ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Belmont University men's soccer team dropped a 3-1 decision against Missouri State in their final exhibition game of the season Sunday afternoon.
The Bears struck first after a Belmont marking error left a man open for an open header against freshman Nicolo Dini (Settala, Italy), who protected the Belmont goal for the first 65 minutes of the contest.
The Bruins responded well after giving up an early goal and created a few chances, but were not able to connect and headed into the locker room down 1-0.
Belmont came out hot and scored within the first two minutes of the second half. The scoring play started when sophomore Creaghan Diekema (Grand Rapids, Mich.) stripped the ball from the Bears' right back. Diekema then passed the ball to freshman Ares Marlonsson (Thornton, Colo.) who created space with nice footwork to make a pass to the feet of freshman Nigel Leo (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) who struck the ball from just inside the 18 to the back of the net.
Missouri State struck again in the 57th minute, ripping a shot from 30 yards out after a Belmont passing error caused a turnover.
Two minutes later, the Bears took advantage of another turnover to increase their lead to 3-1.
Belmont continued to compete, finding several more scoring chances, but was not able to capitalize.
Junior keeper Alex Seeley (Longmont, Colo.) relieved Dini for the last 25 minutes and made two impressive saves to keep the score 3-1.
"It was a good learning experience and we are excited to open the season on Friday at home against Memphis," said Head Coach Bryan Green.
The Bruins will open their regular season Friday at 7:00 p.m. CT against Memphis at E.S. Rose Park.