Women's Soccer Knocks Off Tennessee Tech, 3-1
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont women's soccer team (1-1) collected a pair of early goals to earn its first win of the 2011 campaign on Sunday afternoon. The Bruins traveled east to face off against intrastate and future Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee Tech (0-2) and picked up a 3-1 victory in their second official outing in the Heather Henson era.
Belmont dominated the first half of play and came out meaning business in the first 90 seconds with an on-target shot from senior Morgan McBride (Collierville, Tenn.) that forced the Golden Eagle goalkeeper to work hard right from the start. A corner kick in the 22nd minute from junior Lauren Paynter (Danville, Ky.) opened the door for freshman Allie Hicks (Carmel, Ind.) to notch her first collegiate goal three minutes later. TTU immediately fired back but sophomore netminder Nicole Berner (Randolph, N.J.) was ready with the stop between the posts. The BU offense ramped up again in the 33rd minute led by back-to-back shots from senior Dani Stolt (Morris Plains, N.J.) who came away with near misses. The third surge of the half came in the final minute with Paynter leading the charge again. She fired back-to-back shots that were barely stopped by TTU goalkeeper Becca Toler and held the Bruins at a 1-0 advantage heading into the locker rooms.
The second stanza saw Tennessee Tech play with much more aggression than in the first but the Bruins stayed in control. By the 56th minute, Belmont had already picked up shots on goal from juniors Vanessa Pepin (Melbourne Beach, Fla.) and Spencer Laufer (Houston, Texas) and senior Gretchen Sutch (Knoxville, Tenn.). The Golden Eagles attempted to keep fresh legs on the field to reenergize the offense but BU kept charging. In similar fashion as the first half, another flurry of action opened the door another Bruin goal. This time it was freshman Rachel Schmidt (Dallas, Texas) in the 78th minute. Six minutes later, Tennessee Tech used a corner kick to push it to its lone goal of the day to cut Belmont's lead to one goal, 2-1. However, the Bruins were unfazed by the minor surge and went back to work on both sides of the ball as time neared expiration. A pair of shots from Paynter and sophomore Amy Jo Anderson (Birmingham, Ala.) had the TTU keeper on her heels as senior Alex Morgado (Suwanee, Ga.) swept in and found the back of the net for her first goal of the season in the 88th minute. TTU was unable to recover and Belmont claimed its first victory of the season, 3-1.
Belmont dominated in shots, 17-8, and held the advantage in corner kicks, 5-4.
Berner went the distance for the Bruins between the posts, finishing with four saves on the day. Paynter and McBride finished the afternoon with a game-high three shots apiece. Stolt and Morgado each recorded two shots on the day.
Belmont returns to action on Friday, August 26 at E.S. Rose Park in its official home opener. The Bruins host Eastern Illinois beginning at 4 p.m. A live Twitter feed will be available at www.twitter.com/BelmontWSoccer.