Sapped by the Sycamores

Sapped by the Sycamores

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Belmont women's soccer team (1-1) was unable to recover from an early deficit on the road Friday night.  The Bruins were held off at Indiana State (1-2), 2-1, for their first loss of the young season.

The Sycamores jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a goal in the 10th minute.  The Bruins regrouped and thwarted several additional Indiana State scoring opportunities thanks to the defensive line and the quick hands of junior netminder Stephanie Bukovec (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). 

Belmont earned a corner kick in the 32nd minute and freshman Allie Svoboda (Lisle, Ill.) used it to fire a shot toward the Indiana State goal.  Her attempt was stopped by Brittany San Roman.  ISU netted what would be the go ahead goal two minutes later.  The Sycamores held on to the 2-0 advantage into the break.

The Bruins opened the second stanza on fever pitch.  Less than two minutes in, senior Rachel Dill (Carmel, Ind.) fed classmate Cassie Blase (Waukesha, Wisc.) for BU's first goal of the night and her first of the season.  Belmont continued its attack on the ISU goal, looking for the equalizer.  However, the Sycamore goalkeeper was able to make crucial stops down the stretch to maintain the team's lead.    Belmont put fresh legs on the field in the final 15 minutes of regulation and built momentum towards the final whistle.

BU had one more chance in the final 30 seconds of regulation and used several passes to get in position in the box.  A sharp punt put the ball into the back of the net but the officials huddled together behind a very late whistle and waved off Belmont's tying goal on an out-of-bounds call.  The Bruins hustled to earn another corner kick and just as they got into position, time expired, securing the 2-1 win for Indiana State.

Sophomores Tara Austin (Beaumont, Texas) and Belicia Mendiola (McKinney, Texas) led the Bruins with three shots apiece while seniors Sydney Scheben (Union, Ky.) and Blase each tallied two shots. 

Bukovec recorded five saves in the effort between the posts. 

"We did not play well in the first half and made adjustments to stay in it," said Head Coach Heather Henson.  "In the second half, we committed to those adjustments and built a presence defensively.  We responded well to the pressure and I am very proud of the maturity in our approach to the second half.  

"We were not happy about the end of the game (the called off goal) but Indiana State did a good job executing throughout the match.  Physically, it was a battle tonight."

Belmont returns to action on Sunday afternoon with a dual at first-time opponent Wright State.  Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. CT.  Live stats and video will be available.