BELMONT, N.C. - The Belmont Abbey men's lacrosse team clinched a spot in the 2017 Conference Carolinas tournament with a 29-3 victory over Emmanuel College (GA) this afternoon. The win puts The Abbey at 9-4 in 2017 and 4-1 in conference play. The Lions are now 1-11 and 0-6 against conference opponents.
The Abbey scored early and often, with Billy Huss setting up Adam Wiedemann for a goal just five seconds in to the contest. Emmanuel tied the score at one, but Jason Hollister put the Crusaders in front again at the 11:13 mark on a pass by Liam Osborne. Belmont Abbey would not give up the lead for the rest of the game, as Sean Hanrahan set up Osborne for a goal and a 4-1 lead with 5:46 in the period. That goal would prove to be the game winner. In fact, the stubborn Abbey defense did not give up a Lion shot for the rest of the quarter. Osborne and Wiedemann scored in the final minute of the period and Belmont Abbey led 8-1 heading into the second.
Freshman Ben Utrosa got the Crusader offense started in the second, with a score at the 13:25 mark on a pass from Wiedemann. Later, Callum Tanner assisted Wiedemann for a goal, before tallying a goal of his own at the 11:02 point. Wiedemann recorded a man-up goal and Tanner scored his third goal of the day, both in the final minute of the period as the Crusaders took a 15-1 lead into halftime. At this point, the tough Crusader defensive unit had only allowed 10 shots by the Lions.
It only took Osborne 36 seconds into the third to get a man-up goal and give Belmont Abbey a 16-1 lead. A few minutes later, attacker James Booth scored his first goal of the season on a pass from Tanner. Booth went on to score two more goals in the quarter, and set up fellow attacker Kyle Curtis for another and the Crusaders led 24-2 heading into the final period.
All it took was 29 seconds into the quarter for Hollister to score a man-up goal. Three minutes later Booth set up Hanrahan for another man-up goal. In the final minute of play, Matthew Durney would cap off the scoring, a he earned his first goal of the season. The Crusaders walked off with a 29-3 win.
On the day, Wiedemann led the powerful offensive front with four goals and four assists, for a total of eight points. Osborne was next with five goals and two assists. Tanner contributed with four goals and two assists, while Booth was also very productive, scoring three goals and dishing out three assists. Altogether, 15 Abbey players recorded at least one goal, while 14 Crusaders handed out at least one assist. Belmont Abbey recorded 23 ground balls to Emmanuel's nine, led by Hanrahan's four. Defensively, Hanrahan also led the team in caused turnovers, with three. Huss won 11 of his 16 faceoffs, while the Crusaders as a unit won 26 of 34. Abbey goalies combined for eight saves, as the defense only surrendered 16 shots on the day.
Up next for Belmont Abbey will be a visit to Lees-McRae on Wednesday, April 19. That game will begin at 7 p.m.