BELMONT, N.C. - Senior Nicole Ferren scored a game-tying goal early in the second period of The Abbey's season opener. Tampa, however, took the contest 2-1 in overtime in a torrential downpour. It was Belmont Abbey's first home loss since 2014.
The Crusader defense did an outstanding job of withstanding an early onslaught of Tampa shots. The Spartans also took three corner kicks in a six-minute span which The Abbey was able to repel. In the 30th minute, senior Morgan Altieri got a free kick opportunity which sailed just high. With just under three minutes left in the opening half, the Spartans scored a goal to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.
It did not take Belmont Abbey long to respond. Ferren knocked in a rebound off a shot from forward Morgan Patton. This notched the game at one in the 49th minute. Less than a minute later, the offense showed some prowess as Patton took another shot on goal.
Later, in the 52nd minute, the Crusaders' defense stood tough against another surge of Tampa corner kicks. After some back-and-forth action, the game went into overtime. The Spartans scored a goal 1:02 into the overtime period to win the contest 2-1.
Patton led Belmont Abbey with three shots on goal. Sophomore Kaitlyn Paul made 12 saves in goal.
Head Coach Mike Lynch noted some positive aspects of his team: "Tampa is a good team, they had a lot of the ball, yet we continued to defend well. Coming out of halftime, the ladies showed how much they wanted it, as we were down 1-0 and we tied it up in just under four minutes. The conditions were challenging to play in, but we kept playing Tampa tough."
Belmont Abbey will next visit Francis Marion in Florence, S.C. on Saturday, September 2. The game will kick off at 4 p.m.