No. 3 Limestone Escapes Tough Battle with Belmont Abbey

GAFFNEY, S.C. Senior attack Riley Loewen (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada) drilled home a game-high five goals to finish with seven points as No. 3 Limestone (11-1, 4-0 CC) picked up a hard fought 12-10 victory over Belmont Abbey (7-5, 1-3 CC) on Saturday, April 6.

The win keeps the Saints tied with No. 8 Pfeiffer (11-2, 5-0 CC) for the Conference Carolinas lead heading into next week's defacto regular season championship game.

Loewen struck five times and added a pair of assists in helping to key the victory while freshman midfielder Vinny Ricci (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada) found the back of the net three times. Senior midfielder Zach Cummings (Crownsville, Md.) added a pair of scores and senior midfielder Tor Reinholdt (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada) had a goal and an assist. Junior attack Matt Burke (Pasadena, Md.) rounded out the scoring with a solo goal.

Senior face-off specialist Jake Ternosky (LaFayette, N.Y.) fed the Limestone offense the ball 12 out of 18 times on faceoffs, and even recorded an assist of his own, while senior attack Corey Rich (Sacramento, Calif.) and junior midfielder Jamar Peete (Baltimore, Md.) each had an assist. Senior goalkeeper Christian Dzwilewski (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) played all 60 minutes, allowing 10 goals while making 16 saves to improve to 8-1 on the year.

After more than 10 minutes of scoreless play, Belmont Abbey got on the board first as Connor Sellars took a pass from Scotty Steele to make it 1-0 at 4:39. Less than three minutes later the Saints would deliver the equalizer as Loewen found Vinny Ricci for the tying goal at the 1:42 mark.

The second quarter would be the polar opposite as the teams combined for seven goals. Limestone opened with back-to-back scores by Loewen and Rich over the first 4:30 before Sellars netted his second to make it 3-2 with 7:45 on the clock. Loewen then struck again, this time with back-to-back goals, to make it 5-2 just 23 seconds later. Sellars would add a second score to close to 5-4 with 3:42 remaining before the teams headed to the half with a one-goal margin.

Limestone came out firing in the second half as Zach Cummings rifled home a pair of scores in the first minute before Loewen added his fourth at the 6:12 mark for an 8-4 advantage. Sellars once again keyed a Crusaders comeback as with an unassisted goal at 4:52 and was followed by a Daniel Marshall score to make it 8-6 with 3:06 left in the third.

Four straight goals by the Saints, the first two by Ricci, over the next 9:08 then vaulted them out to a commanding 12-6 by the 8:18 mark of the fourth. Rival Belmont Abbey would not go away, however, as they rallied in quick fashion with three goals in a matter of 1:40 to close to within 12-9. Limestone's defense would shut them down almost the rest of the way though, allowing just a Sellars goal as time expired to reach the final margin of 12-10.

Sellars led the way for the Crusaders with a game-high tying five goals and added an assist while Marshall had a pair of scores. Tanner Scharr and Dan Morrissey each added a goal and two assists and Joey McGinley had a goal and an assist. Scotty Steele wrapped up the offense with a solo assist. Brett Lawless played all 60 minutes in net, allowing 12 goals and making 16 saves to fall to 5-5 on the year. He also recorded a game-high six groundballs.

Limestone heads to Misenheimer, N.C. for a crucial meeting with No. 8 Pfeiffer on Saturday, April 13. Scheduled for 3:00 p.m., the game will decide the 2013 Conference Carolinas Regular Season Champion and No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament.

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