Tyler Feniello won 19-of-24 face offs and was among 11 Trojans to score a goal as University of Mount Olive defeated Belmont Abbey15-8 in Conference Carolinas men's lacrosse Saturday at Amon Field. The win concluded conference play for Mount Olive and moved the Trojans further in contention to host a semifinal round game in the conference tournament.
Mount Olive (11-2 overall, 3-1 Conference Carolinas) got on the scoreboard on Daniel Shields' goal with 9:57 left in the first period and the Trojans led wire-to-wire. After Spencer Gelinas scored for the Trojans with 7:12 remaining, Feniello took the ensuing face off and drove and shot to make it a three-goal game just 11 seconds later. Cameron Walsh's goal gave the Trojans a 4-0 lead with 5:38 left.
Belmont Abbey (5-8, 0-2) cut the lead in half on goals by Ryan Callahan and Connor Sellars in the final three minutes left in the period. After scoring with one second left in the first period, Sellars scored again to pull the Crusaders within 4-3.
The two teams traded goals before Brett Kingston's man-up goal with 2:27 left in the second period gave Mount Olive a 6-4 halftime lead. The goal started a run of five unanswered goals as Mount Olive pulled away.
After goals by Alex Tindall and Matt Shields early in the third period extended Mount Olive's lead to 8-4, Trojan goalkeeper Ross Bowman turned away a Crusader threat and Luke Morris turned the save into a goal on the other end.
Bowman deflected a shot high in the air and Morris caught the ball on the fly a short distance in front of the net. Morris drove the ball the length of the field and scored with 7:57 left in the third period. Stephen Bowlan's goal 55 seconds later completed the run and extended the Trojans' lead to 10-4.
Belmont Abbey never got closer than five goals the rest of the way and the final score matched the Trojans' biggest lead of the game.
Prior to the contest, Mount Olive recognized 13 seniors during the first official men's lacrosse Senior Day ceremonies in the two-year history of the Trojan men's lacrosse program.
Gelinas, Kingston, Walsh and Nico Shewey led Mount Olive with two goals apiece. Bowman finished with 13 saves.
Sellars led Belmont Abbey with a game-high four goals.
Mount Olive is currently in second place in the conference standings, a game behind conference leader Limestone in the loss column and a half-game ahead of third-place Pfeiffer. The Trojans defeated nationally seventh-ranked Pfeiffer 11-10 in overtime Wednesday, but fell to No. 3 Limestone Saturday.
A Limestone win over Pfeiffer April 19 secures a top-two seed for Mount Olive regardless of any other conference results.
Mount Olive concludes regular season play next Saturday as the Trojans travel to North Canton, Ohio, to take on Walsh in a non-conference match-up. Game time is noon.