HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. -- Standing tall on defense all night and getting a pair of goals from junior Allyson Palmer, No. 18 Bellarmine moved past Rockhurst 3-0 on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

After the Hawks shredded the Bellarmine defense in the squads' earlier matchup for a season-high 15 shots, the Knights knew they needed to jump out early and that is exactly how it played out as sophomore Chelsea McCarty continued her late-season surge, sliding a shot pass Rockhurst keeper Lucy Sullivan in the 23rd minute to give Bellarmine a 1-0 lead. McCarty has now scored three goals the past three games for the Knights.

The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Knights going into the break, even though Rockhurst owned a 7-2 advantage in shots.

“Rockhurst came out aggressive and we did a great job of weathering the storm in the first half,” Bellarmine coach Jonathan Velotta said. “Defensively we were disciplined all night long against a great offensive team. Leah Loven and Brianna Simmons did a fantastic job for us.”

Known as one of the deepest teams in the conference, Bellarmine used fresh legs late in the contest to break the game wide open with 10 minutes to go, getting two Palmer goals in a four minute stretch. The first came as Palmer fired a shot off the left post and into the net from 18 yards out, the result of a pair of precise passes from Alex Kowalski and Abby Janszen.

Palmer scored her second goal of the game, and fourth of the season, by winning a footrace against Sullivan to a long pass from Melanie Stippler in the 84th minute and then tapping it in for the final tally of the night.

In goal, Amy Kunowski came up with four saves in a winning effort to secure her 10th shutout victory of the season, which ties a single-season school record. Sullivan takes the loss for Rockhurst as she made one save on the night.