Lions Match Crusaders in Second Half Scoring, but are Unable to Overcome First Half Deficit
BELMONT, N.C. – The Saint Leo women's lacrosse team matched its opponent in second half scoring, but the Lions were unable to overcome a five goal first half deficit to upend the Belmont Abbey Crusaders in south region action on Wednesday afternoon at Alumni Field. The Lions fell to the Crusaders, 13-8, dropping to a mark of 5-3, while Belmont Abbey advances its record to 6-1.
The Lions were led in scoring by Kelsey Burns, who netted a hat trick and earned an assist on the day. Andrea Kuhl scored two goals of her own, while Bethanny Jolly, Allie Sheftall, and Christina Minneci scored one apiece. Adding assists on the afternoon were Alix Murray with two and Sheftall with one.
The Crusaders were led by Shanin Darley with four, and MacKenzie Miller with three. Katy Connery earned four points on the day, scoring two goals and adding two assists.
In cage for Saint Leo, Kaylyn Kearns allowed seven goals while making three saves in 30 minutes of action. Brittany Millsap allowed six while earning one save in her 30 minutes between the pipes, while Belmont Abbey saw Natasha Whitman allow eight goals while making eight saves in 60 minutes of play.
Belmont Abbey opened the game opening up a five goal lead over Saint Leo in the first 16 minutes, but Sheftall got the Lions on the board thanks to an assist by Burns with 13:14 on the clock, followed by a quick goal by Burns 11 seconds later to pull the Lions to within three, 5-2.
The Crusaders closed out the first half with two more goals to set the score at 7-2, and opened up the second half with another to pull ahead by a tally of 8-2. The Lions answered back with two, but Belmont Abbey traded blows and rallied two goals of its own to set the score at 10-4 with 16:11 to play.
Kuhl scored at the 11:58 mark to pull Saint Leo back to within five, 10-5, but the Crusaders rattled off two more to extend their lead to 12-5 with 8:41 left. Burns placed a shot between the pipes off of an assist by Murray with 5:13 on the clock, but a final goal by Belmont Abbey gave the Crusaders a 13-6 lead with 4:35 to play.
The Lions were not about to back down and fought to the very end. Minneci fired an unassisted shot into the cage with 1:36 to go, and Jolly placed a shot between the pipes with 21 seconds on the clock to pull Saint Leo back to within five to close out the game.
The Lions return to action on Friday, March 21, when they take on Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C. Game time against the Falcons is set for 3 p.m.
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