Updated: Sep 20
With a slow start to the first half, men’s soccer persevered to defeat Bellarmine University 1-0 after a dramatic end to Wednesday night’s game at E.S. Rose Park.
Belmont forward Esteban Leiva scored his first goal of the season to secure the win, assisted by senior Jack Shaw with only 18 minutes left in the game.
The Bruins have been undefeated in five straight home games, creating what Belmont head coach David Costa called a “winning habit” which will be tested on the road next.
Bellarmine outshot the Bruins with 9 shots, 3 on goal, throughout the game, but the Knights couldn’t shake the home team. With just 4 shots in the second half, Belmont had fewer opportunities but used them better.
Though he took to the field towards the end of the half, Leiva made an immediate impact by positioning himself well up top to contribute 5 shots, 2 on goal and 1 in the net.
Costa said the Bruins were overworked in the first half, but after some tactical changes they discussed during halftime, the team came back into the game ready to score. And that’s exactly what they did.
After Leiva’s goal, the Knights raised their offensive pressure in an attempt to equalize the score. Belmont had multiple fouls in their box throughout the game but steered away the opponents.
Bellarmine continued to challenge Belmont’s back line throughout the second half. With only two minutes left in the game, Bruin midfielder JP Armbruster missed a tackle in the box and conceded a penalty kick to Bellarmine.
The game could have ended up quite differently and potentially went into 1-1 overtime if not for senior goalkeeper Drew Romig.
Romig kept his composure and successfully blocked the penalty kick to secure Belmont’s win and another clean sheet.
Men’s soccer continues the season with an away conference game against Virginia Military Institute on Saturday.
PHOTO: The lone scorer No. 14 Esteban Leiva in action against Bellarmine on Wednesday. Belmont Vision / Nikiah Perry
This article was written by Camden Morris.