BELMONT, N.C. -- Kayley Williams scored a pair of second-half goals as Belmont Abbey built a 3-0 lead with 20 minutes remaining, then fought off a furious rally for a 3-2 victory over Newberry at Alumni Field. The season opener for both teams was the first-ever South Atlantic Conference Carolinas Field Hockey League matchup. Nicole Wong opened the scoring with a goal just 5:52 into the contest, while also earning an assist.
Setting the Stage
- During the offseason, six schools from the South Atlantic Conference and Conference Carolinas partnered in the joint league. In addition to Thursday's participants, Limestone, Queens, Coker and Converse are founding members.
- The contest marked the first event on campus for Belmont Abbey College this year.
- The Belmont Abbey program in its third year of existence.
How it Happened
- Wong put the Crusaders up 1-0 with her unassisted goal just 5:52 into the contest. It was her third career goal.
- Williams upped the score to 3-0 with a pair of goals in a seven-minute span of the second half. The first was assisted by Wong, while the second was unassisted.
- Newberry mounted a furious rally, cutting the gap to 3-2 with 4:30 to play. The game ended with the Crusaders successfully defending a penalty corner.
- The Wolves held a 17-14 edge on shots overall, but Belmont Abbey had a 10-6 advantage at halftime.
- Paige Hinds made eight saves, just one shy of her career best.
- Five newcomers earned a spot in The Abbey's starting lineup: Camrynn Aiello, Laura Harrison, Emilie Devaux, Sophia Fuege and Sarah Healy. All but Healy, a transfer from Converse, are freshmen.
- Belmont Abbey won its opener for the second straight year, moving to 1-0, 1-0. Newberry is 0-1, 0-1.
- The Crusaders return to action next Saturday, September 8 with a neutral-site game against Slippery Rock in Richmond, Va.