BUFFALO, N.Y.— Despite a gritty effort on the road, the Belmont University men's soccer team (1-1-0) fell 3-1, Saturday afternoon at Buffalo (2-0-0).
"It's a disappointment. The result, but more so that we didn't give ourselves a chance to win because we gave up three goals off of restarts," said Head Coach Bryan Green.
Freshmen Sean Bernabo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) scored his first collegiate goal in the hard fought loss. After a Belmont set piece was denied by the Buffalo defense, Bernabo collected the carom and ripped a strong shot past Buffalo goalie Buffalo's Cameron Hogg in the 51st minute. Bernabo cut the Buffalo lead to just 2-1 as the Bruins struck early in the second stanza.
"On a positive note, we responded well out of the half and scored on a good goal. We had more shots on goal and cornerkicks than our opponent for second time already this year, that didn't happen much last season," said Green.
After the Bruins had threatened to equalize in both the 58th and 68th minute, Scott Honey tacked on Buffalo's third score in the 73rd minute when he capitalized on a header attempt off a cross from Marcus Hanson.
At the half, the Bruins faced a 2-0 deficit after Buffalo registered a pair of goals late in the opening frame. Nick Forrester and Russell Cicerone were the goal scorers, adding tallies in the 39th and 40th minutes, respectively.
Belmont battled out of the gate, bending but not breaking for most of the first half, but the Buffalo pressure broke through late and carried a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
Freshman Clark Page (Delafield, Wis.) started in goal, earning his first collegiate start.
"We had six freshmen play, one of whom scored his first college goal, that's certainly a positive from today's match," said Green.
The Bruins were outshot 15-12, but held the edge in terms of shots on goal by a tally of six to five. Belmont also attempted five corners compared to Buffalo's two.
Belmont returns to action Friday, Sept. 4 when it travels to Evansville, Ind. for the ProRehab Aces Classic on the campus of the University of Evansville Purple Aces. The Bruins take on Drake at 5 p.m. CT at Arad McCutchan Stadium in their first match. After an off day, Belmont returns to the pitch to square off with host Evansville at 2 p.m. on Sunday Sept. 6 to conclude its competition in Evansville.