Belmont Abbey downs Pioneers, 17-6

Belmont Abbey downs Pioneers, 17-6

BELMONT, N.C. --- Belmont Abbey College defeated Tusculum University 17-6 in non-conference women's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon.

Kylie Eastman led the Crusaders (1-1) with five goals and three assists, and Marin Felsoci added four goals as Belmont Abbey led 12-1 at halftime and finished with a 37-18 edge in shots over Tusculum.

Juliette Cusano had four goals, all in the second half, for the Pioneers (0-3), who also received goals from Rachel Holmes and Brittany Lowery. Jessica Spiegel had an assist on the goal by Holmes, which was the only tally of the first half for the Pioneers.

Felsoci and Eastman gave Belmont Abbey a 2-0 lead just over three minutes into the first half before Holmes cut the margin to 2-1 just 28 seconds after Eastman's tally. The Crusaders would score the final 10 goals of the first half, two apiece from Eastman, Madison Eberhardt and Jenna Niedzwiedzki, to lead 12-1 at intermission.

The Crusader lead would reach 14-1 with 24:57 left, but the Pioneers would score five of the next six goals including a run of four straight. Cusano scored her four goals in a span of 17 1/2 minutes, the last cutting the deficit to 15-6 with 5:32 left.

Cusano and Lowery each had a pair of draw controls for the Pioneers, while goalkeeper Kate Pipkin was credited with 10 ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers. For the Crusaders, Alyssa Pearson had five draw controls and Niedzwiedzki had four, and Felsoci had a game-high three caused turnovers.

Pipkin made 12 saves in goal for the Pioneers, while for the Crusaders Annie Brannon had three saves in the first half and Elizabeth O'Hagan made four in the second half.

Tusculum will return home to face Virginia-Wise on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Pioneer Field.