Due West, SC – In one of their biggest wins of the season the Crusaders went on the road to take on the Flying Fleet of Erskine College. North Greenville entered the game with a killer mentality and took the early 8 – 0 lead in the first half over the Flying Fleet, which turned out to be an insurmountable lead for the Fleet to overcome. As the Crusaders tacked on another eight goals throughout the rest of the game the team kept the Flying Fleet at bay running away with the victory.
The first half was all about the Crusaders as they collectively scored the first eight goals in the contest. North Greenville was simply more athletic than the Flying Fleet as only three of the first eight goals were off of assists. Jillian Chiesa (Junior) took the opening draw to the net as she scored just 13 seconds into the contest off of a give-and-go from Aly Estes (Junior). Chiesa’s goal, scored at the 29:47 mark, is the fastest scored goal of the season for the Crusaders and is the second fastest goal scored in program history. Hanna Hawkins (Senior) followed up Chiesa’s goal with a couple of her own as she took the assist from Brenis Napoli (Junior) and finished in tight and then slashed through the Fleet defense for the first unassisted goal of the contest.
After Hawkins second goal at the 26:54 mark the flood gates opened as Chiesa, Maegan Easler (Freshman), and Rachel Kellogg (Junior) scored time and time again building the Crusader lead. Easler and Kellogg both took hard cuts through the Flying Fleet defense to find pay dirt for the first time in the contest. Chiesa and Hawkins netted their second and third goals of the contest as they sliced through the crease to finish in tight. The last of the eight goals came at the 10:14 mark as Rachel Kellogg made an incredible move around her defender and then scored off side on the goalie. North Greenville scored three more goals in the first half one on the man-up advantage from Chiesa, then one apiece from Hawkins and Kellogg.
The dynamic trio of Chiesa, Hawkins, and Kellogg has been the heart of the Crusader team this season. The trio are top three in both goals and shooting percentage on the season and have collectively scored 65 goals on the season. Chiesa leads the trio with a staggering .500 percent shooting percentage with Hawkins not far behind at .487 and Kellogg at .375. Chiesa and Kellogg are leading on both ends of the field as they are top five in ground balls and caused turnovers on the team. Coach Brianna Temples will look to this trio to continue leading her team as they come down toward the end of the season.
In the second half, the Crusaders continued their dominance by outscoring the Flying Fleet by a pair of goals. Easler, Hawkins, and Kellogg built on their already stellar days by adding four of the five goals in the half. Kellogg finished her second free-position shot of the day at the 1:30 mark left to play. She has been supremely proactive about getting free-possession shots but has not taken full advantage of all of her opportunities. As a team, the Crusaders are only 17 – 37 (.459 percent) on the season mostly thanks to their propensity to slow the game down. Kellogg in particular is 8 – 17 on the season from the arc. Her aggressive mentality in the contest against Erskine netted her two goals and killed any momentum that the Flying Fleet was building. Olivia Foltz (Freshman) scored the other goal in the half for the Crusaders off of a cut from the right side.
Individually, Jillian Chiesa played an incredible game as she finished with 3 goals, 8 ground balls, 6 caused turnovers, and collected 4 draws. Rachel Kellogg scored 5 goals to go along with 3 ground balls, and a couple caused turnovers. Hanna Hawkins finished with 5 goals. Goalie, Sydney Taylor (Senior), played a complete game going 60 minutes with 6 saves.
The Crusaders now come home for a pair of Conference Carolinas match-ups as they will host Converse College on Friday, March 22nd for a 6 PM draw. Then Lees-McRae will come to Tigerville on Tuesday, March 26th for a 5 PM bout with the Crusaders.