to limit the Spartan opportunities, and kept getting good looks at the net. Then Tampa scored in the closing seconds of the period, and it had an 8-7 advantage heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was all Abbey. Less than a minute into the period Miller notched the game at eight. With 12:56 to play, the Spartans took the lead back. It was the last time the Abbey gave up a score. Huss won the faceoff and set up Osborne for another goal and a 9-9 tie. With 10:08 in the game, junior Brendan McGovern's goal put the Abbey in front for good. Sean Hanrahan capped off the scoring with a goal, and the Crusaders took the 11-9 victory.
On the day, Osborne led the Crusader attack with three goals. Grippo and Miller each scored twice. Huss and Hollister each picked up five ground balls, tying for the game-high. Huss also won 12 faceoffs. His 75 faceoffs won on the season put him in third place in Conference Carolinas. Junior Harley Whitham made eight saves in goal.
Head Coach Chris Barrett commented on today's contest: "I am really proud of the guys today. Today is what you call a complete Team win. We beat a very good team today and that doesn't happen if we don't have great effort all week from the guys. We need another one this week with another great opponent coming to Belmont in Mt. Olive."
The Crusaders will next welcome Mt. Olive on Saturday, March 18 at 1pm.