NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont University men's soccer team played the Dayton Flyers to a 0-0 stalemate on Sunday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park.
The Bruins are now 1-0-2 which marks the first time in program history that a squad has opened with three games without a loss.
Head Coach Bryan Green and his team are excited about their start to the 2017 campaign. "We have a good team and we can compete. We also have a lot of belief in each other. It is nice to start the season without a loss in three games, but I like the fact that we are disappointed that we weren't able to come away with wins against 2 solid teams in Memphis and today against Dayton. We believe we can win and as we keep improving and working the wins will come," said Head Coach Bryan Green.
Dayton seemed to have the advantage early, taking a free kick in both the second and fifth minutes. The second free kick, taken by Rok Taneski, found the head of Alvaro Navarro right outside the right post, but the ball flew wide.
After an early scare from Dayton, Belmont seemed to settle in and controlled the ball well on their half of the pitch. The Bruins had several chances in the first half, but were not able to connect on any of their four chances.
The Bruins once again saw strong play by their back line, especially freshman Itzik Efraim (Even Sapir, Jarusalem) who has proven himself invaluable in the first three games of the season.
Belmont's greatest threat in the first half came in the 26th minute when freshman Nigel Leo (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) dribbled through several Dayton defenders and placed a great cross from the left side of the box but even though Bruins junor Nate Kennedy (Shelby N.C.) and sophomore Creaghan Diekema (Grand Rapids, Mich.) were in great position, neither player could get a foot on the ball.
Junior keeper Alex Seeley (Longmont, Colo.) made two saves in the first half to keep the flyers off the board.
Much like the start of the match, Dayton came out strong and help possession for the first few minutes of the second period.
Dayton outshot Belmont 5-3 in the second half, but Seeley protected the Belmont goal making two more saves in the half to keep the score 0-0.
Dayton looked like they might strike in the 79th minute, but a foul was called on Dayton in the box before they were able to get a shot off.
Belmont seemed to find a second wind in the final minutes of the match. Diekema was able to penetrate the Dayton back line and rip a shot from inside the box, but the shot was blocked.
The teams would enter a golden-goal overtime period after 90 minutes of scoreless play.
Both teams looked extremely tired as they began overtime play, but persevered. Seeley made two more saves in the first overtime period. Belmont threatened to end the match in the 97th minute when junior Sam Borgel (Marietta, Ga.) ripped a shot on goal from 20 yards out, but Dayton keeper Federico Barrios made an impressive diving save to keep the Bruins off the board.
After 100 minutes of scoreless play, the game would head into a second overtime period. Both teams struggled during the second overtime, neither recording a shot. Belmont took three corner kicks during the period, including one in the last minute of the match, but was not able to capitalize on any of the opportunities.
Seeley has not allowed a goal in 284 minutes as a Bruin. He recorded a career-high six saves this afternoon.
After 110 minutes of play, the match would end in a 0-0 draw.
After three home games to open the season, the Bruins will be on the road for their next two matches. "It has been nice to play at home, but I think we are excited to take the show on the road now and show what we can do. We are excited to open up conference play. NKU will be a good opponent and with a new coach will be a little different than in the past, but we will put most of the focus on ourselves and working for each other," said Green.
The Bruins will travel to Highland Heights, Ky. to take on Northern Kentucky Saturday at 6:00 p.m. CT.