MISENHEIMER, NC – The Pfeiffer University women’s soccer team (4-4, 2-1 Conference Carolinas) fell 1-0 to Belmont Abbey (7-1, 3-0) in an early battle for first place in the conference. Each team came into today’s match at 2-0 and tied for the top spot, but the Crusaders came away with sole possession of first place thanks to Meghan Philip’s second half goal.
The first half was played to a scoreless draw but each team had chances to convert. Early in the half, Kate Halligan was forced to make a sliding save on a one-on-one attempt by Crusaders’ leading scorer, Ananda Gebreyesus. Pfeiffer had a chance midway through the stanza, but Mandi Roan’s shot from 25 yards away hit off the crossbar. In the final seconds of the half, Amanda Steiner fired a shot from just outside the box but Halligan leapt and made the save. The half ended with Belmont Abbey holding a 12-6 advantage in shots.
Belmont Abbey struck in the 79th minute as a Pfeiffer defender and Halligan collided. Philip grabbed the loose ball and fired it into the open net for her fourth score of the season. The Lady Falcons had a ferocious comeback attempt in the final moments, but the Crusaders withstood the pressure.
Halligan made 11 saves in the loss, while Hannah Kohls stopped four shots to improve to 7-0 on the season. Belmont Abbey held a 28-11 advantage in shots and a 10-2 lead in corner kicks.
Kayla Rodriguez led the Lady Falcons with three shots, and Sarah Yates had two shots on goal for Pfeiffer.
The Lady Falcons return to action on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. on NE Lefko Field when they take on Lees-McRae.