Camels close out home slate with 22-6 win over Gardner-Webb


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BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- Campbell won its final regular season home game of the 2017 campaign by a 22-6 margin over Gardner-Webb Saturday afternoon. Mackenzie Koeller led the Camels with seven goals, which matched the highest single-game scoring tally by a Big South Conference player this season.

Campbell improved to 5-0 in the Big South (8-6 overall) and remained in a tie for first place in the conference standings. The Camels will play for the regular season championship on Wednesday night when they travel to take on co-leaders High Point at 6 p.m.

CU's scoring tally against the Runnin' Bulldogs (0-15, 0-5) matched the program's single-game record that was originally set back in 2013. It was also the team's largest margin of victory over a Big South opponent.

Tina Ricci, Melissa Placek and Sarah Paul all scored three goals for CU and Paul added a pair of assists for a total of five points. Overall, nine Camels finished in the scoring column including Sami Smit, who found the back of the cage twice, and Erin O'Hara, who scored her first goal of the season in the final seconds of play.

Gardner-Webb opened the game with a 3-1 advantage six minutes into the contest. Campbell responded with six unanswered goals to take a 7-3 lead with 8:02 left in the first half. Koeller scored four times during the stretch.

The Runnin' Bulldogs responded with back-to-back goals, but they were quickly matched by scores from Sam Carey and Koeller that gave the Camels a 9-5 advantage. Each side scored in the final two minutes of the opening half as Campbell took a 10-6 lead to the halftime locker room.

Campbell kept the Runnin' Bulldogs off the scoreboard in the second half, which marked the second time this season and program history that the Camel goalkeeping unit posted a clean sheet in a half. CU scored six times in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, which included a goal from Carter Koontz.

Katlin Steinbauer scored her lone goal of the day midway through the final frame and Ricci and O'Hara wrapped-up the scoring with goals in the final five minutes of action. Overall, the Camels scored 13 consecutive goals between the end of the first half and the second half. That tally also matched a program record.

Merredith Bechler earned the win in goal with a pair of saves in 38 minutes of action. Alex Salim and Kylie Haarhoff also saw time in the cage in the second half. Katie Sylvester took the loss for GWU despite 12 saves.

Amanda Steinmuller led the Runnin' Bulldogs with three goals and an assist while Abby Hansccom scored twice and Emma Rose scored once. Koeller led the Camels defensively with three caused turnovers while Placek had eight draw controls.

Prior to the contest, the Camels honored its three active seniors, Bechler, O'Hara and April Reinhart, as well as senior managers Annie Cook and Blake Autrey as they played and worked their final scheduled game at Barker-Lane Stadium.