Belmont Abbey Sprints by Lees-McRae for First-Ever 3-0 Start

Eight Belmont Abbey players scored at least one goal, and freshman Mackenzie Miller netted seven on nine shots, as the Crusaders improved to 3-0 for the first time in school history with a decisive 23-3 win over Lees-McRae this afternoon at Alumni Field. Belmont Abbey is now 3-0 overall and 2-0 in Conference Carolinas, while Lees-McRae drops to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in league play.

The Crusaders seized control from the start, scoring the first four goals of the game in the opening 2:38, including two in the first 35 seconds. Belmont Abbey moved out to a 13-1 lead at the half as it outshot the Bobcats 20-4 in the opening half hour. The Crusaders finished with 40 shots on the afternoon.

Miller led all scorers with seven goals on nine shots, while Reese Gassie added a career-high four in just her third collegiate game. Miller has 15 goals on 22 shots to start her collegiate career. Katy Connery and Megan Patton both scored three, with two of Connery's goals representing the Abbey's first two of the game in the opening 35 seconds after she secured the first two draw controls.

Shannin Darley and Rebecca Diggs both had a pair of goals, while Gina Colella and Elyse Mohn both had one. Lindsay Connolly handed out five assists to increase her season total to 14, while Darley and Gassie had one each. Belmont Abbey scored on all six of its free position shots, as three of Miller's seven strikes were from the eight meter spot.

Defensively, the Crusaders caused 12 turnovers as Gassie led the way with three, while Colella and Darley had two each. The Crusaders won the draw control battle by a commanding 21-7 count, including the first 11 to start the game. Connery led the way with six, while Colella had five and Alyssa Greco finished with five. Colella also led the way with nine ground balls and Gassie totaled eight as the Crusaders scooped up 45 on the day. Danielle Ruffalo stopped five shots, four in the second half.

Lees-McRae's goals were scored by Oliva Gudewich, who finished with two, and Katelin Rooney had the other.

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BELMONT, N.C. -- Belmont Abbey outscored Lees-McRae by a 13-1 margin in the first half en route to a 23-3 victory in Conference Carolinas play on Wednesday afternoon.

Belmont Abbey (3-0, 2-0 CC) outshot Lees-McRae (1-1, 0-1 CC) by a 40-13 margin, including a 20-4 advantage in the opening 30 minutes, while controlling 21 of 28 draws and recording 45 ground balls. The Bobcats scoped up 21 ground balls on the afternoon.

Olivia Gudewich (Frederick, Md.) paced the Bobcats with two goals, as Katelin Rooney (Naples, Fla.) added a team-high five ground balls and a strike of her own. Jessica Travers (Asheville, N.C.) chipped in an assist, while Mia Emmerson (Orlando, Fla.) tallied eight saves between the pipes.

Mackenzie Miller led the way for Belmont Abbey with seven goals on nine shots, as Reese Gassie added four strikes and one assist. Katy Connery and Megan Patton each posted a hat trick, while Gina Colella and Gassie chipped in nine and eight ground balls, respectively. Danielle Ruffalo made five saves for the Abbey.

Belmont Abbey opened the scoring with five quick goals before Gudewich answered for the Bobcats at the 25:39 mark, taking a pass from Travers and beating the goalie to cut the lead to 5-1. The Abbey would respond with 10 straight goals, pushing the advantage to 15-1 with 27:32 left in the second half. Rooney then tallied for the Bobcats, converting a free position shot before Gudewich added her second of the day on an eight-meter strike with 18:03 to go.

The Crusaders would cap the scoring with six goals in the final 13 minutes to equal the final margin of 23-3.

Lees-McRae returns to action on Saturday when the Bobcats host Catawba College in non-conference play at 2:30 p.m. in Boone, N.C. on the campus of Watauga High School.


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