Camels edged by Monarchs 11-10 in home opener

Sami Smith (ScarboroughPhotography.com)
Sami Smith (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- Old Dominion scored a pair of goals in the final minute of play to rally for an 11-10 victory over Campbell and spoil the Camels' 2017 home opener at Barker-Lane Stadium on Saturday. Kayla Reilly led CU with five points on three goals and two assists.

After trailing 5-1 late in the first half, the Camels (0-2) scored three-straight goals and took a 10-9 lead when Carter Koontz found the back of the cage with 2:10 on the clock. The lead stood until Natalie Ledwitz tied the game at 10-10 with 44 seconds remaining. Cydney Tutchton won the ensuing draw control and set up the Monarchs (2-0) in the offensive zone. Tutchton then scored the game-winner with 19 seconds left to play.

Sam Carey won the crucial draw for the Camels following the goal and Campbell quickly raced towards the Monarch goal looking for the equalizer. Carey put one final shot on frame with nine seconds left, but it was saved by ODU goalkeeper Maggi Buckley. The Monarchs were then able to run out the clock and claim the tight win.

Melissa Placek scored a career-high three goals, all in the second half, and had a game-high four draw controls. Koontz finished with two goals while Sami Smit scored a goal and tallied an assist. Reilly also led the Camels with four ground balls while Erin O'Hara caused three turnovers.

Buckley earned the win in goal with nine saves on 19 shots while Merredith Bechler took the loss with nine saves as well on 20 shots. Saturday's win was the Monarchs' second-straight one-goal victory over the Camels after scoring the game-winner in the final seconds of last season's contest.

Connor Carson opened the scoring for Old Dominion in the second minute of play but Smit scored a free-position goal to knot the game at 1-1 at the 25:32 mark of the first half. The Monarchs answered with four-straight goals to take a 5-1 lead with 11:43 left before halftime. Mackenzie Koeller broke up the run with her first goal of the season off an assist from Reilly before Koontz and Reilly struck from the free-position to cut the ODU advantage to 5-4 at halftime.

Reilly tied the game at 5-5 early in the second half but Carson answered two minutes later and ODU re-took the lead at 6-5. Back-to-back goals from Reilly and Placek gave the Camels their first lead of the game at 7-6 with 16:33 left to play. However, three-unanswered goals for the Monarchs gave them a 9-8 advantage with 12:10 remaining in the contest.

Placek tallied back-to-back goals during a five minute stretch late in the game as the score sat tied at 9-9 with 7:13 left to play. Placek's first goal was the Camels' fifth free-position score of the contest and her second was off another assist from Reilly. Smit set Koontz up with the go-ahead goal five minutes later.

Carson led the Monarchs with three goals and an assist while Tutchton and Ledwitz each found the back of the cage twice. ODU held a narrow 12-11 advantage on the draw and caused nine of Campbell's 14 turnovers. CU did hold an 18-15 advantage in ground balls.

The Camels will return to action in the second of three-straight home games on Friday, Feb. 24 against VCU at 5 p.m.