The Belmont Abbey women's soccer team scored once in the first half, added two more in the second and senior goalkeeper Megan Bowen preserved the Crusaders fifth Carolinas Conference shutout in seven matches with a penalty kick save in a 3-0 victory over the visiting Barton Bulldogs this afternoon.
The Crusaders post their sixth-straight win as they improve to 9-2-1 overall and 7-0-0 in Conference Carolinas. Barton drops to 5-4-2 overall and 2-3-2 in the league.
Belmont Abbey has now outscored its seven conference opponents 27-2 and has shutout five of seven matches.
The only goal the Crusaders needed came in the 34th minute as Jillian Lang powered home her fourth goal of the year, all coming in the last five matches. After a cross from Cassidy Coutinho, Lang's first effort from the goal mouth, right at the left post, was blocked by Kelsey Rothwell, but the rebound came right back to Lang, who shoved the ball just across the line before Rothwell could recover.
Belmont Abbey held its 1-0 lead at the half as it outshot Barton 10-0 in the opening period.
The Crusaders put the game away in the second half with two goals, the first from Laura Shelton in the 63rd minute. Coutinho lifted a corner kick to the center of the box, where Shelton raced forward and used a powerful header to beat Rothwell to increase the Abbey's lead to 2-0.
15 minutes later, Kooba Richard capped the scoring with a goal from 15 yards out, taking a pass from Coutinho and smoking a left footed shot past Rothwell into the lower right corner of the net.
1:02 later, Barton had its only scoring chance of the game after an Abbey handball inside the box. The referee awarded a penalty kick and Emily Futral stepped up to make the attempt. Her effort to the right side was met by Bowen, who anticipated the spot kick and dove on top and then grabbed the ball before it rolled over the goal line.
The Crusaders outshot the Bulldogs 16-2 and attempted five corner kicks to just two for Barton.
Belmont Abbey is back in action Saturday when it goes on the road to face Southern Wesleyan. Kickoff is set for 3:00 p.m.