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Mid-season Report: Men’s soccer 2018

Belmont’s men’s soccer team is halfway through its season with a 2-6-1 record.

The Bruins start conference play Saturday, competing for the first time in the Southern Conference after three seasons in the Horizon League.

The men’s team began its regular season with a 2-0 loss against Lipscomb on Aug. 24. The Bruins failed to pull out a win in their first six games, which included five losses and one tie.

That changed on Sept. 18, when the team secured its first win of the season against Presbyterian College in double overtime.

The Bruins followed up a week later with a thrilling 3-2 win against Eastern Illinois, with goals from sophomore Matteo Bennati, senior Adam Voloder and freshman Niccolo Dagoni.

The men broke their winning streak on Saturday with a 2-0 loss against SIU Edwardsville, their sixth loss of the season.

Bennati and Voloder are tied as top scorers with two goals each. Freshman Ares Marlonsson leads the team with four assists total. Although only scoring one goal so far, Dagoni leads the team in shots with 14 total.

Sophomore goalkeeper Nicolo Dini heads into the conference matchups with 38 saves after nearly 750 minutes played. Dini has been pivotal to the Bruins in many matches, most notably their win against Presbyterian, where Dini made nine saves.

Bennati — the 2017 Horizon League Freshman Men’s Soccer Player of the Year — is the only other player with more than 700 minutes played.

With seven games left to play, the men’s soccer team hopes to clench a victory in their first conference game this Saturday against UNC Greensboro in North Carolina on Saturday.

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