Tigerville, SC – In their second game of the season, the Crusaders hosted the 17th ranked Wingate Bulldogs. The Crusaders fought through adversity to pull within one goal late in the forth quarter looking for another miracle in Pepsi Stadium, but could not hold off the Bulldogs high powered offense. Both sides of the ball played well as the offense scored timely goals to keep Wingate in striking distance and the defense caused multiple turnovers against the veteran Bulldog team.
The first quarter of the game finished in a 1 – 1 tie stunning the ranked Bulldogs. Wingate scored on their first possession of the afternoon in the first two-minutes of the game to give them the early advantage. Just minutes later Matt Somjak (Senior) shot a rocket of a shot into the back of the net to even the game.
The second and third quarter were two in the same as Wingate dominated out the gate and the Crusaders followed up to keep the game close. Wingate scored the first three goals of the second quarter to take the lead, however, the Crusader defense started to stand strong causing four turnovers in the following possessions. The offense responded to the defensive stand scoring goals to match all of Wingate’s throughout the quarter. At the end of the quarter, Alex Proly (Senior) shot and scored off a bar-down laser. The third quarter was more of the same as the Crusaders and Bulldogs traded goals with the Bulldogs consistently holding a three to four goal lead.
In the final quarter of play, the Bulldogs looked as if they were going to string out the Crusaders to the end until another Somjak goal sparked the Crusader offense and ride. The Crusaders followed the spark with a transition goal from Long Stick Midfielder Chris Wieckhorst (Junior). Then, Proly scored his second goal of the afternoon off an incredible defensive play in transition where the stripped his man and then hustled the ball all the way to the goal. Just as the Crusaders were going to tie the game at nine all the Bulldogs finally answered with a transition goal to hold the Crusaders at bay – ultimately defeating the Crusaders 8 – 11.
The Crusaders now head on the road to take on an old rival in Queens University next Saturday, February 16th. Then they return back home for their first conference game of the year as they host Belmont Abbey on Wednesday, February 20th. Faceoff is set for 7 pm under the lights.