Belmont Abbey Nips Converse in Sudden Death

Belmont Abbey freshman Reese Gassie caused a Converse turnover deep in the Valkyries zone, which led to sophomore Gina Colella's game winning goal in the second overtime, as the Crusaders claimed a 12-11 win in the regular season finale this afternoon at Alumni Field. Belmont Abbey is now 7-8 overall and 4-3 in Conference Carolinas, while Converse is now 9-8 overall and 3-4 in league play.

Today's game was a battle for the fourth seed, as the Crusaders will host Converse again tomorrow at 4:00 in the quarterfinal round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament. Coming into today's match-up, the winner would host the loser in Tuesday's quarterfinal round.

The Crusaders trailed by as many as four goals, at 6-2 with 3:16 left in the first half, but the Abbey scored the last two goals to trim the deficit to 6-4 at the half.

In the second, Belmont Abbey turned the tables on Converse, outscoring them 6-4 to force overtime. Katy Connery gave the Abbey a 9-8 lead with 11:47 to play, but Converse quickly knotted the score less than two minutes later, and it added another to move ahead 10-9 with 4:38 to go.

19 seconds later, however, Megan Patton deadlocked the contest at ten on a free position shot, but Sam Green quickly moved Converse back in front with 2:27 to play.

Things looked bleak for the Crusaders until the 1:50 mark, when Molly Schaefer, who finished with a goal, an assist, 10 ground balls, seven draw control wins and three caused turnovers, intercepted a Converse pass deep in the Valkyries zone and quickly passed off to Rebecca Diggs. Diggs eluded one defender and slid a shot past Alex Gurecki to tie the game at 11 with 1:41 showing.

Neither team scored in the remaining time so the two teams went off to overtime. The two three minute sessions were scoreless, sending the game into the sudden death period.

The third session lasted just 1:47. After an Abbey missed shot, Gassie swiped the ball away from Gurecki and passed off to Diggs. Diggs found Colella who fired the goal into the empty net for the winner.

Patton led the Abbey with three goals, while Diggs and Connery posted two. Schaefer, Connolly, Colella, Gassie and Ariel Walker each had one. Connolly, Diggs, Patton and Schaefer all had one assist.

Belmont Abbey outshot Converse 27-19 and held a commanding 22-5 lead in draw controls.


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