EVANSVILLE, Ind.- The Belmont University men's soccer team turned in a gritty 90 minute effort Sunday afternoon but fell 2-1 to the Evansville Purple Aces in Evansville, Ind.
Senior AJ Arnold (Jackson, Miss.) scored Belmont's lone goal in the 72nd minute tallying an equalizing score at the time. Raphael Colmanette (Sao Paulo, Brazil) sprinted past the Evansville defenders and created some space gliding down the right side of the pitch. Colmanette entered the box and then dished a beautiful pass from the far side to the near post where he connected with Arnold who pushed it past Evansville's Matthew Keller for the Belmont score.
Evansville answered the Bruins' equalizer,and scored the would be game-winning goal in the 80th minute when Ian McGrath struck from 20 yards out off an assist from Desmond Dolphy.
Belmont set the tone early in the second half as it firmly established itself on its offensive third of the pitch. The Bruins held possession for most of the half and displayed great passing skill on several occasions in the frame but only found the back of the net once.
The Bruins showcased some crafty passing in 65th minute when Matt Lopoyda (Niagara Falls, Ont. Can.) crossed the ball from the right side and found Joonas Bask (Kauniainen, Finland) who headed it to Rashad Hyacenth (D'Abadie, Trinidad and Tobago) who also utilized the header but his try was saved by the keeper.
Evansville added the match's first tally in the 41st minute when Cameron Cool ripped a shot from straight on around 20 yards out. Cool's shot struck the top of the goal and propelled straight into the ground and past Rector.
The Bruins faced a 1-0 deficit at the half after Evansville's late first half tally. Belmont had several set piece opportunities, registering six cornerkicks, but none of them resulted in scores despite many promising chances.
One of Belmont's best looks at a goal came in the 22nd minute when Lopoyda beautifully lofted a cornerkick into the box where freshmen Sean Bernabo's (Eden Prairie, Minn.) header was stopped by Keller.
In the 29th minute Grayson Rector (Peachtree City, Ga.) made an incredible save by ranging and diving to his right to save a strong shot attempt by Evansville's Dolphy. Rector was not able to possess the ball, and Evansville's Mark Gonzalez fortuitously corralled the free ball but fortunately he drilled a shot into the side of the net and thus the score remained knotted at zero. Rector finished the first 45 with three saves.
Belmont was outshot 11 to eight by its counterpart, but held the edge in cornerkicks by a margin of four at seven to three for the match.
Anthony Torres (Batavia, Ill.) and Bask were named to the all-tournament team for the Aces ProRehab Classic.
Rector finished with a season-high seven saves for the match.
The Bruins return to action Friday, Sept. 11 when they return to Nashville to host Appalachian State for a 6:30 p.m. match at E.S. Rose Park, as part of the Belmont Invitational. Belmont will also host Campbell on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 2:30 p.m.