by Doug Page
BELMONT, N.C. – Freshmen Pol Monells scored his fourth goal of the season as the Barton College men's soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision on Saturday in Conference Carolinas action at Belmont Abbey College.
Monells, who entered the contest tied for the team-lead in goals with fellow freshman Ruben Mancio, gave the Bulldogs (2-7, 0-4) a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute of action. Sophomore Mark Santes assisted on the score for his first point of the season.
Barton took the 1-0 advantage over the Crusaders (6-1, 3-0) after Monells tapped in a loose ball that eluded Belmont Abbey goalkeeper Wes Holifield at the 24:31 mark.
Senior goalkeeper Jens Madsen Hordvik was almost perfect for the Bulldogs in the opening half of action, recording four saves on five shots. Holifield would record one save on a shot by BC freshmen Cooper Dean at the four-minute mark.
The Crusaders looked to enter the break trailing the Bulldogs by a goal until Geinner Duque beat Hordvik on a shot that found the bottom left corner of the net at the 44:39 mark. The tally evened the score at 1-1 and gave Belmont Abbey momentum heading into the break.
Both sides recorded seven shots in the half, while Barton held a 4-2 advantage in corners.
Belmont Abbey used the momentum gained late in the first half to fuel their offense throughout the second half of action. The Crusaders peppered Hordvik with 15 shots total, forcing the BC goalie to make seven saves. The Bulldogs tried their best to break the 1-1 tie with three shots that would find their way towards Holifield.
The Crusaders would break the 1-1 tie in the 90th minute of action as Aaron Madison, who recorded two shots on goal earlier in the contest, beat Hordvik with a shot to the right corner of the goal to make it 2-1. The tally came with 10 seconds remaining in regulation as the two sides seemed all but headed to overtime.
"Give Belmont Abbey a lot of credit, they have some talented players across the field and are well coached." Barton head coach Ian McMichael noted afterwards. "That's two heartbreakers in a row in conference but the team continues to improve. The results are frustrating, but this is a resilient group that will only get better with these challenges. We'll learn from today, move forward and prepare for Mount Olive on Thursday."
Madison finished the contest with three shots on goal for Belmont Abbey, while teammate Patrick Kibler tallied three shots on goal. Holifield made four saves in recording his sixth win of the season for the Crusaders.
Junior Tolly Beatson took a team-high four shots for Barton with three finding their way towards the net. Mancio and Monells both recorded three shots in the contest for BC. Hordvik took the loss in net for the Bulldogs, despite recording a season-high 11 saves on 13 shots.
Belmont Abbey held a 22-13 advantage in shots and 13-5 advantage in shots on goal. The Crusaders also recorded seven corners in the contest compared to four for Barton.
The Bulldogs return home next week as they host University of Mount Olive on Thursday at 7 p.m.