Crusaders Escape with Overtime Win over Mount Olive

Belmont Abbey senior defenseman Connor Doyle caused a turnover with 1:31 left in overtime, starting a fast break that led to Daniel Marshall's game winning goal off of a feed from Connor Sellars with 1:23 left as Crusaders posted a 11-10 win over Mount Olive this afternoon.

Today's game was a de-facto Conference Carolinas Tournament play-in game, as the winner, Belmont Abbey, clinched the fourth and final spot in next week's Tournament. Belmont Abbey improves to 9-5 overall and 3-3 in Conference Carolinas, while Mount Olive falls to 7-7 overall and 2-4 in league play.

Belmont Abbey trailed 6-3 at the half but the offense came alive in the final 34 minutes, outscoring the Trojans, a first-year program, 8-4 the rest of the way.

After Mount Olive scored the first goal of the fourth quarter to extend its lead to 9-6, the Abbey fired right back with three-straight in the next four minutes to climb all the way back and deadlock the game at nine.

The Crusaders received goals from Marshall, Tanner Scharr and Sellars, the last of which tied the game at nine.

After an Abbey penalty, Mount Olive's Cameron Walsh put the Trojans back ahead with a man-up tally at the 2:37 mark to move the lead to 10-9, but they would not score again.

With 3:51 left, the Crusaders received a huge break after a timeout, as the Trojans were called for their third illegal stick of the game, giving the Crusaders a full three-minute man advantage, and they took advantage. With just six seconds left on the penalty, Scotty Steele found Sellars in front of the net, and he buried the tying goal with 57 ticks left.

The two teams traded possessions but neither team scored, as Brett Lawless made two saves in the final 15 seconds, the last of which with two seconds left, and Steele had a chance to end the contest with 30 seconds left, but his shot from four yards out hit the post.

With the score tied, the two teams went to a four minute sudden death overtime. On the ensuing face-off, Jon Wolcott won his third-straight battle, the last of his six for the afternoon. Wolcott also scooped up the ground ball and fed Dan Morrissey, who set up the offense. Morrissey eventually unleashed a shot that was blocked and Mount Olive gained possession.

After clearing the zone and penetrating into the Abbey's end, Lawells sopped a Jake Hancock shot, but the carom came right back to Hancock. With 1:31 to go, Jake Duarte attempted to sail a pass over the head of Doyle, whose long pole stopped the pass from getting by. Near midfield, Doyle sweeped the ball past Duarte, scooped up the ball and raced upfield. Just inside the Trojans zone, Doyle fired a pass to Sellars, who in turn floated a pass to Marshall. Marshall eluded one defender, turned and fired home the goal, the last of his four for the day, to give the Abbey the win.

Marshall led the Abbey with four goals, while Sellars netted three. Scharr totaled two, while Steele and Devin Cruz each had one.

Steele posted four assists, while Marshall, Morrissey, Scharr, Sellars and Vin Loscazlo each had one.

Defensively, Doyle caused five turnovers, none bigger than his final one. Cruz was credited with two as the Abbey totaled nine for the game. Lawless made ten saves in the cage.

Belmont Abbey was penalized just twice for 1:30, but Mount Olive was flagged seven times for 12:00, nine of which came on three illegal stick calls, which is a three minute, non-releaseable consequence.


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