Jeremy Zalacca - Director of Athletic Communications
MISENHEIMER, N.C. - In their regular season finale, the Pfeiffer men's lacrosse team (8-6, 3-3 CC) dropped an 18-10 decision at home against No. 15 Belmont Abbey (12-3, 4-2 CC) on Saturday afternoon. The loss gives the Falcons a No. 4 seed heading into next week's Conference Carolinas Tournament as Belmont Abbey clinches the No. 3 seed.
The Crusaders scored six times in the final quarter and pushed a 12-9 advantage to the 18-10 final as six different players found the back of the net. Adam Wiedemann scored seven times on the afternoon and added two assists for a nine point day. Callum Tanner and Kyle McGinley added hat tricks for the visitors who spoiled Pfeiffer's senior day.
The Falcons were led by four goals from sophomore Kyle Pauwels and a hat trick from senior Matt Michaeli. Michaeli filled the stat sheet on the day as he added six ground balls and caused two turnovers to go along with seven shots. Matt Lewis added a game-high nine ground balls and Jake Bye caused two turnovers. In goal, Michael Moorehead made 10 saves but dropped to 8-6 in goal.
Pfeiffer won 19-of-30 faceoffs on the afternoon and went 15-for-18 on clear attempts. Belmont Abbey held a 43-33 advantage in ground balls and took 41 shots, compared to 30 from the Falcons.
The Crusaders were able to capitalize on two man up opportunities (on five tries), while Pfeiffer went 0-for-1 with the man advantage.
The game was back-and-forth early as the lead never got more than three goals in the first half. Pauwels scored twice in the final 2:05 of the first half to cut Belmont Abbey's halftime advantage to 9-8.
In the third quarter, Belmont Abbey scored the first three goals of the period before Pauwels stopped the run and made the score 12-9. However, the Crusaders took control in the final frame, scoring the first five goals of the quarter to seize the momentum.
Pfeiffer advances to the Conference Carolinas Tournament and a matchup with the No. 1 seed and No. 1 team in the nation, the Limestone Saints. Limestone is currently 17-0 on the season and will host the Falcons on Saturday afternoon. Game time for the semifinal matchup is set for 4 p.m.