MARTIN, Tenn. – Belmont women's soccer edged UT Martin, 3-2, Friday night at Skyhawk Field. The victory was the Bruins first road win of the season and moved them to 8-4-1 overall and 4-2-0 in conference play.
After getting out to an early 2-0 advantage BU relinquished a pair of goals forcing them in a do or die situation in the final 30 minutes of the match. Junior forward Megan Michela (Carol Stream, Ill.) broke up the standstill in the 72nd minute, securing the win while keeping up the squad's trend of scoring a trio of goals.
Only three shots into the match the Bruins took an early advantage after freshman Julie Garst (Franklin, Tenn.) orchestrated a trick play at the top of the 18-yard box. After sprinting down the field, Garst halted to a stop and sent the ball across the field. In the midst of the cross, sophomore Anna Brock Hawkins (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) tricked the Skyhawk defense by leaping over the ball and giving junior Jessi Boozer (Brentwood, Tenn.) an open look at goal to send it in the back of the net and put BU up, 1-0, in the 15th minute.
With 30 minutes expired in the first half Belmont temporarily doubled its lead on a beautiful serve from Heather Ferrari (Duluth, Ga.) who took a free kick from behind the midfield line and found the back of the head of junior Tara Austin (Beaumont, Texas). Austin's goal was the first since her rookie season and added a cushion for the Bruins as the Skyhawks netted a goal on their next possession. Kaci Martin also used her head to bring UT Martin within one tally.
The Skyhakws controlled the tempo of the match in the early goings of the second frame, letting off six shots in the opening 17 minutes. They knotted up the game in the 62nd after Danae Kaldaridou snuck the ball past sophomore keeper Lily Herman (Springboro, Ohio) to even the match, 2-2.
While the Bruins fought for possession for much of the last stanza, they were able to get quality shots off. One of their best looks came from Garst who found herself in a one on one situation with the UT Martin keeper, Erica Myers, who blocked the shot and tallied her sixth save of the night.
Belmont broke up the stalemate on Garsts next run down the field as she fired a bullet at Myers who blocked the ball but couldn't coral it. Michela collected the rebound and lightly tapped the ball in the frame to put BU back on top, 3-2.
72' GOOOAALL!!!! Michela corrals a rebound on a shot from Garst to send the ball in the back of the net and give BU its lead back, 3-2. pic.twitter.com/xRTlEovRYb— Belmont WomensSoccer (@BelmontWSoccer) October 7, 2017
Eight wins in a single season ties a record during the Coach Henson era. The last time the squad tallied eight in a season was in 2012. The team outshot UT Martin, 17-14, and landed 11 on goal.
The Bruins head to SEMO for another conference matchup slated for 2 p.m. at Cape Girardeau, Mo.