Golden Grizzly Gear Up

Photo by Melissa Diekema
Photo by Melissa Diekema

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont University men's soccer team returns home to E.S. Rose Park for a Horizon League clash Saturday afternoon.

The Belmont Bruins (5-6-2) will take on the Oakland Golden Grizzlies (5-8-1) at 2 p.m. CT.

On Tuesday, the Bruins picked up their second consecutive win on the road at Eastern Illinois.  Freshman Itzik Efraim (Even Sapir, Jerusalem) netted his first collegiate goal after converting a penalty kick in the 51st minute.

The Panthers would find the equalizer in the 66th minute of the match.  Belmont created many offensive chances the remainder of the second period, but 90 minutes would not be enough for the Bruins to put away Eastern Illinois. 

The match headed into overtime where freshman Nick Kramer (Lancaster, Pa.) would put the game away in the 96th minute.  Junior Matt Vuylsteke (Hamilton, Ont., Canada) made a pass to the feet of Kramer, who was waiting in the box, and buried the shot for his first career goal. 

Belmont will look to build on recent momentum on Saturday, as they are riding a two-game winning streak.  Both victories were on the road.   

Scouting the Golden Grizzlies

Head Coach Eric Pogue is in his ninth season at the helm of the Oakland men's soccer program.  Oakland was picked to finish first in the league prior to the 2017 season and currently sit in eighth place.  The Golden Grizzlies have scored 18 goals and allowed 28 this season.  Oakland has been awarded 55 corners to their opponents' 65.

Players to Watch 

Austin Ricci has led the Oakland attack this season.  Ricci has scored 8 goals this season for 16 points.  He averages 3.57 shots per game with 1.71 landing on frame, leading the Horizon League in both categories.  Nebojsa Popovic is another offensive threat for the Golden Grizzlies.  Popovic has added four goals and six assists for fourteen points. 

Last Time Out

Monday, the Golden Grizzlies played to a scoreless draw against fellow Horizon League member Detroit Mercy.  The shutout marked their second consecutive shutout and third of the season.

Series Breakdown

The Bruins' are 1-2-0 all-time against Oakland.  Last seasons, the Bruins picked up a 2-0 victory against Oakland on the road.

Kickoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. CT.  Fans can follow on twitter (@belmontmsoccer) for live updates as well as watch the game on the Bruin Sports Network.


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