By Matt Green
BELMONT, N.C. – Brendan Rogers and Connor Sellars combined for seven goals and two assists as Belmont Abbey defeated visiting Shorter University 11-6 in non-league men's lacrosse action on Saturday in Belmont, N.C.
With the win, Belmont Abbey improves to 2-0 on the young season as Shorter drops to 0-2.
Patrick Foy paced the Hawks with a pair of goals and an assist, but Shorter was unable to dig out of a 4-0 hole at the end of the first quarter of play. Belmont Abbey got two goals from Rogers in the four-goal first frame – the last coming with just 13 seconds remaining in the period – to build a margin that the Hawks could not overcome.
Shorter battled back to within a 7-3 deficit at halftime thanks to strikes from Foy and Tyler Kristiansen and a man-up tally from Kyle Van Kauwenberg, then scored the first goal of the second half courtesy of James VandenBrink to pull within 7-4 with 14:51 left in the third quarter.
Belmont Abbey answered, however, with three straight goals of its own to regain control. A man-up goal from Sellars and a William Moore strike assisted by Rogers put Belmont Abbey up 9-4 at the end of the third quarter and Rogers managed his fourth and final goal at the 10:57 mark of the fourth period to put the hosts up 10-4. Andrew King and Foy scored back-to-back goals for Shorter to pull the Hawks to within 10-6, but Foy's strike at 6:41 in the fourth was Shorter's final tally as Belmont Abbey held on for the win.
Shorter's J.R. Willers made a game-high 15 saves for the Hawks in the loss. Shorter won 15 of 21 faceoffs on the day and held a 29-23 advantage in ground balls, but was outshot 54-27 by the home team and turned the ball over five more times on the afternoon.
Belmont Abbey also took advantage of six extra man opportunities, scoring on two.
Shorter returns to action next Saturday, Feb. 23, when it travels to Lees-McRae for a noon faceoff.