NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Physical play headlined the matchup between Belmont women's soccer (4-5-4, 1-2-2 OVC) and visiting Southeast Missouri State (6-5, 3-2 OVC) on Sunday afternoon at Rose Park. However, it would be a late penalty kick that would decide the result with the Redhawks taking the game, 1-0.
Both teams opened the contest at an almost frenzied pace, with a heavy back and forth battle. The Bruins seemed to keep the ball trapped in the attacking third for the first 15 minutes of the first half. BU did not let up in its hunt to score, outshooting SEMO, 10-5, in the first stanza alone. Senior Alison Alcott (Dallas, Texas) remained laser focused at the Redhawk goal, firing four free kicks, including one on goal.
BU maintained its offensive onslaught in the second half, keeping Southeast Missouri State on its heels for much of the 45 minutes. The Bruins raised the intensity to a fever pitch around the 63rd minute. Senior Taylor Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) served a cross to the awaiting sophomore Meg Howard (Brentwood, Tenn.), who just narrowly missed connecting. Belmont fans remained on their feet as a goal seemed impending. Unfortunately, the Bruins were unable to score despite several other great chances. SEMO took the lead on a penalty kick with just under five minutes left in regulation and managed to play keep away for the waning minutes to secure the win.
Belmont dominated the contest on both sides of the ball in both stanzas of play. BU held the advantage in shots, 19-10, and corner kicks, 4-3.
Smith led with a game-high five shots. Alcott followed with four. Junior Lindsey Espe (LaCañada, Calif.) was strong between the posts, logging six saves.
"I was proud of the ladies' effort. They played in our system and created opportunities," said Head Coach Heather Henson. "The ball just didn't fall in the back of the net.
"I am confident we will refocus and bounce back as we get ready to get on the road next weekend."
Belmont women's soccer returns to action on October 17 on the road at Tennessee Tech. Match time is set for 3 p.m. Live stats will be available.