No. 2 Limestone Edges Belmont Abbey in CC Semifinals

BURLINGTON, N.C. On a rain slicked field No. 2 Limestone (13-1, 6-0 CC) scored nine second half goals to power past upset-minded Belmont Abbey (9-6, 3-3 CC) 15-11 to earn a berth in the 2013 Conference Carolinas tournament championship.

Senior attack Riley Loewen (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada) led the attack with three goals and three assists along with three groundballs while senior attack Corey Rich (Sacramento, Calif.) found the back of the net four times, notched two assists and had three groundballs.

Senior midfielder Tor Reinholdt (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada) added a pair of scores and an assist and senior midfielder Zach Cummings (Crownsville, Md.) and freshman midfielder Vinny Ricci (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada) each had two scores. Senior goalkeeper Christian Dzwilewski (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) played all 60 minutes, allowing 11 goals and making 12 saves to pick up the win and move to 10-1 on the season.

Belmont Abbey opened the game strong as they used scores by Daniel Marshall and Scotty Steele at 6:49 and 5:52 of the first quarter, respectively, to take a 2-0 lead. Zach Cummings then got the Saints on the board at 3:25 on an unassisted goal while Steele answered right back with his second of the game to put it at 3-1 with 2:01 left in the opening frame.

At that point, No. 2 ranked Limestone's offense roared to life with an unassisted score by Tor Reinholdt as the first of four straight goals that would give them a 5-3 advantage at 7:56 of the second. Corey Rich assisted on the second, a Vinny Ricci goal, and then connected off of passes from Riley Loewen for the final two goals.

The Crusaders responded as Dan Morrisey, who collected the assist on the first goal of the game, found Marshall again, this time for a man-down goal at 4:27. Patrick Butler then followed with an unassisted goal to tie the game at 5-5 with 3:47 left in the half. Far from done, Rich and Loewen hooked up for a third time to take back the lead, 6-5, at 2:40 before Connor Sellars took it himself, knotting the score at 6-6.

That would be the score the teams would take to the half as they played through a maelstrom over the final 30 seconds. With lightning strikes and severe weather in the area, the teams then waited out an hour and thirteen minute delay before resuming play in the second half.

The tide would turn greatly at the start of the second half as senior face-off specialist Jake Ternosky (LaFayette, N.Y.) won the opening face-off and raced down the field, drilling a shot into the back of the net to give the Saints the lead. Just over a minute later Rich answered with an unassisted goal and Loewen converted off a pass from Tor Reinholdt to make it 9-6 by the 11:01 mark.

Connor Sellars broke the run with a score at the 10 minute mark to close to 9-7 but Limestone answered back with three straight goals to push to a 12-7 advantage. Back-to-back goals by Sellars drew the Crusaders within three at 12-9 before the Saints pushed the lead to 15-10 behind a 3-1 run. Marshall would add a goal in the final seconds to reach the final margin of 15-11.

Sellars led the way for Belmont Abbey with six goals, an assist and six groundballs while Daniel Marshall finished with three goals and an assist. Scotty Steele added a pair of scores and Tanner Scharr had an assist. Brett Lawless played all 60 minutes, allowing 15 goals while making 11 saves.

Limestone advances to the 2013 Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship on Sunday, April 21. They will face the winner of No. 3 Seed Queens (N.C.) and No. 2 Seed Pfeiffer at approximately 4:00 p.m.

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