NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Belmont Bruins opened up the 2019 preseason with a 2-0 win over the Central Arkansas Bears Sunday night at E.S. Rose Park. The exhibition victory comes as the first for David Costa as a head coach, as the Bruins notched a win in their first home match of the season.
Belmont took no time getting in the driver's seat, as sophomore forward Niccolo Dagnoni buried his first shot attempt of the year to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute. Sophomore goalkeeper Cameron Petty logged five first-half saves to keep Central Arkansas scoreless heading into halftime.
Coming out of the half, Belmont converted its first corner kick of the night into a 67th minute goal, as junior midfielder Esteban Lestido connected on a well-placed pass from Nigel Leo to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
Overall, Petty corralled seven saves and a clean sheet with help from the sturdy Belmont defense. With the victory, the Bruins take the all-time series lead over the Bears at 3-2-2 including exhibitions.
UP NEXT: The Bruins will round out the preseason with their final exhibition match of the year against Christian Brothers on Saturday, Aug. 24. Kick off is slated for 6 p.m. at E.S. Rose Park. Belmont opens up regular season play on the road at Bradley on Aug. 30 in Peoria, Ill.
David Costa, Head Coach
"We are pleased to get a positive result against a talented and very well coached Central Arkansas team. They asked a lot of questions of our defending and I was impressed with the work rate and composure our team displayed. It was great to finally play against someone else. It showed us some areas where we can really focus our training for the remainder of preseason. We are looking forward to continuing to grow as a team throughout the next two weeks."