NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The Belmont University men's soccer team (3-9-1) looks to continue its current two-game winning streak when it travels to Cleveland State on Saturday, Oct. 17. Match time is set for 6 p.m. CT in Ohio.
Belmont, after knocking off Georgia State, 3-1 at home on Oct. 6, responded with its first Horizon League victory of the season as it knocked off Milwaukee 1-0, on Oct. 10.
A first half score by freshman Dennis Kluba would stand up as the Bruins knocked off the Milwaukee Panthers, 1-0, on Sunday Oct. 10 in front of the E.S. Rose Park faithful. The Bruins turned in a strong performance on both sides of the pitch for their second-straight match en route to their first conference win of 2015. The Panthers threatened to equalize many times in the match's final moments but Belmont's defense stood strong and preserved the shutout. Grayson Rector picked up his second shutout victory of the season as he notched three saves and hung tough after an apparent leg injury late in the match. Belmont finished with 11 shots to Milwaukee's 15, and the Bruins were more efficient with their attempts as they put four on goal compared to the Panther's three. BU has opened the month of October undefeated at home.
Cleveland State enters Saturday riding a two-game winning streak of its own as it defeated preseason-favorite Oakland and Pittsburgh in its past two matches. This past Tuesday against the Pitt Panthers, CSU's Dan Koniarczyk tallied the match's lone score in the 71st and was the difference in the 1-0 match. Jake Lagania paces the Vikings' attack, leading the squad in goals (5), assists (3), points (13) shots (31) and shots on goal (18). The Vikings have performed better on the road (3-3) than at home (1-3-1). CSU like Belmont has played its best soccer in the month of October. CSU and Belmont sit in ninth and 10th place, respectively in the conference standings.
Belmont and Cleveland State have met three times over the years, with CSU holding a slide 2-1 edge in those contests. Last season, the result was a 1-0 victory for the Vikings, as the edged Belmont at E.S. Rose Park. On Saturday, the Vikings and Bruins will have met for four-consecutive seasons as Belmont competed against CSU in the transitional seasons before entering the Horizon League as an affiliate member in 2014.
Saturday's matchup features the reigning Horizon League Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week as Belmont's Anthony Torres (Batavia, Ill.) claimed defender honors and CSU's Jake Lagania garnered the offensive award.
Torres, who is second on the team in minutes played, played the duration in each match. Torres' relentless defensive pressure was instrumental in both Belmont wins. Against Georgia State on Tuesday, Oct. 6, the Bruins conceded just one goal to a unit that entered the match scoring 2.38 goals per contest (seventh in the nation at the time). On Sunday, Oct. 10, Torres and Bruins fought off a pesky Milwaukee team that played a very direct style of play and kept the pressure, particularly late in the regulation.
After the Bruins visit the Vikings, they return home to host Wright State on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Wednesday's match is set for 6 p.m. at E.S. Rose Park.
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