Tigerville, SC – Coming toward the end of their 2018 – 2019 campaign your Crusaders hosted the Trojans of the University of Mount Olive for their final conference game. The Crusaders fell victim to penalties as the team played a girl down for the entire second half and two girls down for the final two minutes of regulation. Senior captain Sydney Taylor played like a woman possessed as she finished the game with 11 saves, four ground balls, and a caused turnover. Although the Crusaders fought valiantly the Trojans bested the Crusaders finalizing the Conference Carolina rankings with North Greenville entering post season play ranked fourth.
Scoring was far and in between in the first half as both teams ran in transition and played stifling defense. North Greenville picked up key ground balls in the middle of the field that slowed the game down for the outnumbered Crusaders. Mount Olive scored two goals in the first 12 minutes of the game with the Crusaders taking multiple shots that sailed wide or high of the cage. Jillian Chiesa (Junior) received her first penalty of the game at the 12:03 mark and the Trojans took advantage scoring a pair of goals during the penalty. North Greenville got outstanding defensive play from Sam Pelkey (Freshman) and Bridgett Sewell (Sophomore); both girls played excellent on ball defense and crashed down on all driving UMO players. North Greenville got their first goal of the game when Olivia Foltz (Freshman) sliced her way through the heart of the trojan defense and gave the Crusaders a spark at the end of the first half.
The Crusaders came out after half time with a spark from Foltz’s goal, however, the Crusaders played the entire second half a woman down after Chiesa received her second yellow card of the game late in the first half. The Trojans poured on the goals taking a commanding lead during the extra-man opportunity. Rachel Kellogg (Junior) scored the only goal of the second half for the Crusaders at the 8:07 mark to give the Crusaders a bit of life late in the game. Sydney Taylor showed up in a big way for the Crusaders as she commanded the defense and saved seven shots in the second half alone. Pelkey was given her second yellow card of the evening late in the second half and the remaining Crusaders warded off the Trojans for the remaining two minutes. Although the Crusaders were bested on Friday the team now looks forward to the conference tournament where they will look to avenge their three conference losses this season and advance farther than they have in years past.
Sydney Taylor is undoubtedly the leader of the Crusader defense and showed why the team relies on her so heavily against Mount Olive. Taylor finished the game with 11 save, 4 ground balls, and a caused turnover.
The Crusaders will now travel to Harrogate, Tennessee to take on Lincoln Memorial next Friday for the final regular season game of the 2018 – 2019 campaign, the first draw is set for 4 pm. After that the Crusaders will look ahead to the first round of the Conference Carolinas tournament.