11/07/05 — Belmont Abbey nips Mount Olive in CVAC champtionship contest, 1-0

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Belmont Abbey nips Mount Olive in CVAC champtionship contest, 1-0

Published in Sports on November 7, 2005 2:03 PM

MOC Sports Information

The Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Women's Soccer championship pitted the league's top-rated offense against the league's top-rated defense. Unfortunately for Mount Olive, it was the top-rated defense that prevailed in the title game.

Lindsay Megill's free kick from just outside the box deflected off the Trojan wall for the game's only goal in the 40th minute as No. 2 seed Belmont Abbey defeated No. 4 seed Mount Olive 1-0 in the championship game of the 2005 CVAC Women's Soccer Tournament Saturday at Belmont.

The loss denied the Trojans a second consecutive conference championship. Mount Olive finishes its season at 14-9-0.

Three Trojans - all freshmen - were named to the All-Tournament Team: forward Lyndsay Brennan, defender Portia Taylor and goalkeeper Caitlyn Wright.

After scoring 11 goals in its first two matches of the CVAC Tournament, Mount Olive was limited to one shot in the title match. The Trojan defense limited Belmont Abbey (18-4-0) to five shots, three coming on free kicks.

"This was a tough defensive battle," said Mount Olive head coach Chris Shaw. "Neither defense allowed many opportunities."

Nearly 20 minutes elapsed before the first shot of the match was recorded. Lisa Perrotta of Belmont Abbey shot from the top of the box, but Ulep was in position for the save.

The game would turn in the 39th minute when Mount Olive was whistled for a foul just above the top left of the box. Megill was able to get her shot to deflect off the Trojan wall and into the back of the net at the 39:02 mark.

The goal brought back painful memories for the Trojans. In the regular season meeting between the two teams, Megill scored the game-winner in overtime on a restart from the top of the box.

Belmont Abbey pressured again in the final seconds of the half, but Ulep scooped up a loose ball in the box and held the ball as time expired before halftime.

Early in the second half, a Mount Olive foul gave Belmont Abbey and Megill another free kick from the top right of the box. This time, the Trojan wall blocked the shot to keep Mount Olive within a goal. Megill lined another free kick from 35 yards out later in the half, but Ulep made the save.

In Mount Olive's semifinal win over Pfeiffer, Coach Shaw took out a midfielder and added an extra forward after the Trojans fell behind late in the second half. The move paid off as the Trojans scored the tying goal and went on to win overtime. Saturday, Shaw moved sweeper Caitlyn Wright up top late in the second half and the move looked like it would pay off again.

After a Belmont Abbey foul at midfield in the 86th minute, Kristine Gallagher served a restart to the top of the box. It was Gallagher's restart Friday that set up the tying goal against Pfeiffer.

A scramble ensued in the box and the ball got past Belmont Abbey goalkeeper Anna Wells onto the foot of Emily Escolas, who scored from directly in front of the goal. But the goal was disallowed for offside and the Trojans were still down a goal.

Mount Olive's lone shot in the match came a short time later, again set up by a restart. Belmont Abbey tried to clear the ball out of the box, but Gallagher captured the ball at the top right of the box. Gallagher's shot from 20 yards out was on line, but went over the crossbar.

The Trojans pressured again late in the half, but Wells was able to smother a loose ball in the box. Belmont Abbey was able to keep the ball in the Mount Olive half in the final 30 seconds to seal the win and give the Crusaders their second championship in the last three years.

Belmont Abbey defender Danielle Kubinski was named Most Valuable Player of the Tournament. The Crusaders posted three consecutive shutouts in the tournament.

In the last two seasons, Mount Olive has at least one win over every CVAC team except Belmont Abbey. The Trojans suffered their third consecutive one-goal loss to the Crusaders.

Mount Olive's starting lineup consisted of six true freshmen, one redshirt freshman and four sophomores.

"We're still a young team," said Shaw. "I'm very proud of how the team finished the season. We seem to have peaked at the right time. We just ran into a very tough team today."

While Saturday's outcome wasn't as they had hoped, Trojan players took pride in what they accomplished.

"To get to the championship game two years in a row is a great accomplishment," said Gina Dos Santos, a two-time All-CVAC selection and the Trojans' all-time goal-scoring leader with 39 career goals. "We're all disappointed that we couldn't get the win today, but I'm proud of how the team has come together."

"We played hard and we stayed positive," said Taylor, who moved to defender at mid-season after starting the season at forward. "We always encouraged each other and never gave up."

"We've learned a lot this year and we were able to finish strong," said Gallagher, an All-CVAC first team defender. "Hopefully, we can build on that for next year."