DAYTON, Ohio – An early goal put the Belmont women's soccer team (1-2) behind on the road Sunday afternoon. Despite a valiant effort, the Bruins fell at first-time opponent Wright State (2-2), 2-0.
WSU wasted little time attacking the Belmont goal, firing its first shot just 90 seconds into the first half. In the first seven minutes of action, the Raiders tallied four shots, three of which were on goal. The attack paid off one minute later as Wright State successfully used a corner kick to set up its first goal of the day. BU fired back with senior Cassie Blase (Waukesha, Wisc.) launched a rocket toward the Raider goal but her attempt bounced off the crossbar in the ninth minute. The teams fell into a back and forth battle for the remainder of the stanza, with both unable to capitalize on strong scoring opportunities down the stretch.
After the break, the Bruins came out swinging, nearly setting up a scoring chance three minutes in before being called for the offsides. Undaunted, Belmont continued attacking, with Blase and sophomore Belicia Mendiola (McKinney, Texas) both firing near misses. Wright State was able to score the go-ahead goal in the 58th minute off a corner kick setup.
BU's defensive line stepped in with a pair of blocks to keep Wright State from adding to its tally down the stretch. Belmont continued to fight, on the hunt for its first goal of the match but time was not on its side. Despite logging several corner kicks, the Bruins were unable to turn the opportunities. Back-to-back headers around the 76th minute by sophomore Tara Austin (Beaumont, Texas) and junior Meg Howard (Brentwood, Tenn.) narrowly missed. BU's best final attempt came in the 85th minute with a hard shot by Mendiola that WSU's goalkeeper had to work hard to stop. A final shot in the final two minutes of regulation would be BU's last shot of the day but it too came up short.
The Raiders held the advantage in shots, 17-9, shots on goal, 11-3, and corner kicks, 10-5.
Leading the Bruins in shots was senior Emily Proud (Knoxville, Tenn.) with a total of three followed by classmate Blase and Mendiola, who each notched two.
Junior Stephanie Bukovec (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) went the distance between the posts and tallied seven saves on the afternoon.
Belmont returns to action on Friday, September 4 at Rose Park. The Bruins host Valparaiso beginning at 4 p.m. Live stats, video and an in-game Twitter feed (@BelmontWSoccer) will also be available.