NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont Bruins are set to square off with the Memphis Tigers for their 2019 home opener on Tuesday. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at E.S. Rose Park.
The two squads will meet for the 17th time since the establishment of Bruins men's soccer in 1991. In fact, Belmont has only faced one opponent more times in program history: The Lipscomb Bison (22).
The Bruins and the Tigers will meet for the fourth-consecutive season on Tuesday, as Memphis holds a 2-0-1 record in its last three meetings with Belmont. However, the Bruins have remained unbeaten (1-0-3) in each of their last four home-opening matches at Rose Park.
LAST TIME OUT: Belmont dropped the final match of its five-game road stint at Purdue Fort Wayne on Friday afternoon. The Bruins fell by a score of 2-1, as Niccolo Dagnoni scored his first goal of the season in the 58th minute on a penalty kick.
NO. 50: Senior forward and co-team captain Creaghan Diekema has a chance to appear in the 50th match of his career on Tuesday against the Tigers. Diekema has thrived on and off the pitch at Belmont, as he was recently awarded the Southern Conference Commissioner's Medal and was named as one of 167 student-athletes to notch a perfect 4.0 grade point average in the conference last season.
Diekema has the second-most career matches played on the Bruins squad behind senior co-captain Sam Borgel (57).
HOLDING IT DOWN: Junior goalkeeper Nicolo Dini has notched the second-best goals against average (1.66) in the Southern Conference this season. Dini is also just one of four goalkeepers in the conference to log a shutout in the 2019 season.
SCOUTING MEMPHIS: The Tigers are led by head coach Richard Mulrooney, who enters his sixth season at the helm of the Memphis program. In his first two seasons with the Tigers, Mulrooney led the squad to the quarterfinals of the AAC Tournament.
To start the 2019 season, Memphis has recorded a 3-2-0 record, with wins over the Campbell, Milwaukee and the No. 11 ranked Xavier Musketeers. The Tigers return senior forward Sam Ashton, who leads the team in goals (5), points (10) and shots (8). Ashton recorded a hat trick last match, including a 109th-minute goal to defeat the Musketeers 3-2 in double-overtime.
UP NEXT: Belmont will host the final match of its two-game homestand against the Presbyterian Blue Hose on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at E.S. Rose Park. The Bruins will then hit the road to Charleston, Ill. to take on the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Tuesday, Sept. 24.