The Belmont Abbey men's soccer team scored the first two goals of the match and held off a late Erskine charge to earn its first Conference Carolinas victory with a 2-1 win this afternoon at Alumni Field. Belmont Abbey wins for the first time since September 5 as it improves to 2-9-3 overall and 1-5-2 in Conference Carolinas. Erskine drops to 4-9-2 overall and 2-4-2 in the league.
Belmont Abbey outshot Erskine 17-16 and held a 7-3 edge in corner kicks as junior Nick Fuller gave the Crusaders a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute. Breaking behind the Flying Fleet defense, his first effort was blocked by goalkeeper C.J. Cluck, but the rebound came right back to him and he easily tapped in the shot into the unoccupied goal for a 1-0 lead.
The Crusaders held their 1-0 lead through the half, and added to it shortly into the second half, 1:34 in exactly, as James Delaney fired a free kick to the goal mouth, where Clay Dimick volleyed home the winner to double the lead to 2-0.
Erskine broke through in the 68th minute to cut the Abbey's lead to 2-1 as Joe O'Neill scored off of a direct free kick from 22 yards away.
The visitors picked up the pressure late, with Erskine's best chance coming in the 77th minute as Cameron Whitehurst appeared to have tied the score at two, but goalkeeper Luke Whelan, going across his body, threw up his right hand and swatted the attempt away to preserve the one goal lead, which would be the final.
Whelan made four saves with Dimick adding a team save early in the second half. Cluck stopped four shots.
Belmont Abbey is back in action Tuesday night at 7:00 when it goes on the road to face North Greenville.