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Men’s soccer loses season opener to Lipscomb

For the fifth straight year, the Red Bull Cup will stay on the other side of the boulevard as the Belmont men’s soccer team lost to rival Lipscomb 3-1 Friday night.

Junior midfielder Omar Djabi led Lipscomb with two goals as the Bisons outshot the Bruins 11-7.

But both teams played aggressively from opening whistle. Within the first 10 minutes, referees issued a yellow card to a player on each team.

Belmont committed 12 fouls during the game, which was three fewer than Lipscomb, who had 15.

After the initial set up from Matt Kerridge in midfield, Josue Chavez sent a shot past Belmont freshman keeper Grayson Rector to give Lipscomb a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute.

A few minutes later, Djabi scored his first goal of the night when he sent a free kick into the top-center of the net to extend Lipscomb’s lead in the 25th minute.

Belmont had several chances to score on corner kicks and free kicks in the first half, but they were unable to capitalize on those opportunities and were down 2-0 at the end of the half.

In the 38th minute of the match, Belmont senior Cody Stratton was given a red card and ejected for a high challenge, forcing the Bruins to play a man down for the remainder of the game.

Despite that setback, Belmont pressed on against the tough Bison defense in the second half.

With less than five minutes remaining in the contest, freshman AJ Arnold sent a strike flying in from the top of the box that deflected off the post to put Belmont on the board and cut the lead in half.

However two minutes later, Djabi scored his second goal on a pass from fellow midfielder Zander El-Hindi to seal the victory for Lipscomb.

Freshman keeper Micah Bledsoe earned the victory for the Bisons, while Rector tallied the loss for the Bruins in his first regular season game.

Belmont Head Coach Earle Davidson declined to comment after the match.

The Bruins will host Missouri State at Rose Park for the first home match of the regular season on Sept. 7. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

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