NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont University Men's Soccer Team played to a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods against San Diego Saturday afternoon.
Belmont was the aggressor for much of the first half, keeping a good amount of possession and firing off shots toward the San Diego goal.
Belmont got on the board first in the eighth minute. After launching a promising attack, senior Tony Doellefeld (St. Louis, Mo.) put a shot on frame that the keeper saved, but sophomore Nigel Leo (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) was there to take the rebound and put the ball in the back of the net to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
The remainder of the half was all Belmont and the Bruins went into the halftime break leading is shots 5-3 and holding the Toreros without a shot on target.
Things changed early on in the second half after Belmont received a red card in the 47thminute. The momentum changed from then on and San Diego took advantage of the extra man to put together some offensive momentum. The Toreros would score the equalizer in the 54thminute with a ball that the assistant referee deemed just barely crossed the goal line through the Belmont defense.
Even though the Toreros were on the attack for much of the first overtime period, the Bruins rose to the challenge. In the 98thminute, San Diego nearly put things away with a good look from a couple yards out on the left side, but sophomore keeper Niccolo Dini (Settala, Italy) came off his line, making a sliding save to keep things going. In the final minute of the first overtime, the Toreros were awarded a free kick from 20 yards out that skipped off the crossbar and out of bounds, sending the game to a second overtime.
Even though the Bruins were playing with 10 men, Belmont was able to find many offensive opportunities in the final 10 minutes. Doellefeld almost found a way to put the game away in the 103rdminute, but the San Diego keeper made a big save to keep things scoreless.
Dini was an integral part in the Bruins' 1-1 draw, making eight saves and preventing many more chances from the goal. Belmont also fired 10 shots on the afternoon, adding some esciting offense to the stellar defense.
Belmont is back in action at 5:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday at E.S. Rose Park as they welcome Georgia State.
109' | Dini just saved this game with an incredible sliding save! pic.twitter.com/rpXKrG0K1w— Belmont Men's Soccer (@BelmontMSoccer) September 8, 2018