HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky.- The Belmont University men's soccer team (1-8-1, 0-2-0) had a strong scoring chance with just seconds remaining in regulation, but could not find the back of the net as they dropped a hard-fought battle, 1-0, to the Northern Kentucky Norse Wednesday evening in Highland Heights, KY.
With just minutes remaining in regulation, Joonas Bask (Espoo, Finland) looked as if he would tie the game. In the 86th minute, Bask was played an excellent ball by a teammate and found himself inside the box with the keeper out of the picture. Bask blasted a shot on goal but an NKU defender stood in his way and registered a team save to preserve its 1-0 lead. Bask and his Belmont teammates stood in disbelief as they thought that the NKU defender used a hand to save the ball.
Just as it looked as if NKU had made a final clearance and could milk the last few seconds off the clock, the Bruins gained possession and played the ball up to AJ Arnold (Jackson, Miss.) who took a left-footed shot from inside the box with just seconds left but NKU's Toby Frolich made an incredible save to crush Belmont's equalizing bid.
"We played a great 45 minutes but were just unable to find a goal. Their keeper made some great saves," said Head Coach Bryan Green.
Belmont again looked like it may have a shot an equalizer in the 84th minute. Raphael Colmanette (Sao Paulo, Brazil) struck his shot attempt very well but the ball could not bend all the way back as his attempt went wide. A minute later, Colmanette would be involved in the action again as he played a nice cross to Rashad Hyacenth (D'Abadie, Trinidad and Tobago) whose header was saved.
In the 82nd minute Matt Lopoyda (Niagara Falls, Ont. , Can.) rose forward to take the Belmont free kick, he too made great contact with the ball but his sailed high of the goal.
Hyacenth provided another chance in the 79th when he collected a lobbing cross from a teammate and lined up a left-footed attempt. Earlier in the second frame Hycacenth was fed with a throughball but couldn't best the keeper in a one-on-one matchup in the 58th minute.
"We were okay in the first half, made a few adjustments and brought a few new guys on that really lifted our play. Were going in the right direction and we just have to go to Green Bay with the same intent in our play," added Green.
Overall a late offensive ambush by the Bruins was to no avail, despite Belmont having numerous opportunities in its attacking third of the pitch. BU never looked out of sorts during its furious comeback bid, as the team connected the ball patiently across the field.
The Bruins, as they have most of the year, looked their best in half number as they took possession of the match's momentum late in the contest.
NKU's Kobie Qualah headed in the match's lone score in the 18th minute.
BU outshot NKU 10-7, including eight in just second half.
The Bruins return to the pitch Saturday, Oct. 3 as they conclude their two-game road stint with a 7 p.m. tilt at Green Bay.