Belmont Abbey Cruises to Opening Win at Catawba

Nine Belmont Abbey players scored goals, led by senior Megan Patton's five, as Crusaders opened the 2013 season with a convincing 21-9 victory at Catawba this evening. Catawba falls to 0-3 with the loss.

Belmont Abbey led just 8-6 at the half, but the Crusaders exploded for 13 in the final 30 minutes to seal the victory.

Patton scored five goals on eight shots, while Elyse Mohn added four, three in the second half. Katy Connery and MacKenzie Miller both scored three times and Gina Colella scored twice. Lindsay Connolly, Rebecca Diggs, Reese Gassie and Shannin Darley all had one. Connolly handed out three assists and Colella had two.

Colella scored the first goal of the game just 36 seconds in with a free position shot, but Catawba fought back and scored the next three goals to take a 3-1 lead. Patton responded with two-straight, the first on a free position shot and then the other less than two minutes later off of a feed from Connolly, to deadlock the game at three.

After a Catawba goal, Mohn tied it back up at four with the first of her four strikes, followed by Miller's first career goal, a free position winner with 9:40 to play. Miller's goal momentarily gave the Abbey the lead, as the two teams traded goals back and forth until the 3:17 mark when Gassie scored her first career goal on a free position shot, followed by Connery's unassisted strike at the 1:49 mark to put the Crusaders ahead by two, 8-6, at the break.

The second half was all Crusaders, as the Abbey outshot Catawba 27-8 in the period. Belmont Abbey scored the first four goals of the half in a span of 3:10, as Mohn scored two goals around strikes from Miller and Connery.

Catawba broke the string with a marker with 21:17 to play, but the Crusaders scored the next four unanswered, with Patton scoring twice around goals from Connery and Mohn. Patton's second strike of the flurry upped the lead to 16-7.

Catawba scored the next two goals, but the Abbey closed the game with five-straight by five different players: Patton, Darley, Miller, Connolly and Diggs, who closed the scoring with 34 ticks left.

The Crusaders defense caused 13 turnovers as Colella forced three to lead the Abbey. Connery and Diggs had two each. Diggs's six ground balls led all players. Danielle Ruffalo stopped five shots to post her first career win in the cage.

2013-02-21



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