Belmont Abbey senior Katy Connery scored five goals and sophomore goalkeeper Reilly Johnson made ten saves in the cage, as the Crusaders women's lacrosse team used a late first half burst to take a lead they would never lose again to upset the nationally 11th-ranked Queens Royals 14-12 this afternoon at Alumni Field. Belmont Abbey improves to 3-1, while the Royals drop to 3-2.
Queens had not allowed more than nine goals in a match this year, but the Crusaders netted that same amount in the first half as they overcame an early deficit.
After the Royals scored the first two goals of the game, Belmont Abbey quickly matched it to knot the contest at two.
Queens added two unanswered to move back in front 4-2, but Shanin Darley scored on a free position strike to cut the Abbey deficit back down to one.
1:25 later, Gabby Farina moved the Royals lead back to two at 5-3, but the Abbey then took over the game, as it scored four unanswered goals to surge ahead 7-5. Connery scored two of those goals, with MacKenzie Miller and Rebecca Stromberg adding another.
The Royals countered with two unanswered to tie the game at seven, but the Crusaders closed the half with goals from Darley and Katelin Glass, the last with six seconds left, to give Belmont Abbey a 9-7 halftime lead.
Both teams scored five goals in the second half on 18 combined shots, but the Crusaders held their lead as Queens never got any closer than two goals.
Connery and Glass opened the period with goals to extend the Abbey's lead to 11-7. After both teams scored on free position shots, the Royals netted two straight to cut the Crusaders lead down to 12-10, but the Abbey matched those goals, as Connery buried her fifth and final goal of the day, followed by a free position winner by Rebecca Luca with 7:03 to play that moved the Crusaders lead back to four at 14-10.
The Royals scored the last two goals of the game, the last with nine seconds left, but Johnson did not allow much more, as she stopped ten Queens shots, including seven free position attempts.
Queens outshot the Abbey 26-19 but the Crusaders won 16 of 28 draw controls, seven by Stromberg and six more from Connery. Connery, the national leader in ground balls, scooped up ten, while Johnson collected five. Connery also caused five turnovers, with Kassie Easter adding two.
Glass, Darley, Stromberg and Luca all netted two goals with Darley adding two assists. Stromberg and Luca both added one assist.
Belmont Abbey is back in action Saturday with a road game at North Greenville.