Taking on the Titans

Taking on the Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont University men's soccer team continues conference play as they visit the Detroit Mercy Titans at 12:00 p.m. CT on Saturday.

The Bruins (3-1-2, 1-1) are looking to clinch their third consecutive win while the Titans (4-2-1, 1-1) are looking to get back on track after a two-game losing skid.

The Titans were recently ranked 10th in the Great Lakes region by the United Soccer Coaches.

Belmont is riding a two-game winning streak after wins against Georgia State and Milwaukee in their last two outings.  Last Saturday the Bruins were back on their home pitch and defeated conference foe Milwaukee 2-1 for their first conference victory of the 2017 campaign. 

Even though the Belmont squad has recently been plagued with injuries, the Bruins' deep bench continues to provide quality minutes.

Freshman Matteo Bennati (Genova, Italy) scored early in the match after he fired a shot from nine yards out that the Milwaukee keeper blocked.  A Panther defender attempted to clear the rebound, but Bennati stayed with the play, intercepted the ball and slipped a shot past the keeper to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

In the second period of the match, junior Adam Voloder (New South Wales, Australia) netted his first career goal in a Belmont uniform.  Junior Sam Borgel (Marietta, Ga.) set up the play when he struck the ball from the left side which forced a diving block by the Panthers' keeper.  Voloder wrangled in the rebound and took a beautiful strike from the left side that found its way into the back of the net.

Exciting Offense

This season, Belmont's offensive attack has been "solid and consistent," said Head Coach Bryan Green.  The Bruins' attacking third has consistently threatened opponents'goals forcing 25 saves by opponents' keepers this season. The Belmont squad has taken 52 corner kicks to their opponents' 23 this season.  

Strong Defense

So far this season, opponents have had a hard time getting past the Belmont defense.  The Bruins have recorded three shutouts while only allowing three goals on the season.  The squad leads the conference in team goals against average (0.47) and rank ninth in the nation in the category. 

Scouting the Titans

Head Coach Nicholas Deren enters his eighth season at the helm of the Detroit Mercy program.  Last weekend, Detroit suffered their first loss of the season to conference foe Green Bay.  The Titans outshot the Phoenix 21 to nine, but ultimately fell on the road 3-1.  Wednesday, Detroit traveled to Penn State to take on the Nittany Lions. Detroit was outshot 14 to 10 in that matchup.  Titan's keeper, Robbie Beckwell, made six saves on the night, but the Titans were shutout 2-0. The Titans high octane offense leads the conference in scoring offense (1.83).  Detroit has found the back of the net 11 times this season which is the second best mark in the Horizon League.

Player to Watch

Senior forward Spriro Pliakos will be a dangerous threat to the Bruins back line.  Pliakos currently leads the conference in three categories: shots on goal per game (2), total goals (5), and total points (11).  

Keeper Matchup

Both Belmont and Detroit have seen great play by their keepers.  Detroit senior Robbie Beckwell leads the Horizon League in saves per game (4.83) and total saves (35).  Beckwell ranks third in the conference in save percentage (0.784).  Junior Alex Seeley protects the Belmont goal.  Seeley leads the Horizon League and ranks sixth in the nation in goals against average (0.325).  His save percentage of 0.784 leads the conference and is the third best percentage in the nation.  Seeley sits right behind Beckwell in Horizon League total saves with 22.

Series Breakdown

Belmont is 1-2-0 all time against Detroit Mercy.  Last season, the Bruins defeated Detroit 2-1 at home in their final match of the season.

The match will be broadcast on ESPN3 at 12:00 p.m. CT.  Follow @belmontmsoccer on twitter for in-game updates.