Men's Lacrosse Drops Heartbreaker In OT To Belmont Abbey In Fight For Tourney Berth

Men's Lacrosse Drops Heartbreaker In OT To Belmont Abbey In Fight For Tourney Berth

Cameron Walsh scored four goals, including a go-ahead marker late in regulation, but host Belmont Abbey rallied and eliminated Mount Olive from Conference Carolinas Tournament contention with an 11-10 overtime decision in men's lacrosse Saturday afternoon in Belmont, N.C. With the loss, the Trojans conclude the first season in program history with a 7-7 record.

The teams came into the contest tied for fourth place with the winner receiving the final position in next week's tournament. The squads put on a show worthy of champions. In the final 30-plus minutes of regulation and overtime, neither team led by more than two goals.

Mount Olive (7-7 Overall, 2-4 Conference Carolinas) delivered the first blow in the first half. After falling behind 1-0, the Trojans tallied four consecutive goals and six of the next seven to threaten to run away early.

Matt Shields and Walsh scored twice apiece, while Alex Tindall and Daniel Shields added one each to give Mount Olive a 6-2 lead with 4:28 left in the first half.

Then Belmont Abbey counter-punched in the form of Daniel Marshall. Marshall, who led the Crusaders with four goals, cut the deficit to 6-3 just before halftime, then opened the third period with another goal to close the gap to two.

The team traded markers in the third, with Walsh and Spencer Gelinas striking for the Trojans. Belmont Abbey's Tanner Scharr made it 8-6 when he scored with three seconds left in the third period.

The Crusaders completed their comeback by scoring three consecutive goals down the stretch. After Jake Hancock gave Mount Olive a 9-6 lead a minute into the fourth, Marshall, Scharr and Connor Sellars pulled Belmont Abbey even with 7:12 left in regulation.

The score remained 9-9 until Walsh delivered an unassisted goal with 2:37 left that appeared to keep the Trojans' season going. But Sellars had other plans, receiving an assist from Scotty Steele with 57 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

For the Trojans, it was the first extra period in school history. Belmont Abbey lost their only overtime match of the season.

With 1:23 left in overtime, Marshall delivered the winner on an assist from Sellars on a fastbreak following a Mount Olive turnover.

The Trojans won the battle of groundballs, posting a 33-27 advantage. Mount Olive also led in shots attempted early, but the Crusaders outshot the Trojans 13-7 in the fourth period and overtime. In goal, Rocky Bowman finished with 13 saves for the Trojans. Tyler Feniello led the Trojans with nine grounders, while James DiMartino and Bowman had four apiece.

In ball-control, Mount Olive won 15 of 23 face-offs, but committed 19 turnovers to just nine for Belmont Abbey. The turnover which set up the game-winning goal was the only miscue for either team in the extra session.

Despite the loss, the Trojans have more than enough reason to feel optimistic after the first year of the program. Mount Olive graduates just one senior and have 16 eligible players who would be seniors in 2014.