NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University men's soccer secured a thrilling 3-2 victory Tuesday night against Eastern Illinois at E.S. Rose Park
Belmont went on the attack early in the match, showoing strong offense out of the gate. Things got interesting in this match early on. In the 8thminute, sophomore keeper Nicolo Dini (Settala, Italy) took a hard challenge in front of the goal that earned Eastern Illinois a red card, forcing the Panthers' to play with 10 men for the remainder of the match.
Even though the Panthers were down a man, EIU took advantage of one of its few attacking opportunities to take a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute. The Panthers sent in a corner kick to the back post that found the head of a fellow man in blue who headed it just in front of the goal. Nate Francke then put the ball in the right side of the net for his first goal of the season, giving EIU the edge.
Even though the Bruins' went down early, the squad kept its form and continued to apply sustained pressure. It didn't take long for the Bruins to find the equalizer, scoring just a minute later. In the 30th minute, freshman Ares Marlonsson (Denver, Colo.) put a ball just in front of the goal that sophomore Matteo Bennati (Genova, Ill.) got a boot on and knocked it home to equalize the score 1-1.
After 50 minutes of scoreless play, EIU broke the deadlock. In the 80th minute, the Panthers scored the go-ahead goal to take a 2-1 lead. The Bruins still didn't let the deficit defeat them, however.
Senior Adam Voloder (New South Wales, Australia) scored his second goal of the season scored his second goal of the season in the 86th minute to knot things up 2-2. Marlonsson racked up his second assist of the night when he sent a ball to Voloder who laced the ball through the keeper to the back of the net.
With plenty of fight still in the tank, the Bruins' continued to search for the game-winner before the end of regulation. In the 90th minute, with just 47 seconds left to play, Niccolo Dagnoni (Milan, Italy) scored his first goal as a Bruin with a strike to the right of the keeper to elevate Belmont to a thrilling 3-2 victory.
Belmont will be back in action Saturday, September 29 as it travels to SIUE for a 7:00 p.m. CT kick.