BELMONT, N.C. --- The No. 18 Belmont Abbey College women's soccer scored early in the first half, and withstood a late rally by Lees-McRae College en route to a 1-0 in Conference Carolinas play on Tuesday afternoon.
Lees-McRae (3-2, 1-1 CC) concluded the match with an 8-6 advantage in shots, edging the undefeated Crusaders (7-0, 2-0 CC) by a 4-3 margin in each half.
Belmont Abbey opened the scoring in the closing seconds of the 15th minute, tallying what would prove to be the contest's only goal when Emily Archer (Upland, Calif.) beat the keeper from the right-hand corner of the penalty area to give Belmont Abbey an early 1-0 lead.
Lees-McRae pushed the attack early when Emily Jones (Leonardtown, Md.) missed wide on her first attempt at goal in the fourth minute of play. The Belmont defense stood tall behind five saves by Anna Donaldson (Neptune Beach, Fla.) to keep the Lady Bobcats off the board.
The contest was back and forth until midway through the opening half when Brooke Santerre (Port Republic, Md.) placed a shot in the box in the 27th minute of play, forcing a save by Donaldson. MaryBeth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.) continued the Lady Bobcat pressure four minutes later when she forced another Donaldson save with a beautifully played header toward the goal. The Abbey defense continued the tough play, holding tight to a 1-0 halftime margin.
The two teams continued to battle during the second half, with neither team willing to concede the advantage, as both keepers were forced to elevate their play to keep it a close contest.
Leading the way for the Lady Bobcats were Jones, Sullivan and Santerre, each of which tallied two shots each, forcing five saves from Donaldson on the day.
The Lady Bobcats return to the pitch on Saturday when they play host to Mount Olive College. The match is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. at Tate Field.