NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the first time since the programs began meeting in 1999, the Belmont women's soccer team (6-6, 3-2 A-Sun) fell in the annual Battle of the Boulevard matchup with rival Lipscomb (4-9-1, 2-3 A-Sun). The Bruins were edged, 2-1.
It only took two minutes before the Bruins trapped the ball on Lipscomb's side of the field. However, it would be the Lady Bisons who would notch the first goal of the night in the eighth minute on a header from a wide cross. It was the first time Lipscomb scored against a BU team since the 2008 edition of the Battle of the Boulevard matchup. Belmont turned up the head offensively and was able to earn three corner kicks through the middle of the half. A foul gave BU a free kick right outside the LU box and the momentum swung firmly in Belmont's favor. The Bruins pressured and senior Gretchen Sutch (Knoxville, Tenn.) booted a long shot over the goalkeeper into the back of the net for the equalizer in the 35th minute. Six minutes later, the Lady Bisons notched back to back corner kicks but sophomore netminder Nicole Berner (Randolph, N.J.) and the Bruin defense stopped both attempts.
From the opening whistle of the second stanza, the Bruins were red hot, controlling the tempo of the game. Around the 60th minute, the Bruins ramped up their intensity in their hunt for a second goal. Junior Spencer Laufer (Houston, Texas) and sophomore Amy Jo Anderson (Birmingham, Ala.) fired a trio of shots that sailed just wide of the net to a chorus of groans from the BU fans assembled behind the net. The match then settled into a back and forth battle with both teams working the midfield for control of the ball. Lipscomb broke away in the 77th minute and used a header to find the back of the net off a corner kick. The lead was just enough to put the wind back in LU's sails and they completely turned their play around. Despite numerous chances in the waning minutes, the Bruins were unable to find another equalizer. The Lady Bisons used the clock to their advantage, playing keep away to hold on for their first win over Belmont in program history.
"We had so many shots that just didn't go our way but we never gave up," said Head Coach Heather Henson. "John coached his girls to play until the end. That's part of the Battle of the Boulevard rivalry."
"We had opportunities and it just didn't fall our way tonight. We played hard and continued to battle. I am proud of our team effort."
Senior Dani Stolt (Morris Plains, N.J.) led Belmont with a game-high four shots, followed by juniorSpencer Laufer (Houston, Texas) who fired three. Sophomore netminder Nicole Berner(Randolph, N.J.) finished with two saves.
Belmont dominated in shots, 18-5, but Lipscomb held the edge in corner kicks, 6-4.
Belmont returns to action on Friday, October 14 on the road at North Florida for more Atlantic Sun action. Match time is set for 6pm CT. Live stats will be available and the contest can be seen live on ASun.TV.