First half surge pushes Abbey past Bobcats, 23-3

BELMONT, N.C. --- The Belmont Abbey College women's lacrosse team outscored Lees-McRae College by a 13-1 margin in the first half en route to a 23-3 victory in Conference Carolinas play on Wednesday afternoon.

Belmont Abbey (3-0, 2-0 CC) outshot Lees-McRae (1-1, 0-1 CC) by a 40-13 margin, including a 20-4 advantage in the opening 30 minutes, while controlling 21-of-28 draws and recording 45 ground balls. The Bobcats scooped up 21 ground balls on the afternoon.

Olivia Gudewich (Frederick, Md.) paced the Bobcats with two goals, as Katelin Rooney (Naples, Fla.) added a team-high five ground balls and a strike of her own. Jessica Travers (Asheville, N.C.) chipped in an assist, while Mia Emmerson (Orlando, Fla.) tallied eight saves between the pipes.

Mackenzie Miller led the way for Belmont Abbey with seven goals on nine shots, as Reese Gassie added four strikes and one assist. Katy Connery and Megan Patton each posted a hat trick, while Gina Colella and Gassie chipped in nine and eight ground balls, respectively. Danielle Ruffalo made five saves for the Abbey.

Belmont Abbey opened the scoring with five quick goals before Gudewich answered for the Bobcats at the 25:39 mark, taking a pass from Travers and beating the goalie to cut the lead to 5-1. The Abbey would respond with 10 straight goals, pushing the advantage to 15-1 with 27:32 left in the second half. Rooney then tallied for the Bobcats, converting a free position shot before Gudewich added her second of the day on an eight-meter strike with 18:03 to go.

The Crusaders would cap the scoring with six goals in the final 13 minutes to equal the final margin of 23-3.

Lees-McRae returns to action on Saturday when the Bobcats host Catawba College in non-conference play at 2:30 p.m. in Boone, N.C. on the campus of Watauga High School.

- LMC -