The Belmont women's soccer team suffered a close 3-2 loss to Drake University on Sunday in the last game of the regular season.
The stakes were high going into the match for both teams.
The Bulldogs could capture the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship with a win.
While Belmont already had a spot in the MVC tournament, a win could give them better seeding.
With it also being Senior Day for the Belmont, the seniors were looking to give it their all in their last regular season match.
But in the first half, the Bruins seemed to have a lackadaisical effort.
The Bulldogs caught the Bruins flat-footed and without much energy as they took the lead in the 15th minute.
Drake found the net again in the 25th minute and once more right before halftime to lead 3-0.
But coming out of halftime, Belmont seemed to be a different team.
In the 57th minute after a group of substitutions, freshman Kate Virtel found the ball on her left foot outside of the box and had a beautiful strike to put the Bruins on the board.
This was Virtel’s first goal of her collegiate career.
Lifting the intensity, the Bruins struck again in the 63rd minute when senior Maci Pekmezian scored her sixth goal of the season off a failed corner kick clearance from the Bulldogs.
As Belmont looked for a comeback, the game ended with a physical and competitive last 27 minutes.
The Drake defense stepped up and did not allow for any more Bruin goals, leaving Belmont with a 2-3 loss going into MVC postseason play.
But head coach Kelsey Cameron wasn’t disappointed in the loss.
Instead, she said the Bruins’ performance left her feeling optimistic for the future.
“We’ve shown that we can play with any team in the conference and I’m excited,” Cameron said. “Really any matchup is exciting. We’ve continued to play better and better and just grow this season. 4 goals in the last 2 games is great momentum so I’m excited.”
Belmont is the seventh seed in the MVC tournament and plays No. 6 Valparaiso on Oct. 26 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at the UNI Soccer Field.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. CDT and will be available to stream on ESPN+.
This article was written by Bree Fabbie