Men's Soccer Tops USC Upstate 4-1 On Sunday Afternoon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont men's soccer team (6-9-0, 3-4-0) ended the home regular season with a win over USC Upstate (1-11-3, 0-8-0) by a score of 4-1 on Sunday afternoon. Junior Dan Meacock (Sarasota, Fla.), sophomore Bradley Shuck (Shelbyville, Ky.), sophomore Sam Miller (Gilbert, Ariz.), and freshman Nico Olsak (Boca Raton, Fla.) all scored goals in the Bruin victory.
After allowing their opponent to score first in each of the Bruins' last two matches, Belmont got on the board first and never looked back against the Spartans. Meacock's third goal of the season gave BU the 1-0 lead in the 21st minute of play. Senior T.J. Brown's (Hendersonville, Tenn.) long ball into the box from around half field found the head of Miller, who deflected the ball to Meacock. The forward fought his way through the Upstate defense to give Belmont the early lead.
"The key for us today was starting well," said head coach Earle Davidson. "The last couple of games we haven't started well. We've recovered well to get back into games, and we've worked hard to do so, but the last few games we haven't started as sharply and today we did."
The scoreboard remained unchanged heading into the break, but Belmont came out firing again to start the second period. Shuck gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead when his direct kick went untouched into the upper left hand corner in the 56th minute. It marked the first score for the defender in his young career.
"That shot goes in at any level," Davidson said on Shuck's goal. "We knew that if he gets enough of those, he's going to score a couple because he strikes the ball so purely."
The BU scoring spree continued less than six minutes later when Olsak took a free kick from outside the left end of the box. His ball crossed the box where a streaking Miller came in for the header that went right past Spartan goalkeeper Andrew Miller.
The Spartans then countered less than one minute later, making it 3-1 in the 63rd minute on a goal by Maurice Beggs. Tim Bailey played the ball back into the box, and Beggs half volleyed it for the score.
Olsak then added his fourth goal of the season to put the game away in the 75th minute. The freshman stole the ball from a defender and played a peach into the left side netting to make it 4-1 in favor of the Bruins with only 15 minutes left in the game.
Senior goalkeeper Wesley Wray (Bowling Green, Ky.) made a couple of great saves, finishing with six total, as he recorded his first win of the season on Sunday. Miller and Jason McCabe each tallied three stops for the Spartans.
"He made a couple great saves and he's so good organizationally," Davidson said on Wray's play in the net. "The guys are very comfortable with him back there because he's vocal and he's confident. It makes a big difference."
The Bruins will next finish out the Atlantic Sun regular season on the road against Campbell on October 28 and Mercer on October 30 for a pair of 6:00 p.m. matches. Belmont will then travel to Houston Baptist for non-conference action on November 2 at 7:00 p.m.
"It's perfect," Davidson said on gaining momentum going into the final weekend of A-Sun play. "By winning today we now know that our destiny as at our feet. It's important that we get a result this weekend and then we'll be great."