BELMONT, NC - The Belmont Abbey women's soccer team played Catawba to a 2-2 draw this afternoon at Alumni Field. The Crusaders are now 2-0-1 while Catawba moved to 0-1-1.
The Crusaders trailed for the first time this season when they surrendered a penalty-kick goal just 2:03 into the game. Both teams continued to play very aggressively, as multiple fouls were called on each side over the next few minutes. One foul by Catawba, however, occurred inside the box, resulting in a penalty kick for the Abbey. Senior Cierra Skyers to the left side of the goal and converted, tying the score at one in the eighteenth minute.
Both teams continued to grind it out in the exceptionally hot afternoon, with the Abbey taking several shots that came very close to scores, including two shots in the final three minutes of the half. The score remained 1-1 at the break.
The second period started out much like the first, with multiple fouls called both ways, and eventually a Catawba goal off a penalty kick in the early minutes, which gave the Indians a 2-1 advantage.
Belmont Abbey continued to apply pressure, as a header by midfielder Nicole Ferren was softly deflected by Catawba's goalie, which resulted in a corner kick for the Abbey in the 61st minute. The Crusaders took another corner just three minutes later, as it continued to possess the ball for a high amount of time. In the 84th minute, sophomore Kate Hennessy scored on a pass from Brooke Hedgspeth to knot the game at two. A shot by Skyers in the 87th minute sailed just high as the game went into overtime.
It only took 1:08 for Skyers to score a goal off a rebound that got waived off by an offside call. the Crusaders continued their impressive performance, as a shot by midfielder Alex Butorovich hit the crossbar, followed by a Tallee Zamiela shot that the Indians' goalie diving to make a save in the 99th minute. One overtime would not be enough to decide the game.
In the second overtime, the Crusaders defense did not allow the Indians a single shot, while the offense got more good looks that did not convert into goals. The game ended in a 2-2 draw.
After the match, Head Coach Mike Lynch commented: "These games with Catawba seem to always be tough midfield battles. We couldn't have picked a better day to have a "Raise the Red" fan day as the extra noise helped keep our energy up. We certainly needed to tap into their energy, especially after going down so early in the match. I was pleased how our team responded not once but twice bringing the scores back to even. Then to have chances to win the game at the end of regulation and in both overtime periods is very positive. Next steps are to take the positives of this match, clean up a few things and start getting ready for Wednesday's match versus Lenoir Rhyne."
The Crusaders will next visit Lenoir-Rhyne University on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.