NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont women's soccer team will enjoy home field advantage this weekend in the confines of E.S. Rose Park for its first Atlantic Sun Tournament contest. This will mark the first time the Bruins have ever hosted a postseason matchup. BU, who earned the No. 4 seed after stellar play last weekend, will face off against No. 5 North Florida on Saturday afternoon beginning at 2 p.m.
The Ospreys went 2-1-1 to close the regular season, earning the No. 5 seed in the Atlantic Sun Tournament. North Florida stands at 8-9-2 overall and 4-4-1 in league play. Carolina Lencina, Kathryne Husted and Lauren Hopfensperger lead the Ospreys in scoring, recording five goals apiece. Lencina is also the team's leader in assists with a total of five. Megan Dorsey is UNF's top goalkeeper, logging over 1,628 minutes. She also has a GAA of 1.49 and has grabbed 64 saves.
When the programs faced off earlier this season, the contest ended in a 0-0 double overtime stalemate. Belmont holds a slim all-time series advantage of 3-2-2 over UNF.
Belmont secured the No. 4 seed in this year's tournament after a stunning shutout upset victory over top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast (12-4-2, 7-1-1 A-Sun) on Sunday afternoon. Junior Spencer Laufer (Houston, Texas) found the back of the net for the first goal of her career against the FGCU goalkeeper who had not allowed a single goal during conference play. Two days earlier, the Bruins defeated visiting Stetson by the same score with senior Dani Stolt (Morris Plains, N.J.) netting the game winner.
The Bruins are led in scoring by seniors Gretchen Sutch (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Stolt and freshman Taylor Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) who has each netted three goals. Sutch and junior Lauren Paynter (Danville, Ky.) lead BU in assists with three apiece. Sophomore Nicole Berner (Randolph, N.J.) leads the goalkeeper corps with a 7-7-1 overall record, logging 1,372 minutes between the posts. She has a GAA of 1.25, five shutouts and has grabbed 65 saves.
Earlier this week, Sutch, Berner and Alison Alcott (Dallas, Texas) received All-Atlantic Sun postseason honors. Sutch and Berner were both named Second Team while Alcott earned All-Freshman Team distinction.
This weekend marks the return of the Belmont women's soccer team to the postseason for the first time since 2009. BU has an overall Atlantic Sun Tournament record of 3-1-3 and has never lost its opening contest in the A-Sun Tournament.
Fans unable to come to Nashville for the quarterfinal contest can watch it live via ASun.TV. There is no charge for the entire 2011 Atlantic Sun Tournament.