Camels edge Eagles 17-16 in Big South opener


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BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- Merredith Bechler saved Winthrop's final attempt at the game-tying goal with 11 seconds left to seal Campbell's 17-16 victory over the Eagles in both team's Big South Conference opener at Barker-Lane Stadium on Saturday.

Kayla Reilly led the Camels (4-6, 1-0 BSC) with a game-high eight points on three goals and five assists. Melissa Placek finished with six points on five goals and an assist, which all came in the second half.

Kristen Shriver's second-straight unassisted goal late in the contest drew Winthrop (3-8, 0-1) within a goal of the lead (17-16) with 3:27 left to play. Nicole Beatson won the ensuing draw for the Eagles, but a turnover by Katie Clark gave the ball back to Campbell with 2:39 showing on the clock.

The Camels set up in their offensive zone, but after two shots went high of the goal they were whistled for a shot clock violation. The Eagles took over possession and set up a play following a timeout with 49 seconds remaining.

Shriver went off a screen at the front of the goal and fired a shot towards the right side of the cage. Bechler made the quick move to her left and made the crucial save that allowed CU to run out the clock for the win.

Bechler earned the win in goal with seven saves in 42 minutes of action. Mackenzie Koeller, who returned to action after missing the past two games with an injury, scored four goals and tallied an assist. Katie Matz scored two goals off the bench while Tina Ricci also found the back of the cage and assisted on a pair of scores.

After Campbell started the game with seven-straight goals, Winthrop scored 10 unanswered goals to turn a 9-2 deficit into a 12-9 advantage at the 21:23 mark in the second half. However, Placek registered three-straight goals to knot the game at 12-12 with 15:39 left to play.

Beatson gave the Eagles the lead back 40 seconds later before Koeller tallied back-to-back scores. The second goal gave the Camels took their first lead of the second half at 14-13 with 11:40 on the clock.

Katherine Judge answered for Winthrop with a goal a minute later that tied the game at 14-14. Placek responded with back-to-back goals before Ricci scored the Camels' final goal of the game with 5:53 remaining to put CU up 17-14.

Shriver led all scorers with a game-high six goals while Beatson scored four times and registered three assists. Judge also found the back of the cage four times.

Chloe Wormsley took the loss in the Eagle cage despite six saves. Alex Salim made three saves in 18 minutes of action for the Camels.

Winthrop held a 37-29 advantage in shots and a 22-13 advantage on the draw, but was plagued by 14 turnovers. Campbell made 10 saves total and held a 15-11 advantage in ground balls.

It was Campbell's first win over Winthrop in program history. The Eagles are the defending league champions. 

The Camels will wrap-up their five-game homestand on Wednesday when they host Presbyterian at 6:30 p.m.