NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The Belmont University men's soccer team (4-11-2, 1-5-1) returns home for its final home match of the 2015 season when it hosts the UIC Flames Saturday, Oct. 31 for Senior Day at Rose Park. Match time in Nashville is set for 2 p.m. as the seven seniors take the pitch for the final time in front of the home crowd and look to keep their postseason hopes alive.
The Bruins earned their first road victory of the season as they came from behind to rally and knock off the Virginia Tech Hokies, 2-1, this past Tuesday evening in Blacksburg, Va. Raphael Colmanette's (Sao Paulo, Brazil) goal in the 73rd proved to be the game winner as the senior forward propelled the Bruins to one of their best victories of the year. After a scoreless half, Virginia Tech struck in the 57th minute to grab the 1-0 advantage when Collin Verfurth scored his first goal of the season off a header. BU used the Virginia Tech score as fuel, and showed tremendous resiliency and fight from this point forward. In the 57th sophomore Matt Vuylsteke (Hamilton, Ont., Can.) headed it past the Virginia Tech keeper and found the back of the net to tie it up. BU notched 15 shots for the second-straight contest, as it out shot the Hokies 15-13. Rashad Hyacenth (D'Abadie, Trinidad and Tobago) was held scoreless but certainly impacted the game as he was active up top all night and logged all 90 minutes. Hycacenth was a catalyst offensively in the Bruins' win.
Belmont has looked impressive in back-to-back matches, as it earned a draw at Valparaiso and the aforementioned victory at Va. Tech. The Bruins look to carry the momentum gained in their past two matches back to Nashville as they take on the league's No. 1 team.
UIC (8-4-3, 5-0-2) enters Saturday's contest in first place in the Horizon League as it has allowed just four goals in seven conferences matches. The Flames have won two-straight, knocking off Oakland and Valparaiso. Jorge Alvarez and Manny Chavez are UIC's primary options as they have combined for seven goals and nine assists. Alvarez's 56 shots rank him third in the conference behind Valpo's Madrid and Rashad Hyacenth. UIC is a well-rounded unit as it ranks towards the top of the conference in several categories on both the offensive and defensive side of the pitch. The Flames in their most recent action against Valpo, registered a 1-0 and their seventh shut out of the season.
Saturday marks just the second meeting between Belmont and UIC, as the sqauds squared off last season during BU's inaugural season as an affiliate member of the Horizon League. The Bruins fell to the Flames in their season finale last season in Chicago.
The Bruins' seven seniors, Pedro Balaguer (Nashville, Tenn.), Joonas Bask (Espoo, Finland), Sam Black (Douglas Isle of Man, UK), Nick Clarke (Perryville, Md.), Raphael Colmanette (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Bryan Eoff (Clarksville, Tenn.) and Anthony Torres (Batavia, Illinois), will be honored during pre-match ceremony at Rose Park.
This class of seven seniors has been instrumental in the elevation of the Belmont men's soccer program as they transitioned from an Independent to an affiliate member of the highly competitive Horizon League conference last season. The 2015 senior class has earned the NSCAA College Team Academic Award every season as they have compiled a team GPA of 3.00 or higher in each year. This group has worked hard both on and off the field to help the Bruins move to the next level and look to go out with a win in their last contest in Nashville.