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Preview: Women’s soccer ready for 2019 season

The Belmont women’s soccer team plays its first match on Thursday, but the season truly kicks off when the Bruins take on Nashville rival Lipscomb University on Sunday, Aug. 25.  

During the 2018 season, Lipscomb finished with an overall record of 15-5-2 and outscored Belmont by five goals. 

Head coach Heather Henson, having earned the most wins in program history, led the Bruins during their 2018 season with a 6-8-3 record, helping them make their way into the Ohio Valley Conference tournament for the third consecutive season. Despite hard-fought efforts, the Bruins were knocked out of the tournament after losing in penalty kicks to Southeast Missouri State in the first round. 

The Bruins lost five seniors this season but can still expect to see All-OVC First Team and crucial offensive player Julie Garst out on the pitch once again. 

Garst started in all 17 games during the 2018 season and led the Bruins with seven goals, two assists and 16 points. 

Eight newcomers join the Bruins, including Samford University transfer Erin Patterson who, during her time as a Bulldog, appeared in 16 games and put up one assist.

Along with new players, the team welcomes new assistant coach Andrew Cameron from the nearby division two program at Trevecca Nazarene University. Before coaching at TNU, Cameron spent three years as head coach of the women’s soccer program at North Central University, which is his alma mater. 

This year’s OVC Preseason Poll predicts the Bruins will finish as the number six team, with Eastern Illinois University coming ahead by five votes. Defending conference champion Murray State University is expected to finish at the top once again, snagging 18 first-place votes, with the University of Tennessee Martin following second. 

Belmont will host its home opener on Thursday, Sept. 5 at E.S. Rose Park against the University of Georgia and will kick off conference play on Friday, Sept. 20 at Southeast Missouri State University.  

This article written by Marissa Avnaim. Photo courtesy Office of Communications.

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