EMERSON, Ga. - – Belmont University men's soccer defeated Georgia State, 1-0, Tuesday evening.
The match, in doubt much of the last 36 hours due to the remnants of Hurricane Irma, was played at LakePoint Sporting Complex in northwest Atlanta.
Georgia State posted several positive results in the opening three weeks, including a win over then-No. 2 Wake Forest. The squad is currently ranked fourth in the South East Region by United Soccer Coaches.
But the Bruins were resolute and focused, netting the lone goal of the night in the second minute of the contest. Junior Julian Lucumi Villegas (Cali, Columbia) sent in a cross from the left side to the far post where freshman Matteo Bennati (Genova, Italy) got a head on it and put it in the back of the net.
"It was great to get the game in. Georgia State is a very good team, as evidenced by some of their results, and I appreciate them doing everything they needed to do to make this game happen with Hurricane Irma moving through the state," said head coach Bryan Green.
After the early goal, Belmont did not let off the gas. The remainder of the half was all Belmont. Junior Matt Vuylsteke (Hamilton, Ont., Canada) recorded two more shots on goal that were saved by the Panthers keeper before halftime.
The Panthers greatest threat of the half came with seven seconds left. GSU was awarded a free kick, but keeper junior Alex Seeley (Longmont, Colo.) easily handled the shot.
The Bruins were also awarded five corner kicks in the first half.
The second half saw more back and forth action than the first half. With 24 minutes to go in the match, senior Dan Brown (Franklin, Tenn.) made an incredible defensive play to intercept a dangerous cross that kept the Panthers off the board.
Junior Tony Doellefeld (St. Louis, Mo.) had arguably the best look of the half making a beautiful run to receive a cross from the left side and put the shot on goal, but once again the keeper was there.
The Bruins had several more scoring opportunities, but were not able to get another tally.
Seeley finished the night with six saves while four Bruins recorded two shots. The Bruins and the Panthers ended the night with 10 shots each.
"It was a great team effort. We scored a great goal, and in good moments we kept creating chances and in difficult moments, everyone was committed to defending as a team," Green added.
The Bruins will be back on their home pitch Saturday vs. Milwaukee. Kickoff is slated for Noon CT from E.S. Rose Park. The match will be broadcast on the Bruin Sports Network.