The Belmont Abbey men's lacrosse team dominated the second half, outscoring Rollins 7-4 after trailing 4-1 at the break, but the Tars scored the winning goal with 1:14 left in the second overtime to secure a 9-8 victory in the season opener for both teams.
Today's game was played at the Queens University of Charlotte Sports Complex after the recent snow storm rendered Crusader Field unplayable.
The Tars led 2-1 after the first quarter and produced the only two goals of the second period to build a 4-1 halftime lead. Senior Scotty Steele scored the first Abbey goal, ripping home a man-up strike that knotted the contest at one.
Belmont Abbey stormed back in the third quarter, as the Crusaders scored the first three goals of the period to deadlock the game at four.
All three winners were unassisted as Connor Sellars struck first at the 10:24 mark. That was followed by a Joey McGinley winner 1:58 later, and capped off by Riley Quinlan's first career goal, a laser strike with 3:29 to go that pulled the Abbey even.
Rollins, however, had an answer, as the Tars scored twice in the final 1:51-the last coming with one second left-to give them a 6-4 lead heading into the fourth period.
Just like the third period, the Abbey began the fourth on fire, scoring four unanswered goals to move ahead 8-6. Steele netted his second goal of the match just 31 seconds in. Three minutes later, Quinlan scored the equalizer. That was the final goal for the next five minutes, until freshman Max Mullin put the Abbey ahead for the first time as he flashed in the face of goal, took a pass from Joey McGinley and beat Andrew Sheerin for his first career goal.
Less than two minutes later, Quinlan scored again, adding to the Abbey's lead which now stood at 8-6 with just 3:49 to go.
Needing two goals to tie, the Tars did just that. After an Abbey turnover and successful Rollins clear, Joshua Jenks trimmed the Abbey lead to one with his marker at the 1:22 mark.
Rollins, which won 16 of 20 face-offs on the afternoon, claimed the ensuing battle and with 46 ticks left Jacob Vonarb netted the tying goal.
The Tars won the next face-off and with 18 seconds left, Brett Lawless, who stopped 17 shots on the afternoon, turned away Vonarb's shot. Devin Cruz collected the loose ball and pitchforked a long pass ahead to Steele, whose shot sailed wide left with four seconds left, sending the game into overtime.
In the first four minute extra period, the Tars won the opening face off and again Lawless stoned Vonarb's shot, which turned out to be the only shot of the period for either team.
In the second four minute sudden victory period, Jon Wolcott won the face-off and the Abbey ran off 1:13 in the Tars zone before calling a timeout. After the stoppage, Steele had his shot blocked and Rollins gained possession and stormed down the field. Lawless again made a huge save, stuffing Adam Stefanowicz from point blank range to keep the game alive.
The Crusaders, however turned the ball over on their next possession, and Rollins won the game as Nicholas Schultz beat Lawless with 1:14 left to give the Tars the 9-8 victory.
Lawless stopped 17 shots and scooped up four ground balls. Sheerin made 12 saves and scooped up five ground balls.