Bruin Blitz 9/30-10/7
Men’s Soccer (1-10, 0-3 HL)
Oct. 1 at Wright State
Men’s soccer lost a road contest in Dayton Ohio to Wright State 3-0 Wednesday evening.
The Bruins created some early chances, but none proved successful. In the second minute, sophomore AJ Arnold hit a header high, and moments later freshman Matt Vuylsteke had Belmont’s best scoring opportunity, but his shot went wide.
A far-out shot by Peguy Ngatcha put the Raiders on the board in the 21st minute.
Belmont continued to press, but Wright State’s defense stood its ground.
In the 33rd minute, an assist from AJ Paterson to Eric Lynch extended the Raiders’ lead to two goals.
Right before the half, Paterson headed one past sophomore Grayson Rector to send them into the locker room with a comfortable lead.
The Bruins had a few chances in the second half from seniors Luca Schioppa and Diego Figueroa, but they struggled to capitalize.
A scoreless second half for both teams ensured the Wright State victory.
Oct. 4 v. Cleveland State
The Belmont men’s soccer team suffered a close loss to Cleveland State 1-0 Saturday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park.
Cleveland State improves its conference record to 2-0, while Belmont remains winless in conference play after dropping its third straight game.
Strong winds were a factor in the game with more than 15 mph winds.
Although neither team had scored, the Bruins did not stop Cleveland State from dictating the first half with nine Viking shots to Belmont’s zero. The Vikings also earned four corner kicks to Belmont’s zero.
The Bruins came out with more intensity at the start of the second half. In the 58th minute, forward Rashad Hyacenth was one-on-one with Ciraldo, but the freshman’s shot went wide.
In the 68th minute, Vikings scored the lone goal of the match off Mike Derezic’s header assisted by Jake Lagania to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins finished with eight shots in the second half but couldn’t find the equalizer as the match ended in favor of the Vikings.
Belmont is on the road in Atlanta for its next game on Tuesday versus Georgia State at 6 p.m.
By Kendall Warren
Women’s Soccer (4-3-4, 1-0-2 OVC)
Oct. 3 at Eastern Illinois
The Belmont women’s soccer team earned its first OVC win, defeating Eastern Illinois 3-1.
A pair of goals by freshman Tara Austin propelled the Bruins’ victory to help Belmont remain undefeated in conference play.
As soon as the opening whistle blew, the Bruins immediately earned a strong attack led by senior Allie Hicks. She nailed her first shot of the game in the first 25 seconds, which led to a corner kick for Belmont.
Belmont notched four total shots by the 11th minute while not allowing the Panthers a single shot until the 13th minute.
In the 24th minute, a flip throw from Cassie Blase was knocked back out to the junior who crossed it into the box to Austin. Austin buried it into the net to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
A free kick for the Panthers snuck past keeper Lindsey Espe to tie up the match 1-1 going into halftime.
Belmont came into the second half clearly looking to earn their first OVC victory despite the light drizzle turning into a downpour. Only 15 seconds into the second half, Hicks fired a shot from outside the box that hit a EIU defender for an own goal to put the Bruins up, 2-1.
Austin found the back of the net again in the 56th minute after a great through pass from sophomore Meg Howard.
The Bruins attack didn’t slow down as they outshot EIU 11-6 in the second half alone. Hicks led Belmont with four shots, followed by freshman Belicia Mendiola with three.
Junior Lindsey Espe held her ground between the posts, earning five saves.
Belmont begins a two-game homestand on Friday, hosting SIUE. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. at E.S. Rose Park.
Volleyball (7-10, 3-1 OVC)
Sept. 30 at Tennessee State
Belmont earned its first road win of the season with a comeback win at Tennessee State Tuesday.
The Bruins started off a little slow allowing Tennessee State to go on an 8-0 run midway through the first set to pull ahead, 18-10, forcing Belmont to fight their way back to gain the lead. Belmont couldn’t quite trim the lead enough, so the Tigers took the opening set, 25-18.
In the second set, the Bruins worked their way to a 16-3 lead but three-straight TSU points tied up the set. After back-and-forth play, the two teams found themselves tied at 20.
Belmont was able to pull ahead, and a kill by Maddison Croft ended the set in favor of the Bruins, 25-23.
A tight third set was tied at 18, but the Bruins won seven of the next nine points to take the set, 25-20.
The Tigers looked to push the match to a fifth set, earning an early five point advantage. Belmont fought hard and still trailed, 13-10, until they tallied seven of the next eight points to take the lead for the first time in the fourth set, 17-14.
TSU responded by earning four of the next five points to tie the set at 18. However, the Bruins gained control and won six-straight points to lead 24-18.
A Tiger kill by Naomi Wells gave TSU hope, but an attack error ended the match and gave Belmont the set and the overall victory.
Freshman Arianna Person earned her third double-double with 18 kills and 12 digs alongside fellow rookie Emma Price, who finished with 43 assists and 10 digs.
Oct. 4 at Eastern Illinois
Belmont continued its win streak in a five-set thriller against Eastern Illinois on Saturday afternoon.
After an early 2-1 deficit, the Bruins roared back in the final two sets to earn their third-straight victory.
In the two sets EIU won, the Panthers hit an impressive .464 percent in the first set and .265 percent in the third.
However, it wouldn’t stop the Bruins from commanding the court in the final two sets. While the teams switched leads in the start of the fourth set, Belmont gained momentum in the latter half of the set.
With the teams tied at 20, the Bruins put together a 5-0 run capped off by a kill from Alex Martin to force a fifth set.
Belmont relied heavily on the play from freshman Brie Lewis as her four kills gave the Bruins an early 6-3 advantage to start the final set.
After the Panthers tied the match, Belmont earned six of the next seven points to take a 12-7 lead. While EIU closed the gap 13-11, another kill by Lewis and a Panthers hitting error gave Belmont the set and match.
Lewis finished with eight kills as the freshman led the team with a .500 hitting percentage.
Classmate Person almost recorded another double-double with 11 kills and eight digs. Emma Price earned the lone double-double for the Bruins with 42 assists and 13 digs.
Martin rounded out the players with double digit kills as the senior tallied 10 kills and eight blocks. The senior was honored as the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week as announced Monday.
Belmont travels to Tennessee Tech on Friday with the match set for 7 p.m. CT.
Oct. 3-4 at UTC Baras Classic
In a stellar outing at the Baras Fall Classic, the men’s tennis team claimed a pair of double titles and a single flight title in the event hosted in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Sophomore Bruno Russo reached the flight-three finals with wins over Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State. Russo went on to capture the title with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Tennessee Tech’s Alvaro Cintas.
In the double matches, Cedric Dujacquier and Mauricio Antun defeated Daniel Hernandez and Rob Mitchell from Lipscomb 8-6 to earn the flight-one title.
In the flight-three bracket, Robin Demasse and Russo claimed the second title of the day for the Bruins after their victory over Felipe Wenzel and Jefferson Wendler of Jacksonville State, 8-7.
Belmont returns to the courts on Oct. 16-20 at the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Tournament hosted at Vanderbilt.
Oct. 5-6 at UC Bearcat Invitational
The men’s golf team holds steady in third place after round one of the Bearcat Invitational on Monday. Junior Ashton Van Horne has the individual lead in the field.
While the tournament was interrupted by a three-hour rain delay, Belmont shot a combined scorecard of 295 to finish the day in third. The Bruins are only six shots behind the host Cincinnati and three shots back from Eastern Kentucky in second place.
In the individual round, Van Horne carded 67 for a five-under-par score and a one-shot lead over the Bearcats’ David Baxter.
Senior Ted Moon and Noah Trenkler are currently tied for 17th place, each with a round of 75.
In the second round held Tuesday morning, the Bruins sealed the third place finish with a combined 587 shot total, finishing 15 shots behind the tournament host Cincinnati.
Van Horne tied for second place in the individual round with a combined 141 scorecard over the two-day 36-hole event. It was the third straight top-three finish for the junior this season.
Trenkler recorded his best collegiate finish tied for 10th place after scoring a one under par 71 in the final round. Moon rounded out the top finishes for Belmont with a 13th place tie.
The team returns to action Oct. 20-21 at the APSU Intercollegiate.
Oct. 4 at Greater Louisville Classic
In the 13th Annual Greater Louisville Classic held Saturday, the women’s cross country team took home second place while the men’s team finished seventh.
After earning OVC honors, junior Hannah Wittman continued to lead the Bruins with a seventh place finish. The junior recorded a time of 18:06.81 to help Belmont earn second place.
Maggie Harahan and Kiera Weems rounded out the top-three Belmont runners with a 39th and 41st place finish respectively.
On the men’s side, freshman Evan Stifel recorded Belmont’s best time at 25:31.28 to earn 30th place. Kaden Eaton and Kris Howard finished 42nd and 54th respectively to round out Belmont’s top performers.
Each team competed in a field of more than 350 runners at the classic.
The Bruins will travel on Oct. 17 to take part in the Crimson Classic hosted by Alabama.
Courtney Martinez contributed to this report.