NASHVILLE, Tenn.- In front of a E.S. Rose Park record 1,123 fans, the Belmont University men's soccer team knocked off crosstown foe, Lipscomb, 2-0 in the Battle of the Boulevard Friday night.
"The crowd tonight was great. I am really happy we were able to come out with a victory for these fans because they were just incredible tonight", said Belmont head coach Bryan Green.
Sophomore forward Rashad Hyacenth (D'Abadie, Trinidad and Tobago) paced the Belmont offense, scoring two goals, one in each half. After a Lipscomb challenge resulted in a foul, Hyacenth was able to tee up a free kick from straight-on outside the box in the 10thminute. The sophomore forward struck the ball well and was the beneficiary of a favorable bounce as his shot appeared to ricochet off a Lipscomb player and past Bison keeper Micah Bledsoe for the 1-0 lead.
With Coach Green keeping players fresh, Belmont maintained its aggressive mentality and challenged every Lipscomb move throughout the remainder of the half.
Bruin netminder Grayson Rector (Peachtree City, Ga.) had relatively light work in the opening 45.
However, the Bisons came out more purposeful to start the second 45, challenging the Bruin defense. But led by senior Anthony Torres (Batavia, Ill.) and Rector, Belmont kept a clean sheet.
Sophomore Matt Vuylsteke (Hamilton, Ont., Canada) threatened with a far post header in the 50th minute, but Bledsoe was up to the task.
Challenges grew more intense and fouls increased in the second half, but it truly was a sportsmanlike, well-played match.
Lipscomb threatened to equalize several times midway through the half, including one strike from Logan Paynter in the 78th minute that went over the bar.
Moments later Hyacenth and teammate AJ Arnold (Jackson, Miss.) were able to separate themselves from the pack, and they advanced up the pitch. Hyacenth was able to corral the ball, after he collected it, chip the oncoming Bledsoe, and brush it into the back of the net for Belmont's 2-0 lead.
The boisterous Belmont crowd and bench erupted after the tally, but the Bruins soon got back to work and closed out the victory.
Belmont was the aggressor all evening, outshooting its counterpart 12-7, and earning the edge in cornerkicks at 5-4.
Rector notched a clean sheet in Belmont's season opener, recording two saves.
19 Belmont players saw action against Lipscomb.
The Bruins return to action Sunday afternoon when they take the pitch against the Buffalo Bulls. Match time at UB Stadium in Buffalo, New York is set for 12:00 p.m. CT.